Sunday, February 7, 2016



We had some visitors today. We were expecting one family for morning tea at 10:30 so had some muffins and watermelon ready. They called to move it back to 11:00. Then to 11:45. They arrived after 12. I cleared away the morning tea and sent Tim out to buy a couple of rotisserie chickens! We had a nice lunch chatting with friends. It was a bit frustrating waiting around all morning though. Oh well, it was great to see them.

Then family dinner here. It no longer seems at all stressful to cook for a few extra people. You get used to it. You just cook larger quantities of what you were going to have anyway, and add a dessert!

I ate very badly today. I acted like I didn't care about consequences. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I really do.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Holding steady


I seem to be eating the amount of calories that keeps me at this weight. I gained 0.5 kg (about 1 pound) at the start of the week then have held steady since then. Looking at the graph I've been keeping since Christmas, the same thing happened this time last month. So I'm not really worried, I should start to lose again.

The thing is, I can't blame lack of weight loss on a "plateau" or water retention. It is quite clearly due to the fact I've been eating more that I should if I want to lose weight. I am eating at a maintenance level. Today I had great meals; cheese and a pear for breakfast, pulled pork and salad for lunch, chicken and vegetables for dinner. But I ALSO had some sultanas and cashews at morning tea time, and cheese and crackers and little banana muffin at afternoon tea time. A few hundred calories extra, that keep me at this weight. Not a disaster by any means, no problem if it was just now and then, but it's been nearly every day this week. Am I still blaming this behaviour on PMS?

On one hand, I consider maintenance at this lower-than-I-was-six-weeks-ago weight a win. But I can do better. I will do better.

Thursday, February 4, 2016



Is another week over already?

After grocery shopping and guitar practice, I cooked and ate my lunch while watching the Biggest Loser finale. Turns out it was the one with the huge controversy because the winner lost too much weight. All three finalists lost over half their body weight, but the two men looked healthy. Rachel looked skeletal. I admit I was a bit shocked. I looked around online and apparently she put on 20 pounds right after the finale and is now at her happy weight, so I guess she just went to extremes to win the $250,000. She was certainly the determined type.

Of course I've heard lots of bad things about the show. Extremely restricted food, overexercise even with injury. And misleading the viewers, like the "week" is really more like 10 days so it's even more unrealistic for a viewer to think they should lose huge amounts in 7 days like the contestants do. Maybe I shouldn't watch the show. But I love seeing the transformations. Most of the contestants are so unhealthy and miserable at the start that I assume they think it is worth going through everything. I think the show has got worse over the years, to be more dramatic and keep the ratings up.

I was determined to do some writing today. It was a bit scary because I had to rewrite most of the first chapter, coming up with a new opening. So this wasn't editing, fixing up what was already there, it felt like starting from scratch! I sat and stared at the screen for ages but I did finally write about 1000 words which is a pretty decent session for me. Then a big afternoon tea, a whole meal worth of calories. Hmm. Then some more guitar.

So it was a good day from a shopping/writing/guitar practise point of view, but not so good from a dieting/exercising point of view. Can't have everything I guess. Working on it.

I forgot to take food photos most of today.

Pulled pork and cucumber for breakfast, rainbow chicken stir fry for lunch, cheese sandwich and cashews and chocolate in the afternoon, steak and salad for dinner. Oh, and two cups of tea. With sugar.

I'm having a really hard time this week due to hormones. Hope it is over soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cranky day


I don't know where my energy from yesterday went. Gone again today. I had a bad sleep with night sweats, which I get quite often. Maybe peri-menopause, but if so it's taking years. Very tired today. I struggled with food again, but not as bad as Tuesday. There may have been some bacon and chocolate involved - not together, although I've heard that is a "thing". I didn't fully give in to cravings though, I didn't go out and get takeaway, and this afternoon I passed a rack of chips and chocolate bars and did not stop to buy any although invisible hands were reaching out desperately! The kids kept walking, and so did I.

This morning I went to put away some paperwork that has been building up on my desk since we moved, only to find that the filing cabinet is locked and I have no idea where the key is! Inconvenient. We locked the drawers to stop them flying open in the move. I've checked the few places I could think of that I would put a key. Bugger.

I read something today that really annoyed me. Someone was saying the rule in their house is that coffee is black or don't bother drinking it, something like that. So judgemental. So what if people want to put in sugar, or milk, or cream, or vanilla extract or whatever. They are suddenly not worth speaking to? I don't drink coffee, but if I did I would drink it however I bloody well liked and not care what these people thought. It's like some cooking shows that say food has to be cooked a certain way. I happen to like my steak quite rare (very fashionable), but on the other hand I don't like scallops to be half-raw or duck to be too pink (so my palate is "wrong" there). I like it the way I like it. Why change your taste to align with some random food critic? Who made up the rules anyway?

I let my breakfast tea go cold this morning and didn't drink it, but I had a cup of tea this afternoon. After two weeks nearly (? I think) I still don't like it without sugar. Don't enjoy it at all. I've been forcing myself to drink it to try to get used to it (as I've tried many times in the past) with no success. Doesn't taste like anything I want to drink. I've completely lost the relaxing ritual of a cup of tea that I loved so much. So, do I just give it up entirely? Do I go back to having my tiny bit of sugar - less than a teaspoon - usually the only processed sugar I have all day? Do I stick to the no-sugar rule for the remaining two and half weeks of this strict blood-sugar balancing diet? Ha! As if I didn't have chocolate today!

I nearly forgot the kids were starting Acrogym today - a cross between gymnastics and acrobatics? It looked fun, learning to do cartwheels and stuff. I stayed and watched today but it's only a couple of blocks from home so I'll probably leave them next time, and come home. Or maybe go for a walk. No exercise today.

Sorry for tired crankiness. Hopefully everything will be easier tomorrow. At least I got my guitar practice in.

I'm back


I'm feeling much better today, and wondering what the hell I was thinking yesterday. It's weird when your hormones just take over like that and you become almost a different person for a little while. I still have a lot of physical discomfort today, but my head is back in the right place. Desiring healthy food and movement instead of big lumps of fat and slothfulness. No damage to the scales, in fact I was down a tiny bit after previously going up three days in a row.

During the morning I walked up to the library, stopping to take a few photos on the way:

Then I did some work on my novel for the first time this year (principally making notes of all the things that need to be changed, which I thought through on my walk, including cutting or merging a lot of unnecessary characters and scenes, which means I'm going to need to add more content later).

Then time for a bit of guitar practice before lunch. All things I couldn't even contemplate yesterday! And I guess sometimes you need a break because those chords I was struggling with came easy today.

At lunchtime I really wanted to watch Biggest Loser (turns out it is the US 2014 series). I mean, it was makeover week! But two hours of TV? So I made a deal with myself, that I could watch it as long as I spent every ad break on my feet, doing something else. I prepared my lunch and ate it, then after that every ad break I got up and did some housework. I took out several loads of recycling to the bin, I wrapped leftover pizza and hid it in the freezer, I collected dirty clothes from around the house and started the washing machine, I sorted mail, I wiped down the kids' bathroom sink. I got a lot done! And I got to enjoy my show in between without feeling guilty. There is only one week left in the BL house before finale, and with the accelerated way they are showing it I'm guessing it will be over by the weekend.

I had time for some social media and another guitar session before the kids got home. Worked on my finger picking and was very pleased to find I wasn't always looking at my hands, sometimes I just trusted my fingers to find the right fret. Sometimes!

Breakfast was Greek yoghurt with a nectarine, and a cup of tea.

Steak and fried mushrooms with "salad" for lunch.

Tea and grapes for afternoon tea.

Then dinner was lemon roast chicken with roast vegetables. These pictures aren't really representative. I didn't eat the broccoli it wasn't nice today, but those diced veges are awesome. As is usual now, the kids stole some, even though I gave them some of their own. And I had a bit extra chicken. So yummy!

I did well today.

I'm back, baby, yeah!

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's not over


Did I think yesterday was hard? Yesterday was easy.

The garbage truck woke me at 5:30. I got back to sleep and dreamed I was riding a bicycle over a bridge over a deep gorge, a terrifyingly narrow bridge with a railing only on one side. And I'm scared of heights at the best of times, let alone in an actual life or death situation. And then I knew Jasmine was going to be riding over in a minute. Horrible.

I woke feeling awful. PMS with all the physical and emotional discomfort that sometimes comes with this time of the month. I'd slept very late, and it was barely 10 minutes before Jas and Tim left for school and work, but I still had an hour with Aiden. I managed to make his lunch, the rest of the time we sat in front of the TV with him on my lap. Got him off to school.

I decided I was having a sick day. Not worry about what I should be doing, just let it go like I would if this was a virus instead of hormones.

I didn't want my planned breakfast. Slimy yoghurt? Yuck. I had cheese and grapes. Then I watched TV all morning, feeling miserable.

I started thinking about food. Chips. Cheesy flavour - like cheezles or Doritos. Crunchy, salty. I tried hard to resist. I prepared my lunch early, 11:30, but after a couple of bites I didn't want it. Not what I was craving. I brushed my teeth. Then I remembered KFC. It was only two blocks away, and even had drive through. Fatty and salty. Exactly what I wanted. So I went and got some.

It was lucky I got drive through instead of eating there because I inhaled my three pieces, usually my limit of grease, and if there had been more I would have eaten more. If I was still in the restaurant I would have bought another three. I still want more right now. It was delicious and exactly what I was craving. Of course it was also about a million unhealthy calories.

If I achieved anything today, and that is precious little, it was not going back and getting more.

I couldn't face cooking, and ordered pizza for dinner. And had my first liquid of the day then. One glass of water by the end of dinner.

My pants are suddenly too tight.

I am not making light of this slip or excusing it due to PMS. PMS makes it harder, it doesn't make healthy choices impossible. I always still have a choice, every time.

This diet is not over. I don't care how many times I stumble. Each time, I'll just pick myself up again and keep going. But today was not a day to be proud of.



I got up and weighed myself with plenty of time to then go for a walk. But my weight was up! Way up! I crawled back into bed and sulked. I felt fat and horrible. Was it delayed reaction from bad party food? Can't have been what I ate yesterday. Then I realised it was just about that time of the month when I retain water - and also that time of the month when it is harder to cope when the scale turns evil! My mood was not good. But at least I had a reason for half a kilogram of weight gain.

I had things planned for the day but I just wanted to stay in bed and wait until it was all over. Distracting myself was probably the better idea, but without getting too worried if I didn't get everything I wanted done.

Saw a redback spider in the garage. Highly venomous. Now I have that to be paranoid about. Sydney, with its hot wet climate, is a home of many kinds of "nopes". So called because you see one then turn around and walk in the other direction saying "nope, nope, nope." Then you get a flamethrower and burn the house to the ground. I sprayed, but don't know if I got it.

There were still some elusive things the kids needed for school that didn't seem to be available in shops I visited locally. So I drove to an Officeworks store, only 15 mins away but on the wrong side of a busy main road so it took a bit of navigating. And they still didn't have everything I needed! But at least I found the specific calculator on Jasmine's list. Then the grocery shopping. It was raining when I left the supermarket, which made me feel guilty because I'd convinced Jasmine not to take a bulky jumper to school in her already overcrowded backpack, I still think it was pretty warm but she might disagree.

While having my lunch I watched US Biggest Loser (an old one I think, but I haven't seen it before). I know a lot of people don't like the show but I love it. Anyway, the episode finished then another one came on! Two in a row. And I watched it. Which is going to be a problem if that is every day. I don't need to be sitting watching TV two hours every afternoon. Quite the opposite. But "record it and watch it later" doesn't work, I watch TV every night from about 7:30, and as-of tonight all my favourite shows are starting up again after the summer holiday break. I'm really going to need to manage my time and my TV allowance. It is a pleasant relaxation, but hours spent in front of the TV are hours not doing something else.

I did 45 minutes guitar practice. I am progressing well with finger picking (one note at a time) but terrible with chords. However at the end of today's session I finally got E and Am, changing back and forth, and passed the skill challenge to progress. Yay! But when I tried it again I was all over the place. My fingers were tired by then, time to stop and do it again tomorrow. Definite progress today.

No writing today, because of the whole morning out shopping then the afternoon TV and guitar until the kids got home. I will work harder tomorrow, first priority. Writing this book is my job at the moment, I need to make time for it and get it done.

Breakfast was bacon, tomato and a nectarine. The fridge was almost empty until I went shopping. No cucumbers!

Lunch was tomato soup and some sharp Epicure cheese.

I was rather proud of my shopping, considering, not buying any junk, even though there was a little voice saying "you know you always give in this time of the month so you might as well just give in now", but that doesn't mean the house was a safe junk-free zone. Veronica insisted on leaving some of that s'mores brownie here on Saturday night. When I objected she said Jasmine would like it and how could I argue with that? Jas had some yesterday and I was fine, not interested. But when the kids got home today Jasmine had another piece. She sat eating it near me. I made the firm decision "no" and that was the end of it. Except it wasn't. And I got myself a piece. A big piece. Aiden asked if he could have the marshmallow topping so I just had the brownie part, but it was still a big slice of rich fudgy sugar. And I ate it all, even after I started to quickly feel a bit sick.

So, that was a fail. I am not going to beat myself up about it, but I am very aware that I have certain scripts in my head that I need to combat. Like "you cannot resist chips" and "you cannot resist chocolate when you have PMS". There is a difference between knowing myself and my vulnerabilities, and letting my evil twin convince me there is going to be an automatic collapse of willpower. I am also working on "you always fail at losing weight". I am not at home to self-sabotage!

Jasmine had her first dance classes here at her new dance school tonight. Both classes are on the same day, I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing. First tap dancing, which she is new to, and then jazz, which she has been doing for several years. She didn't want to continue ballet, which I am quite glad about. It seems to be bad for your feet and also promotes extreme skinniness. She had a good time at her classes, but she's very shy and still lurking up the back of the room as much as possible.

Dinner was satay chicken and lots of vegetables. I was going to have quinoa with it, but cut that due to the afternoon snack. I had it on a bed of lettuce. I'm the only one who likes quinoa, everyone else has rice. I plan to try some other new things like lentils that I don't usually eat, once I can find recipes to make then palatable.

I didn't like the "after" photo but here are the vegetables for the satay.
It was a mixed day, but overall I did pretty well. And I've thrown out the last bit of that brownie!