Over the past months, with my elder son’s help – I have cleared our loft and my ‘office’ at home – sent more junk and papers than I thought were possible for recycling – cleared a zillion items of clothing out of the bedroom (OH is a terrible hoarder of sweaters and shoes) either to charities or to the textile bin at our local tip. Tedious but great for calorie burning.
Thank goodness we did it all because a month or so ago it became obvious that the plaster had perished on one of the bedroom ceilings in our top-floor flat in a 150-year old building. SO – we got the builders in and it transpired that the entire ceiling had to come down – including the lathes – so that the room was exposed right up to the apex of the roof. The amount of 150 year-old dust and black soot that came down from the loft was horrendous on top of the crumbled plaster and dust. I love renovating houses and have done a lot of it, but have never been involved in anything approaching such dirt and chaos. It has been very hard work – clearing stuff out of the (very large) bedroom and finding other places to keep it – all of which would have been far, far worse if it hadn’t been for the previous decluttering.
Then there was the cleaning up after the works were finished – AND keeping it clean (the dust was re-settling for over a week or more, albeit in smaller quantities). I must have been washing my hands fifty times a day at one point. Re-decorating followed plus what I call ‘prettying-up’. But it’s all done now which is a huge relief and has finally brought a sense of achievement with it.
So I am happy to have the time now to get back on to Spark after weeks of absence - little contact with Sparkfriends, no tracking of food and exercise and consequently very little focus. Focus on weight loss has always been one of my greatest problems. When I’m totally devoted to it things generally go well but then I either become bored or life-stuff diverts me and I slither. Not very realistic and I am aware of that.
However – it seems that the Spark habits have held fast this time so today, when I got on the scale for the first time in about six weeks, I found that four more pounds are gone. I know some of this is constant physical work day after day but to me it is also a PHEW! A moment of relief that I have not piled on pounds from paying too little attention to my food consumption. It’s also a moment of victory showing me that maybe – just maybe – all the years of discipline establishing new habits here on Spark have finally borne fruit and I really have got a handle on how to live a healthier life.
My fingers and toes are crossed
As I’ve mentioned I only weigh once a month and this month I haven’t been entirely well – nothing serious, just some kind of low grade bug. No energy and far far too much sleeping. However I have nonetheless managed to drop 6 pounds which is something good achieved despite my long list of ‘should-have dones’. Hope to keep up the adherence to better habits which I am still clinging on to by my finger tips. None of it is easy for me – or anyone I guess – but I’d really like not waste the efforts I’ve made this time. Each time I slip it gets harder and harder to start again.
Once I get over this temporary illness I’ll get back to some more serious exercise – been very half hearted lately but am not letting it worry me. I just need to feel completely better first
I’ve been away for a few days for the funeral of my best and dearest friend – someone I brought my children up with and with whom I shared the ups and downs of life. Sad –sad-sad - but these things are the pattern of life and I was glad to be there with other friends and share our memories. She was also my maddest and most unconventional friend and managed to make us all smile by issuing an instruction for all close female friends and family to wear red underwear to the service. ‘No flashing, though!’ she had written, ‘I just want everyone to be aware - that is my own celebration of my death.’ Had to be honoured!
Her daughters had put out some photos of her life at the wake and amongst them was this one, rather blurred now, of her two daughters and my two sons having a mudbath in her garden. Brought back memories of so many good times.
Today is the first weigh-in since I got back on track 4 weeks ago and I'm delighted to find that I've lost 7 pounds this month.
I prefer not to stand on the scales every week - tends to make me think about my weight constantly which doesn’t suit me at all. It hasn't really been difficult to drop these pounds and I must remember that when I start to falter - more positive perhaps would be IF I start to falter.
I've been following instructions by Paul McKenna from his book ‘Hypnotic Gastric Band’.
EAT WHEN HUNGRY - not just for oral gratification or because the clock says it's a particular mealtime. Learn to recognise real hunger signals.
EAT WHAT YOU WANT - nothing is forbidden which does have an effect on random cravings and if you learn to pay attention to what your body (and not your brain) really wants you may make healthier choices.
EAT CONSCIOUSLY - concentrate on your food - sit at a table, eat slowly and chew thoroughly. NO reading, TV or using a PC.
STOP EATING WHEN YOU'RE FULL - learn to recognise when your stomach is full and don't finish the plate just because we were all taught to do that. Sooner or later we will understand what size our portions really need to be and stop wasting food - either by throwing it into the bin or treating our stomachs like trash cans.
Habits are hard to break and there's a lot to keep remembering - I'm particularly bad at eating without the TV, radio or a book and chewing each mouthful about 20 times isn’t easy either but it seems that I've proved that if I pay more attention to eating my food I can indeed lose pounds.
I will probably listen to the the CD (to ‘install’ the gastric band) included with the book but am more interested in getting the above 'Golden Rules', which are basic common sense reminders, under my belt and changing my attitude to food – perhaps the CD will help with that. It seems to be working for others here on Spark and amongst my friends at home. Remains to be seen.
So here I still am – not following any extreme plan or putting myself through any pressure – I pretty well know by now what to do and what suits me. Guess that if I consider the knowledge I’ve accumulated here re food consumption and exercise I’ve not been wasting either time or effort over the past few years - nor encouragement received - thank you Spark and Sparkers! It would just be great for this finally to be the moment when I put it all into practice and become fitter and healthier - not only lose some pounds but keep them off in a controlled and less frenetic way than I usually go about things.
I’m not actually weighing-in yet because weekly weighing can turn me into that lunatic that I don’t want to be. So – no obsession - no urgency right now and it seems to suit me. I’m happy with how I feel - healthier and more energetic - jeans fitting me comfortably - regular exercise - healthy food NOT accompanied by gallons of wine. That’ll do nicely for now.