Friday, 30 November 2012

Off kilter

I think the best way to describe me at the moment is... out of sorts.

I'm really quite fine but just... just not quite feeling myself. Let me break it down.

My boobs are agony. So sore! Do not even look at them! Not great when your boyfriend is a boob man and he just loves to paw them all. the. time. They are also massive just now. I am busting (ha!) out even my most roomiest of bras.

I cannot seem to get my backside in gear to do any exercise. I was all set for spinning last night and 30 mins before I was about to leave work I decided to sack it off, ate a slice of cake (I made for an office birthday) and went Christmas shopping.

I woke up this morning with cystitis. I hadn't even opened my eyes and... boom! I knew it. Luckily I managed to get Dr's appointment and I am on the antibiotics already.

I've not had a 100% dieting day for about a week. Meals are good in the main but a handful of crisps here, a packet of chocolate buttons there, licking the butter icing bowl is happening every day. Not good.Things are not going well and if I don't get a grip when I weigh in on Wednesday I will have packed on quite a few pounds. I am annoying myself for being such a dickhead, but I'm not annoyed enough to actually do anything about it. 

I was off work on Tuesday. There is bug going round and while I wasn't sick, I needed to be in very close proximity to my own bathroom if you know what I mean. I took full opportunity that day to eat what I wanted to 'make myself feel better' and duly put away half a tub of full fat philadelpha on a variety of crisps - straight out the tub.

I feel really bloated. Despite the fact my belts are still on the same hole, my tummy is a right wee pot belly sticking out. The boobs and the bloating all point towards PMT but it's still 10 days away! Body of mine, what the chuff are you playing at?

That's one mighty moan. On the positive:
  • I've started my Christmas shopping
  • While it's leaving me a bit confused as to my career path, there are plenty of offers of work
  • Feeling very smug and loved. TB and the furry feline are the best. What's better than waking up to the love of your life cuddling you (you may now be sick).
  • A weekend of parties and friends lies ahead
  • Baked a banoffee cake and cupcakes for an office birthday this week and got lots of lovely feedback.
  • Serious discussions this week about buying a house together. There are lots of details to pin down but hopefully in the next 6-10 months. Wheeeeee!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Booze hound

I'm getting too old for this shit.

Two nights hard boozing, not enough sleep and 9 hours of driving makes for a knackering weekend and I for one, am suffering today.

So tired. All I want do so is go home and lie down. It's not gonna happen though. I'm on the go today till after 10pm tonight so it's time to buck up and shut up.

It was worth it though. We had a really great weekend with lots of lovely friends. While we didn't go anywhere apart from the big converted house we were all staying in, it was pretty busy. 27 adults and 9 children was pretty full on! Three of the children were actually babies that were just a few months old and so if you sat still for too long you ended up getting one on plopped on you. It was the 6 year old that I seemed to be with most of the time. In between nail varnish painting sessions, story reading and dancing it was just a constant talkathon. Just as well she is as cute as button.

When it came to negotiating all the cakes and treats from the weekend, I did.... okay. Don't get me wrong I indulged in a scone and clotted cream. a slice of jaffa loaf, a slice of white chocolate cheesecake and a fairy cake. Not great but considering how much there was on the go, there is a victory of some sort in there somewhere. Yesterday, however - it was not good. Roll and square sausage for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch, half a chinese for dinner. Oh dear. And let's not forget the booze. So much drinking. I really need to cut down. It cannot be good for me how much I am putting away.

So where does this leave me when it comes to the scales. I don't really know to be honest. What I do know is that I'm right back on it today. I feel pretty crappy and food is not high on the agenda. I actually made my usual porridge for breakfast, took one whiff of it and threw it in the bin. I did end up having some eggs but  I think it's safe to say I'm feeling rather fragile.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Taste the rainbow

Working in an office of about 20 people means there is quite a lot of birthday cake on the go. I've worked in offices where you have to bring in the cakes if it's your birthday (a rule I personally quite liked) but in this office thanks to just one person having a but haha! I actually wrote but there when I meant to write NUT allergy, the cakes that get bought in are... well, they are rank. Last week there was Madeira cake that smelled like fish.
I could stand it no more and so when I realised the next birthday was one of the girls I'm friends with, I needed no excuse to crank the oven up. After having perved over a few pics of rainbow cakes on Pinterest I decided to bust out the food colouring and get involved.
It's a simple recipe but it is a little footery.  It is totally worth it though as it's a really pretty cake which got a lot of oohs and aahs once it was cut into. And, if you are anything like me, someone who revels in the cake adoration - this is the cake for you.
This is a devil's sponge cake:
  • 6 oz SR flour
  • 6 oz Castor Sugar
  • 6 oz margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch baking powder
Where are the grams, you might be wondering. I know oz is pretty old fashioned but this is a typical old school sponge recipe and is the one my mum passed on to me - and she's an oz ginda gal.
I doubled the amount so I had enough for two cakes (or one double layer cake). I often do that though with a sponge cake as it's really handy to have one in the freezer which you can ice whatever way you like depending on the occasion.
Once I had thoroughly combined the ingredients I decanted about a 1/4 of it into another bowl and added in some red food colouring to give me this gorgeous pink colour. It's up to you how deep you go with your colours but I wanted to a real pastel, delicate colour and so I wasn't too heavy handed with the food dye.
I then divided the coloured mixture between two 21 inch tins, which has been generously slathered with marg. It really was a very thin layer and you need to make sure you can get it out the tin. I then popped them in the oven (160 degrees) for about 15 minutes.
My oven is fan assisted (and the door is filthy! Shameful) and is pretty damn hot and fast. I am still getting used to it (a year later) and there have been a couple of dry bakes along the way. With this in mind I whipped each cake out after no more than15 minutes. They are so thin that they really don't take long at all. I removed the baked cake and repeated this exact same process 4 times, 3 times with coloured sponge and once without any colouring.
The only difference was that with the coloured ones I added just a touch more flour as by this time it had been quite a while since the batter had been made and I felt it needed just a little more structure.

Once you have 4 layers of different colours and they are completely cool it's time to get the icing on the go. I actually made these cakes about 5 days before I needed them (it was my last opportunity thanks to a bonkers week) froze them and iced them straight from the freezer. It's really preferable to ice them defrosted so the cake is in it's finished shape  - you can see the ridges in mine.
There is only one thing better than icing and this is cream cheese icing. In fact, I may be drooling while simply typing the words. It's case of beating together very soft butter, full fat cream cheese and icing sugar. This is a lovely recipe from The Pink Whisk. Then simply build up your layer of cake and icing.
Please excuse my Celebrations tub lid. I really need a proper cake carrier but until such a thing falls into my lap (from Santa maybe!) I have to make it on the lid of my tub so I can then easily carry it to work while sealed in the upside down box. You can see my cake is still frozen as it's sitting at rather a jaunty angle. It soon calmed down a a bit and I iced the edges too. I finished it off with some old style silver balls to make it look just that wee bit special.

PS) The only pic I have of inside was hurriedly taken at the birthday girl's desk so it's not really the best.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Weigh In

It's almost so slow that I'm at a standstill - but never the less it's still coming off. I waved goodbye to 3/4 of a pound this morning.

I know, 3/4 of a pound! It's practically nothing. I should be losing double that every week but as I've said before I'm not feeling the laser like focus that will deliver those results. My social life is bonkers (good) at the moment and to be honest I'm having lots of fun, while ever so slowly chipping away at the weight which is a pretty good place to be.

I'm down to 13stone 1.5lbs and so am within spitting distance of the 12s. I don't like being in the 13 stones. I like being in the 12s and next year, I am going to be in the 11s. It's going to happen. If I keep on losing a pound a week for the next 4 weeks I'll be back to my 'usual' weigh - which is just 3 to 4lbs off my lightest. If I can pull this off though... remains to be seen. 

I seem to be on a weekly cycle. I weigh in and lose a pound or so. I feel really pleased to see the numbers coming down and I'm feeling a difference in my clothes too. Lovely. I'm motivated and I have grand plans to have an amazing week and lose even more the following week. It gets to the weekend and nights out with friends involve rum, possibly wine and even some shots. Saturday morning arrives. I am hungover and hungry. I lose all focus and willpower and agree to things like pizza for tea. Monday, I get back on it and have two strict and sterling days before Wednesday weigh in - and repeat.

I want to break this cycle but it's not going to be easy. This weekend there are around 30 of us going away to a big converted mill house for the weekend. There will be A LOT of drinking. There is a hot tub. There is a sauna. There is going to insane amounts of food and cakes and puddings including caramel tart, banoffee pie, white choc cheesecake, mars bar cake, cake for afternoon tea... This all equates to A LOT of fun. A lot of dangerous dieting fun. It's all self catering and so staying out of the kitchen and away from the food is going to be hard. Very, very hard.

I'm going to try my absolute best but this is a major challenge.

Weight Loss This Week: 0.75 pound
Current Weight: 183.5 pounds

Monday, 19 November 2012

Too boozy

It's been a fun and typically busy week.

Alongside working full time I've been mentally wresting with thoughts of possible new routes my career path could take. It's looking likely things will change come the new year and a job has come up that requires a decision to be made sooner rather than later. Well, actually - soon. I have no idea what I want to do and I just dooooon't know what way I'll go. I also don't want to lead people on but if I rush the decision it might not be the right one. Lordy.

On top of all this I got my bake on. I couldn't make it along baking club this month but that's no reason to put the flour down. I was making banana jam and at the request of TB I made banana bread too which he took into work. I also made coloured sponges which I am using to make a rainbow cake for a birthday in the office tomorrow. I'll try and get pics of the inside but it's quite hard when they person is cutting at their desk. I'll just elbow them out the way.

I'm pleased I fitted in two workouts but only one of them was after my Wednesday weigh in and will count towards this week's result. I was really feeling in the zone at the end of last week and it was going so well... until the booze started flowing. Two friends were visiting me on Friday and although I stuck to spirits and diet mixers, we drank a lot. I managed to have a modest portion of sushi for dinner but still... there was a lot of booze.

On Saturday, I was back on it. TB and I were away for the night with friends. So more booze. This time there was also half a bottle of wine involved and half a portion of sticky toffee pudding. Oops!

Yesterday, once again the hangover won. I coped until after lunch and then it began to spiral downwards. Two massive cookies, pizza for tea (albeit a thin base and eaten with salad) and a few toffees. It's not exactly the end of the world but it's not really diet worthy.

So once again two sterling days and crossed fingers in the lead up to weigh in.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Waisting away

I bought this dress from Asda just before I went on holiday (I love George - they have some great stuff, the prices are reasonable, and it's never that busy). It's lightweight, comfy and flattering and it was the perfect plane outfit with a pair of black leggings and vest top underneath - and with the buttons undone at the neck. It was also a lifesaver as my luggage was lost and it was all I had to wear in 30 degree heat! I papped on a pair of TB's boxers which sort of worked as hotpants and bob's yer aunty's husband!

Since I got home I've never had it off. Okay, slight exaggeration - I have worn a couple of others things but at least once a week this bad boy has been my go-to work to night staple. The only thing is, it's been too tight. When I first got back from sunning myself there was no way I was getting it on the last hole of my belt and I felt like I had to suck in my tummy the whole time. Not sure if you've ever tried that but it's exhausting and makes it quite hard to speak! In fact, if I'm being honest then it was actually too tight even before I went on hols.

I put it on this morning and... I am doing the belt up on the last hole, with ease! I might be ever so slowly chipping away but the trend is downwards and just over the last few days I have felt a difference.

I made it to spinning last night and it was definitely easier than two weeks ago. I didn't feel sick once!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Weigh in

That's right, weigh in time. Again.

Slow and steady wins the race. Right? Well this tortoise will hopefully end out in front as I lost another pound this week which means I am now 13stone 2.25lbs.

I'm not exactly setting the weight loss work on fire with these losses but they are all adding up and if I keep this trend up then I'll be 12stone 11lbs for Christmas which would be just peachy.

Of course, I'd bloody love if it was more but at the moment it's not to be. I'm not quite feeling the laser like focus and life is just too busy to cram in as much exercise as I would like. I have at least one big night out every weekend until Christmas which is not ideal but I'd rather have a packed social life, be out having fun and lose a pound a week than be a bore, sitting at home and losing 2lbs a week.

I went to the gym last night after work (massive pat on the back please) and before next week's weigh in I can only fit in one spinning class. I'm too busy jam making, birthday cake baking and other essential life tasks which I won't bore you with. There are also a couple of hurdles facing me over the next seven days.

Friends are visiting on Friday night. This equates to boozing and sushi which is isn't too problematic but how do you cope with a restaurant BYOB when you just want to stick to spirits and mixers?

On Saturday we're away to a hotel the night for a catch up with friends. Again, this will be very boozy. I'll also need to navigate the evening meal and breakfast. As long as I can make the right choices then another pound off is totally do-able.

Christmas is just around the corner and I want to feel and look good whether at the work night out or TB's family party on Boxing Day.  Onwards and downwards...

Weight Loss This Week: 1 pound
Current Weight: 184.25 pounds

Monday, 12 November 2012

Weigh in

How has it been a week since my last post?! Life is just going past so quickly. This year has been mental.

That's a year since TB and I moved in together and I upped sticks and moved over 100 miles so we could be together. Best decision ever. There have been a few moments along the way which took more effort than others as I found my feet in a new city and my place in it but in the past 12 months I've met some brilliant people and made some fantastic new friends, friends which I think I'll have for life.

I often use the word lucky to describe myself, but that's exactly what I am. Things have a way of working out and I don't take it for granted. Especially when it comes to TB. He is my world and meeting him has been the best thing that ever happened to me. Not a day goes by where I know that he's made me happier than I've ever been.

Oh my, I didn't meat to get all sentimental there. I think it might have come from the fact that a friend of mine lost his girlfriend at the weekend. Both just in their 30's it was totally out the blue. I can't stop thinking about them and it makes you realised that there is no time to concern yourself with the minutia and the past. It's the here and now that matters - and the people you love.

I'm gonna move on as this post was meant to be a quick update and weigh in update, and I need to think about something else. So - 1lb off last week. I was quite happy with that and it keeps me on target to get me back into the 'comfort zone' by Christmas if I lose a pound a week. So what else has been going down?

  • Snippy snipperson - serious hair cut. About 5 inches off (it's still half way down my back) bangs and back to brown. Total change and while I'm getting used to it I've had a lot of very nice compliments which has been lovely.
  • Playing catchup - I spent most of Thursday last week jumping from lunch to coffee to dinner with various different friends as I played catch up. So good to see everyone
  • Very boozy Friday night at home with my girls and then a weekend with TB as I'd not seen him since Tuesday. Lots of sofa surfing, out for lunch, a walk, cinema. Perfect.

What wasn't perfect was my eating. Wednesday to Friday evening was insane, it was so good. 100% sheer perfection. Then, I had far too much to drink and a rather large pudding at my friend's house. The rest of the weekend was spent trying to eat my way out the hangover. Not great. Exercise has also been seriously lacking as a result of diving around the country like a total maddie most of last week. I'm going to the gym tomorrow night  - but one workout does not a loss make.

Weight Loss This Week: 1 pound
Current Weight: 185.25 pounds

Monday, 5 November 2012

Ticking off

I am a ticker. I love to tick things off my list and that is exactly what I've been doing since Thursday.

I said I was going to spinning on Thursday, tick.
I said I was going out for a run on Saturday, tick
I said I would avoid bacon rolls at TB's folk's, tick

A trifecta of ticks! Everything is going according to plan (it sounds like I am just typing out lines from a musical). Yes, there were a few glasses of wine at the weekend but that was just about the only badness and I've still not told you the best bit...

I worked out  a rough route for my run on Saturday thanks to gmap pedometer and once TB's mum pointed me in the direction of the old railway track off I trotted. It was beautiful. The autumn leaves were the most lovely colours, the sun was peeping through the sky and the countryside air was crisp and clear.

I couldn't help but think of Lesley as I trotted along, admiring the view. At one point a massive bird (no idea what kind) swooped from the fence beside me and off across a field. I wish I had taken my camera. It was just as well I had all this going on to distract me as I was running out of steam.

I managed about 75% of the run without too much trouble but I could feel myself tiring and I began to intersperse the running with walking. Not that I was choosing to do that - I was spent! I got home and checked the stats. I had been out for 55 mins - and covered 7.85km! Boo Ya! That is my longest run since July! And my hip felt fine. I am so chuffed with myself.

I know I can do it. Of course I can. But sometimes I forget and the only way to convince myself is to do it again. I have to just get on with it. And when I say it - I mean anything and everything. Work, friendships, diet, self confidence - just everything that can be affected by a little bit of self doubt.

  • Weekend sundown
  • Fishing town sights
  • Bonfire in at TB's folks

Friday, 2 November 2012

Never again November

According to my mother, November 2011 was 'Never to be repeated November'. Yesterday morning I got a text...

Prepare for NEVER BETTER NOVEMBER - it's going to be a corker! Plan ahead 'cos we are going to blast it! RSVP xx

Yes, she used an apostrophe to shorten because and she also used RSVP. Anyway, the point is that it's been decided that this month is going to be a killer - whether I like it or not!

Yesterday, the first of November (Captain's Log) I took a huge step. Not only did I go back to the gym, I went to spinning! I've not been to a spinning class for maybe about 9 months and the last time I went to a 45 minute spinning class was about a year ago! I'm a member of Pure Gym and it's a nightmare to get booked into classes. Spin is always flippin rammed but I decided to rock up after work last night just in case and if it was full then I'd just do general gym stuff. As turned out there were TWO spare bikes (do not get me started on people who book and then never turn up) and boy, did I spin.

It started off all hunky dory and about 15 minutes in, the endorphins were flowing. I though to myself, "Why did I ever stop coming? This is great. I LOVE this." 30 seconds later I thought, "I think I'm going to be sick". Jesus wept, it was hard. Really hard. And sitting down today... well, let's just say the adverb, gingerly, is apt.

My eating was spot on yesterday with the only possible room for improvement being the Thai salmon curry we had for tea  - less sauce and rice, more veg would have been perfect.

Today has again, been fricking amazing and I also stomped about at lunchtime for 40 mins as I had to walk to the gym and back again (to pick up my boots I left there last night. Smart). I also bought some very lovely new running tops to trick myself into going out running tomorrow as I will think I look cool and will want to show off as I huff and puff my way around the countryside as we are TB's folks.

It's also been a whirlwind week job wise - but more on that later as it's 40 mins till hometime and I have work to finish. Have a bon weekend mes amies. Beaucoup amour! x