Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Highwoods, for 60 mins, but it was slow because Sophie was huffing and puffing most of the walk, it was so humid. Poor love. But we had nice chats, bumping into Mr. Sweetheart and his lovely old dog, and a couple of other owners, so it was pleasant enough, and I even had the presence of mind to find out his name, having already learned his dog's name. Funny how you can chat to the people you meet for ages and not even have a clue as to Christian names of owners, but you know every dog you've ever met by name, their foibles, and their treat preferences. LOL
I also walked to Waitrose and back, via Homebase for some strimmer blades. I've really made the last blade work its edge off, but finally I had to give in and buy a new pack. I've given up on my lawnmower. It doesn't like bumpy lawns, so anyone want to give a hover mower a good home? Not kidding! :-)
10 Just Dance songs. Drat you Sparkpeople! SOOO good when you work, and SOOO baad when you don't! *grin* I rely on my emails to notify me of challenges, and I didn't get any notifications for either of my Dancing bingo games, so I'm six days behind, and with 28 songs to catch up with. Twenty Eight!!! *gulp* I also discovered that had I had my emails I would have won a goodie on the 13th, so I did all the songs I had on the card up to that point (namely the ten mentioned) and claimed it, because fortunately no one else has jumped in. In fact, judging by the lack of response, I think I'm not the only one missing emails.
The latest batch of try-ons arrived today. These pics are of my keepers from the last couple of days:
I finally own a tracksuit top. They went through a stage of being pullover instead of zipped for a while, and I hated those, but this is a classic, and I'm thrilled with it.
I've ordered a matching tracksuit bottom to go with the top that are dark grey because they didn't have any black left, but as I doubt they'll be long enough in the leg anyway, it doesn't really matter and I like charcoal grey if by some miracle they do actually fit leg length-wise. :-)
Under the tracksuit top is my fave of the sports tops:
It is Nike, as you can see by the little logo, and I think it is just beautifully designed, from the little cap sleeves to the neckline. Loving it, and already wore it to do my dancing in this evening. It keeps my boobs in check just as successfully as my sportsbras do :-)
I love these two casual tops as well:
And what are those things lurking below the tops? Why, they are my NEW SIZE 16 JEANS!
Yep! Finally found a pair. I'm still waiting for my absolute fave Mason High Rise Bootleg extra long jeans to be restocked so that I can try them on for size, but these ones are almost as good. Mind you, they are tight, don't get me wrong, and not overly comfy to sit in .. YET. :-) But they pulled on and did up reasonably easily, and I went to Waitrose and Homebase in them and it felt so good to know that my btm was looking so much tidier! LOL
So, I need to work on shrinking a bit more so that I can sit in comfort in a size 16, but it is OFFICIAL! I can get into them and do them up without a problem! YAY!!!
All this excitement has prompted me to look in more detail at my Nutrition Tracker to try and assist the shrinkage, and I'm confused. My calories have gone up. I'm now allowed between 1900 and 2250 calories, but I have no idea why. Does anyone know exactly why the changes in the numbers of calories, protein etc change? I gather it is connected to info I provide, but which info exactly? I want to know so that I can adjust it if necessary, as that seems excessive to me.
Given my struggle to keep my fat and calories low, and get my protein high enough for the minimum, I'm stunned to see that today I fell short on calories by 300, and on fat by 9, barely made it to the minimum carbs, but got my minimum protein! LOL Talk about a contrary day! *grin*
I'm comfortably full and see no need to eat another 300 calories. Another day I'll make the 1900 with ease and be so hungry that I'll be going over my fat or calories to stop my tummy from rumbling. 1600 calories is comfortably above the danger zone (starvation mode trigger), so I'll take it as acceptable I think. I didn't log yesterday, but I overdid the butter enough to set my sinuses off (lashings of butter on new potatoes was my downfall), so a very low fat day today will balance that out nicely. :-)
I've been gradually making changes to my diet over the past year or more, the new potato/butter trap notwithstanding. *grin*...
I'm not eating as many crisps as I used to. Plus I found a new variety that I like, but that are less than half the calories of my favourites (French Fries anyone?), so I've been swapping them out on occasion. Less crisps, less cakey things (those Tesco jam and cream doughnuts are a really rare treat these days), no alcohol aside from a few bottles of beer a year.
No Dr Pepper - that was a biggie, so when I kicked that habit over a year ago, that instantly helped, as I drank about 4 litres a week. I drink carbonated water now instead. :-)
I've switched from Countrylife spreadable butter, to Countrylife lighter. It tastes every bit as good, but spreads much more easily, making it much, much easier to keep to a small amount on my bread.
I've upped my water to 10+ glasses per day, so much so that I don't even need to count anymore. It is a natural part of my day now, and I used to hate water! :-) And as a knock-on effect of that, I've cut my mugs of tea consumption down to 4-5 a day instead of about a dozen! Plus I use semi-skimmed milk, and barely a 1/4tsp sugar per mug. I've tried skimmed milk and it is coloured water, and though I'll drink plain water, I draw the line at having it on my cereal and in my tea! LOL I've tried cutting the sugar completely, but my tastebuds aren't ready to give up that last little perk just yet. :-)
I have fruit with my breakfast every day, even if it is just a banana sliced onto my rice krispies. :-) And I drink a portion of fruit juice with lunch. I drink water before and after meals to give my body the best chance of gathering nutrients from what I eat and drink. I discovered that drinking tea with a meal stops the body absorbing iron readily, and as I get anaemic if I'm not careful, this needed to be dealt with.
One thing I never had trouble with was eating veggies. Love 'em! :-) Still do, and no day is complete without a decent selection on my plate of an evening. Still not a fan of salad though. LOL Doubt I ever will be. :-) Mind you, I did discover that I like salad leaves in a ham, mayo and mustard sandwich, and I add spring onions and petit pois to my potato salad. (And occasionally some finely diced cucumber or red pepper) Still use normal Hellmanns Mayo, but I don't lather it on now. I've found that a small amount is just as effective for coating the potato, so that makes me happy. Like the butter, I'd rather shrink the portion than do without. :-)
So there you go. Some of the changes I've made to my nutrition over the last year. Most of it has been a lot easier to do than I expected, mostly, I think, because I made the changes gradually, rather than all at once. Getting used to one or two changes at a time is easier on your rebellious streak for one thing, and stops you getting that "I can't do this!" feeling of being on a restrictive diet!
Oh, and I weigh EVERYTHING that doesn't come in pre-packed portions, especially rice, pasta, potatoes, and cereal, because I have eyes bigger than my stomach! LOL
Sorry. I didn't know this was going to come pouring out when I started to blog tonight. I know food has been on my mind a lot lately, especially since our budget got so bad that I despaired of eating well when living purely on Tax Credits.
It really is hard to eat a good variety of fruit and veg, meat and fish when you have so little to buy food with. I'm now trying to work out ways to get more creative. :-) So that is why all this suddenly decided to pour out, I guess. :-)
But now, it is really late and I should be heading for bed, so I'll say goodnight, and hope that your Wednesday was Wonderful! :-)
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Exercise - Highwoods for an hour.
EDIT: Added 4 Zumba Routines as hoped = 18 mins
I had more goodies arrive from Littlewoods Catalogue today - tops mostly - 8 of them - and socks. I find that ladies socks are too petite and tight and they seem to cut off my circulation above my ankles, so I ordered a 7 pack of mens socks - all colourful and stripey, and a 7-pack of what they call trainer socks, which barely come over your ankle and I thought that might stop me having circulation difficulties. I usually end up resorting to cutting through the elasticated tops of the socks so I can wear them! LOL
Well, as it turns out the mens' socks are actually very comfy, lightweight, and aren't overly cutting into me, so that's a good start.
The trainer socks ... well ... they don't stay on.
Well, they do ... quite well .. until I put my trainers on. Then they very quickly slide down over my heel and end up somewhere under my instep. My trainers are quite loose to allow for thick socks, and as a result it only takes about a minute for them to rub the skinny trainer socks off my feet! LOLOL
Fortunately, Tara loves them, so they have a home anyway. :-)
The tops - all size 16 were fun to try on. Five have gone back. Two went back because they just looked odd on me. The other three went back because they were too BIG! Result! I kept three. One is khaki with beading around the neck and cap sleeves that looks nice now but will look GREAT when I can find those elusive size 16 jeans so that the scrunched-in belted 18s don't create bulges under the top! The 2nd is a sleeveless with crocheted lacework around the neckline and is a gorgeous greeny/blue colour. Pretty! :-)
The third top is lilac, made by Nike, and is sportswear that is, if anything even tighter than the black top that came yesterday. But though tight as anything, when worn with the capri pants it holds all my lumps and bumps so well that I can wear my ordinary bra underneath instead of my sportsbra! So impressed am I, even though my body bulging everywhere freaks me out. LOLOL
So, all this trying on of tops got me to thinking about the clothes I'd tucked away hoping to fit into again one day. I pulled out my entire wardrobe of tops and overshirts and started trying them on. A few items have gone in a pile for the charity shop because they are HUGE on me or because I had a mental aberation when I bought them and they really don't suit me. Several though are in the laundry basket because they fit me again! Yay!!!
So, buoyed by the success of the tops, I came downstairs determined to try and fix the bottom end as well. I've ordered some more capri pants/leggings for exercising, and two pairs of jeans that I may be lucky enough to find fit me. :-) Keeping everything crossed for some success at last! :-)
Today, because my right shoulder is still a little achy, I decided to make a good walk at Highwoods my main exercise today. Sohie and I roamed the first three fields, then headed briefly into the woods before crossing the big Lake Field, and walking back through Farthing Bottom (the sign to which some bright spark with a toilet humour bent has scratched out the 'h' of. *grin*)
We were rather surprised to find the boardwalk closed off. Turns out that they are replacing the old sleepers, so it is currently a building site across the marsh ...
What is it about the British weather? LOL About an hour after I put up the blog on Sunday about us being in a drought, it started to rain, and it rained solidly for the rest of the day! LOL Contrary weather! The cracks at Highwoods don't look quite as bad as they did. Hopefully we'll get some more rain and they will gradually disappear. Not entirely clear about the process, but I'm guessing that as moisture soaks the soil, it will expand, closing the cracks. It will certainly take a fair few downpours before everything is back to normal.
Oh and the top field is full of these pretty thistle-style plants ...
I think it is knapweed, because the leaves aren't spiky. They are out in profusion, and they are attracting a lot of insects as you can imagine, one of which gave me quite a turn! To me, any insect in the wild that has a bright red bit to them, tends to be flying a warning flag that they are dangerous, so when a hoard of these red flying insects suddenly swarmed out of the knapweed, I panicked! LOL.
It wasn't until I got home and checked my field guide that I realised what I was seeing was lots of cardinal beetles. Yes, they are toxic to birds and such, but as far as we humans are concerned I think they're harmless enough. :-) Well, don't I feel silly for screaming and running away! LOL
(I didn't scream and run really, though a little squeal did escape from me when an unidentified brown thing landed on my arm. LOLOL)
There were more of those beetles than there were bees, though there were a lot of them too. The Big Garden is only a couple of hundred yards away as the bee flies, and they have hives there. :-)
So, that is about it so far today. Might get a little something done with Zumba later if I feel up to it. I want to do strength training, but I think my shoulder needs another day off. :-(
Better safe than sorry! Better safe than sorry! Better safe than sorry! *grin*
Oh, and I saw the cutest little Sparrow chick on the garden fence, hiding in the honeysuckle, with the parents frantically trying to feed it and keep it safe. Truth is, the chick was perfectly capable, but it seemed to prefer to sit there and run its parents ragged. How, um, familiar! LOLOL
Have a Tiggerlicious Tuesday!
Monday, June 13, 2011
...will that make me work out harder?
The purple Puma top came today, and it is lovely. Loving the kitty logo especially! :-) It came with a black vest top as a pack - both size 16 ...
I already had the Adidas leggings from a couple of months back - also a size 16. It seems to be the largest sizes they do.
I like all the clothes, but the leggings and the black top are really tight. Mind you, I think it is because they are designed to hold all your lumps and bumps in place. They certainly show all my lumps and bumps off. The purple one isn't exactly loose either. I'm hoping I'll shrink into them! LOL. I'll happily exercise in them but no way am I answering the door dressed like that! LOLOL
Today I walked 2 miles with Leslie Sansone in the black ensemble. :-)
I also (not in the clothes) walked to Waitrose and back,
Walked to the Co-op and back twice,
Danced to 3 Zumba routines for the challenge,
Had a few goes at the Wii Fit Plus Ski Slalom - 2 beginners and 5 Advanced
All in all I racked up well over 10,000 steps! :-)
I was going to do some strength training but my arms are still aching from Saturday's Wii Sports extravaganza, so I'm taking it easy on those muscles for a day or two. :-)
We are winning the earwig battle incidentally. There are still some about, but very few are getting in the house now, and the veg oil is proving to work. Plus I have the pot located in a way that allows me to sweep any strays on my doorstep straight into the pot for a swim. Whether they want one or not! :-)
I also tried on a pair of size 16 jeans today. They did up - just, but were tight in the btm area and when I tried bending over they gaped at the back, which I can well do without, so I'll wait until they have my fave jeans back in stock and try a 16 in those instead. :-)
I WILL be a comfy size 16 again one day! :-)
Have a Monster Good Monday! :-)
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Yes, it is official! We have a drought situation in East Anglia and near drought conditions in several other areas of the country.
See this pic...
I took it up at Highwoods a week or two back, and last Wed when we went to Tesco Extra we walked back through other fields and they are all cracked worse than this! There are holes large enough to get your foot in, and some are a foot deep! It is like this on all the hill areas where the grass is very short. Even the low marsh fields are dry as a bone, though not showing signs of cracking up just yet. :-)
The good news is that the water companies are confident that they can ride the weather and apart from selective hosepipe bans and asking consumers to be more careful in their usage, they aren't unduly worried. The people who are worried are farmers. You can imagine the problems this is causing, with thirsty livestock, crops withering because the ground is bone dry, and fish not spawning because fish farmers don't have enough fresh water to run through the systems.
I don't know about anyone else around here, but I'm praying for rain!!! :-)
On a more positive note... You probably know that I have often said that this Spark Journey has first and foremost been about being fitter for me, and eating more healthily, and that weightloss is a bonus, if it happens, but isn't the be all or end all. You remember me saying all this, right? Repeatedly? Well, it is true. I do weigh weekly, but try to ignore my disappointment when the scale doesn't move week after week, month after month, and when it does, and I drop a pound, it comes right back the following week.
Well, the cartwheel I really would have done, if I'd been physically able, this morning when I saw the scales, kind of belies that. I went from 12 stone 12 3/4lbs to 12 stone 10 1/2lbs!
A drop of 2 1/4lbs!!!! *WHOOP!* :-)
Please tell me that this time the loss is permanent! I'd really like to drop a few more pounds as well, just to get to a size 16 would be wonderful, instead of the in between 16/18 size I've been for more months than I care to think about. :-)
I've been working really hard, and eating well, and drinking lots of water. I'd like to see the effort paid off in some downward motion of the scale now. I've earned it! :-)
I've Wii Cycled...
I've lifted weights...
I've Walked and Jogged...
I've even done Yoga...
And I never forget to stretch!
I've eaten my healthy food...
And I've drunk loads and loads of water! I may be personally responsible for the drought, I've drunk so much! ...
So I deserve to not have the scale hide when it sees me coming :-) ...
And talking of all that, I haven't listed the last three days activity...
Day 56 (Fri)
All on the Wii today:
Wii Step Plus Challenge - 15 mins
Several balance games - 21 mins
Jogging Plus - 28 minutes
Zumba Challenge, week 2 - 3 routines - 13 minutes
Day 57 (Sat)
All on the Wii today:
Super Hula Challenge - 8 mins
Rarely Used Challenge - Free Stepping - 10 mins
Zumba Challenge, week 2 - 5 routines - 22 mins
Wii Sports - played all five games - Tennis is my favourite, plus Baseball, Golf, Bowling and Boxing. (explains my aching arms this morning. LOL)
Just Dance - 6 dances - approx 18 mins
Day 58 (today)
Rarely Used Challenge - Tilt City - 12 mins
Cycling - 30 mins
Then - shock, horror - I came off the Wii, and did a 20 minute Cardio Slimdown with Leslie Sansone, followed by 20 minutes stepping on my Reebok Step with Gin Miller.
It was wonderful to do those two things again. :-) The poor step (Roo as I call him) has been sadly neglected lately. And Leslie must have given up on me! LOL
Steps for the week:
Sun - 12015
Mon - 11679
Tue - 3406
Wed - 12695
Thur - 6419
Fri - 7172
Sat - 6412
Average day = 8543 steps = 3.88 miles a day
So, now all that is done and I worked up a great sweat, I'm off for a nice soak in the bath, follwed by a long phone chat with a friend I haven't had the chance to chat with for ages. :-)
Catch you later, and have a Serene Sunday! :-)
Friday, June 10, 2011
Yep, put a bit of a spanner in the works midweek this did. The Costochondritis/Tietze's gave me a lovely break for a few weeks, but they're back - disreputating my tranquality! LOL Also had a rotten tum for the first day of the pain that left me with an aching abdomen for a couple of days after, which was not a lot of fun either. It was so bad that... *shock-horror* I didn't manage to get all my steps in that day!
But still, here are the boring stats - feel free to skip. :-)
Day 50 (Sat)
Co-op and back
Zumba Challenge - 8 routines totalling 30 minutes and 3163 steps
Jut Dance 2 Challenge - 11 dances plus one more for lucky 12 - 3827 steps
Reached Plymouth and Stage 3 of my Land's End to John O'Groats walk, and I'm averaging 3.97 miles per day!
Day 51 (Sun)
Weighed in at 12 stone 12 3/4lbs so the weight is still not going down. But my waist seems to be firming up a bit, suggesting the muscle is replacing fat, so I'll take that. :-)
Wii Fit Plus Jogging in the Aerobics section 1 hour and 26 minutes in total.
I also had my first go at the Driving Range in the Training Plus section. Did ok. :-) Then Tara did it and got a perfect score. *humph!* LOL
Completed my A5 notebook at this point and had to start a new one. I do put other things in the notebook too, but a good 3/4 of it was filled with activity stats! LOL
Day 52 (Mon) and I went on a balloon hunt. :-)
The Wii Fit Plus cycling has a free cycle section where you can ride for up to 30 minutes, and there are 20 balloons dotted around the Island to try and find if you want to. The problem is that, unlike the flags in earlier rounds, these balloons don't show up on the map, and are quite well hidden and very well spaced out. I 'cycled' for a total of 1 hour and 10 mins (and made 7578 steps) and found a total of 17 balloons, but not all in the same 30 mins. LOL. As for the missing three, I have no idea where else to look!
I also did a 43 minutes routine of Yoga and Muscle mixed. I dropped Downward Facing Dog, purely because the pressure on my wrists was uncomfortable. I'll keep that for occasional use rather than part of my regular routine. :-)
Just Dance 2 Bingo started up again, so I had three songs for my card, plus I also danced to the two free downloads twice each because they get missed out of challenges, plus Tara challenged me to That's Not My Name. (I lost) LOL
Just Dance 2 Challenge week 2
Did 4 of the songs on the list.
So, yes, overdid it a bit - totalled 11679 steps, and boy was I aching next morning! LOL
Day 53 (Tue)
The Bad Pain Day
Walked to Waitrose and back (this was when I was just aching from my exertions the day before)
Then the stomach pain hit! I was in tears at times, it hurt so bad, but after an hour or so the stomach eased a little but then the Costo/Tietze's kicked in! *growl* I was quiet and still for a while but I danced (after a fashion) to 4 Just dance 2 songs from the Challenge seeing as Tara was already playing with it. I have to admit my efforts were not my usual exertions because my tummy area was pretty sore if it got jiggled at all. Luckily the songs I chose weren't overly physical, and after that I surrendered and let the attempt to get my steps in slide for the rest of the day. :-)
Day 54 (Wed)
Stomach still achy but behaving itself, and Costo was manageable, so we walked to Tesco Extra with the meagre pittance of money I had and stocked up on a few items we can't get elsewhere, then walked home again. The rain kept off this time. :-)
Snowboard Slalom challenge - a total of 7 attempts, plus three attempts at the advanced version.
Just Dance Bingo and Just Dance 2 bingo catch-up:
total of 6 songs, plus one from the Just Dance Challenge.
Day 55 (Thursday)
Waitrose and back.
43 minute Yoga and Muscle Routine
Just Dance and Just Dance 2 bingo - only two songs on my cards this time
JD2 Challenge - the last three songs for week 2
Just Dance Challenge Week 2 - The remaining 7 songs
Won't mention today's exertions yet as they are still in progress. :-)
So, what else has happened? Not a lot, truth be told. Been a quiet week of trying to get back to normal after all the stresses last week and the week before. I'm pleased to report that Tara's finally eating properly again, the water meter is showing that our bill will hopefull shrink to about half the bill we were paying before, Sophie and I are getting the hang of the ball launcher, and we have an earwig invasion. Ooops, did I forget to mention that?
Yes, we have earwigs! Loads of them ... teeming around outside the back door every night, and crawling all over the elder that is growing there. *shudders!* And they are getting into the door jamb too, so that every morning I have a battle to squish anything from a few to a couple of dozen of the buggers before they get into the house proper and hide! I'm in the process of trying earwig traps to get rid of as many as possible, and discovered that a 1/2 inch deep pool of veg oil in a shallow container is supposed to be good for that, but there weren't many carcasses in the old pie dish this morning, so I'm trying a different container tonight - an old cake tin. I'm hoping that they will find that harder to get out of. This is WAR you pesty little nippy critturs, you hear me? War!!!
Scuse me while I have a scratch! *scratch, scratch, scrubble scrubble* I only have to think about them and I start to itch! LOL
Yay, it's the weekend! Have a good one everybody!
Yep! Really getting the hang of the ball launcher! LOL
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