Monday, September 30, 2013

Crime scene investigation


The police came this morning - three of them! For a couple of stolen bicycles! I love this country. I think the youngest was a trainee as she didn't do anything other than watch, and chat to me. The two guys wrote down the details and took photos of the crime scene (our garage) and decided there wouldn't be any fingerprints on anything. Luckily we knew the serial numbers of the bikes and even had photos of Tim's, which is the valuable one. So maybe they'll turn up. Should keep an eye on eBay as well.

Today is a bit of a contrast to yesterday's hot and sunny day on the beach. It is cold and rainy, little Aiden had a headache and maybe a temperature this morning but seems ok now, I am tired with an inexplicably aching back. Maybe from the full-body clenched-in-terror drive back last night?

I forgot to mention my Monday weigh-in from yesterday. Back up to 81.5 kg, which was my starting weight four weeks ago. I've been eating anything and everything this week. Mostly good, planned meals but with plenty of snacks in between. Don't know what I am going to do next. Try to get back on track with this diet? I only really kept to it for two weeks. Pick a new plan (I like variety)? I feel very unmotivated and lacklustre today.

Stolen bikes and the beach


We planned to go to the beach on a day trip - the coast is about 2 hours drive away - but were running rather later than planned already when we discovered that my husband's and my bikes had been stolen. They were just in the garage, which has the broken roller door propped open. I'm not bothered about mine, really, I've only used it about five times in 3 or 4 years since I got it. But my husband had an expensive one that he rides to work every day so that is a real loss. The thieves left a kid's scooter in our driveway, which they had presumably nicked from somewhere else. They had also opened our (unlocked) shed door, it's mainly a junk room and it looks like they were daunted by the treadmill blocking the doorway and the stacks of boxes and piles of old toys scattered over everything. Or maybe they took stuff, we'd never know. We hung around for a while so Tim could call the police and the insurance company.

Then we drove to the coast. Canberra is in the mountains so it is mainly downhill, with the final section steep and winding down the escarpment, quite tiring to drive (I was doing that leg of the trip). We had lunch then a lovely afternoon at the beach. It was so hot, yet with a cool breeze. As far as I can determine no one got sunburnt. The kids splashed in the gentle surf and made sandcastles and stuff while I napped. I usually never "sunbake" - it is dangerous and hot and boring - but I was really sleepy with the heat and just after lunch. I was just enough awake to flip over after a while, and then sit in the shade instead. But I couldn't get any energy up so I sat all afternoon watching the kids on the beach and then in the adjacent playground.

We had a nice dinner as night fell outside then drove home, with my husband at the wheel this time. In the dark the steep bit of the drive was terrifying! Up and down and round tight curves and then moderately tight curves which were even worse because you could go a bit faster. Tim is a great driver and drove very safely, and even more slowly than he otherwise would have because I was so scared, but I was still gripping my armrest and seat in terror and wouldn't take my eyes off the road to talk to the children in the back seat. It was my concentration, you see, that was keeping us safe! I have a vague memory of the last time we did that trip - we don't go to that nearest beach often, we usually go away somewhere for several days - vowing to never do it again.

I feel like a bit of a coward, really. Scared of heights, dentists, public speaking, driving off the side of a cliff in the dark, spiders ... oh yeah, there was a big spider next to the front door when we got home. Have you seen Australian spiders? They keep the venomous snake numbers down.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Last day of term


Yesterday I walked to the library and back with a backpack full of books (different books on the way home). About 6,500 steps for that; I think I made 10,000 for the day but my husband had my iPhone/pedometer in the afternoon so I can't be sure. The weather was rather nasty, cold with strong winds. I found out later that there were 90km/h winds taking tiles off roofs and dropping trees onto cars. But still, I was lucky I got out and walked when I did because it got worse later, colder and rain and even some hail.

Unfortunately I had a bit of a diet disaster. It started with me finding half a bag of Doritos I didn't know I had. No idea how long they'd been stashed away, but they were still fresh enough. I ate them. Then ordered pizza for dinner. And later ate 2 min noodles for supper. So a huge load of carbohydrate, fat and salt. By bedtime I looked about seven months pregnant with a food baby and was completely bloated and tranquillized. My trigger foods are the salty carby kind, and once I started I couldn't seem to stop.

It's the kids last day of school term (3rd of 4 terms, school years are the same as calendar years here) and then we will have two weeks holidays. Tim is taking the first of those weeks off too. Yay for holidays and all being together.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tired legs and fast zombies


I didn't have the car today so I walked around the neighbourhood, first thing after getting the kids to school. First thing means it gets done! I walked for about an hour and a quarter, and with picking up the kids later and the little bit of incidental walking I do I got up to 11,000 steps so still doing well.
I'm surprised at how sore I've been, I ache a bit from hips to feet. I feel like "just walking" shouldn't hurt me. But I guess I've gone from a period of extreme sedentariness to walking up to two hours a day.

I keep getting caught by zombies. I thought I just had to speed up from whatever I was already doing, but I've tried lurching into a jog as soon as I get the first warning and speeding up as much as I can when they get closer, I've tried waiting until they are close then sprinting as fast as I can ... I still get caught. Very annoying. But I am loving listening to the story, with my own music in between scenes.

We missed the final Salsabor dance lesson because Tim had to work late. So we missed two from that, and about four (I think) from me being sick. Actually the first one we missed, the second class ever, was because I couldn't find a parking spot. So that foray into dance lessons was a bit of a fail. Bad timing.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Even more steps


It's only just past lunchtime and I'm nearly 13,000 steps! After picking up the kids from school later and incidental movement, I might even make 15,000 today. It is a big time commitment. But I'm enjoying it.

I did a similar routine to yesterday. Walked around the lake with a stop at Floriade about 3/4 of the way around. Yesterday was sunny and still, today was windy. A bit chilly beside the lake, and when I was walking over the long bridge the wind was whipping up from the water so hard that I not only had to hold my hat on, I also had to hold my t-shirt down or it would have been around my neck! My eyes were watering so much I could hardly see where I was going. But it was nice on the calmer side (is that the lee side?).

I sat at a café at Floriade, overlooking lovely tulip beds, and had a cup of tea and my banana while I read for a while. I am judging the Aurealis Awards again this year (fantasy short story section) and I am a bit behind with my reading. Then more walking. I tried to always take the long way round, on the interesting twisty paths.

Yesterday I'd forgotten to take my headphones so I couldn't listen to music or zombies and just had to immerse myself in the day, which was kind of nice, but it was even better today with my tunes and the zombie story to distract me from tired legs. My body was actually pretty tired this morning, but it will just have to get used to moving around again.

Even though I had jumped in the car the moment I got the kids to school this morning, I still missed out on an all-day parking spot and had to settle for three hours again. This didn't give me enough time to sit in the library and write, so I'll have to do that at home now before I run out of kid-free day.

Tonight is our usual Tuesday night D&D game and supper. I am NOT going to binge this week. I am contributing a cheese platter and I am saving a dairy serving and a carb serving so I can have some. I know crackers are not a healthy carb but I got wholegrain ones. And I will have some chocolate as a planned indulgence.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will mention that I have had some food samples at Floriade. A taste of sour candy, some "stupidly hot" chilli sauce on a cracker, sips of herbal tea. Yesterday I had a couple of Vienna almonds (with vanilla & sugar crust), toasted sunflower seeds on a morsel of buttered bread, and a smidgin of rocky road. I do know that a nibble here and a bite there can add up, but I am keeping my eye on my intake and I think I am ok so far. The servings are honestly teeny tiny. Nevertheless, I will continue to be conscious of how much I am having. I took my own banana for morning tea and came home for lunch.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

12,000 steps!

more Monday:

I downloaded a pedometer app for my iPhone a couple of weeks ago. Apart from one day when I barely got out of bed (under 1000 steps!) my average has been around 3500 and I think that is pretty standard for me, sick or not, not counting any deliberate exercise. I work from home and only get out to move the kids from place to place or do the shopping. By far the highest number of steps recorded, around 7000, was the day my husband took my iPhone! He didn't even ride to work, he was on a bus for about 7 hours that day. But he still managed to get some walking in.

But today I parked at the lake then walked the long way around to Floriade, spent about an hour and a half looking at flowers etc, walked the rest of the 5 km lap of the lake back to my car, then did the grocery shopping. 12,000 steps! Woo hoo. And all it took was quite a lot of walking. Tired legs, tired feet. Looks like I have to do about 2 hours walking each day to get in that magic 10,000 steps.

Lovely spring weather for it.

Monday weigh in


Starting weight: 81.5 kg
Last week: 80.0 kg
This week: 81.0 kg
Loss: (gain) +1.0 kg
Total loss: 0.5 kg

I spent the weekend away, went to a birthday party where I just ate whatever I wanted, to a restaurant that night, McD on the long trip home yesterday (salty!!). So, adding that to the unlicensed food on Tuesday, it is totally understandable that I put weight back on this week.

I'm off for a 5 km walk around the lake, then more walking exploring Floriade - Canberra's spring flower show - and then shopping for healthy food for my carefully planned week.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A bit off the rails


I felt so much better yesterday that I even did a little dancing. The kids gave Tim Dance Central 3 for Fathers' Day weeks ago and I hadn't tried it yet, so I got started on the storyline (you are sent back in time and have to master dancing to music from each decade from the 70s onward). It was fun but my heart-rate went up really quickly and I got a bit wheezy after only a couple of songs. A start, though. It has been pouring rain here so I had to do something other than walk.

I went off the rails with food though. It is that time of the month, and I have yet to find a strategy for that. I had a couple of nibbles of things during the day, then at the Tuesday night supper I just let go and had chocolate and liquorice and Burger Rings and cider. And a few grapes and strawberries.  At first it felt awesome to eat all that stuff, then I felt a bit sick. I've forgiven myself and moved on, back on track today.

Kept everyone awake coughing all night and a bit worse today than yesterday but I'm sure I'm on the mend. Little Aiden is home sick. Hoping to hear soon about possible job for husband in Sydney.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week Two weigh-in


Starting weight: 81.5 kg
Last week: 80.0 kg
This week: 80.0 kg
Loss: 0.0 kg
Total loss 1.5 kg

Nothing this week, even though I have stuck to the diet. I actually weighed myself a couple of times during the week and I was 80 kg every time so unless the dial is stuck on that number I assume it is accurate.

I have a few possible reasons for the lack of loss this week. Firstly, it often happens on the show "Biggest Loser" that the contestants have a big loss in week one then very little in week two, even though everyone is still working just as hard. The body tries to hang on to the weight, maybe, once it realises you are trying to lose it.

Secondly, I still haven't been exercising. I am determined to get that started today, even though I only feel about 70% well. I can still go for a slow walk.

And lastly it is approaching TOM, so I could be retaining some water.

So I am disappointed, of course, but not despondent. I'll keep on with the diet, add some gentle exercise, and see how it goes this week.



I've struggled a lot with wanting to eat too much/wrong things these past few days. I've wanted to dive headfirst into a packet of chocolate biscuits. But I've resisted pretty strongly. I haven't eaten enough vegetables over the weekend and tonight I went back and nibbled at leftover roast chicken skin, but that is the worst I've done.

I am so utterly utterly over being sick. It's so frustrating.

I'm determined that my "sick leave" is over. Tomorrow I am getting back into life, even if I cough and sneeze my way through it.

If I keep writing I'll keep grumbling, so bye for now.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rhesus monkeys and tape worms

more Thursday:

I was just reading about a study on longevity via calorie restriction in rhesus monkeys. The monkeys on a 30% lower calorie diet definitely live longer than those in the control group. But:

"Canto [in the low calorie group] looks drawn, weary, ashen and miserable in his thinness, mouth slightly agape, features pinched, eyes blank ... Well-fed Owen, by contrast, is a happy camper with a wry smile, every inch the laid-back simian, plump, eyes twinkling, full mouth relaxed, skin glowing ... Canto looks like he's itching to be put out of his misery." (Roger Cohen, "The Meaning of Life:, New York Times, 19 July 2009)

The study was about living longer, but applies to weight loss too. I don't agree with any method that makes you utterly miserable while you are doing it.

On "The Doctors" TV show today a model, who had been told she could stand to lose a couple of inches around her waist, asked if the tape worm diet worked and was safe. They showed her a real (very long) tape worm and basically said any weight loss from having one in your intestine was because you feel so nauseous all the time you don't want to eat. I know models make their living from being thin, but really? A tape worm? Apparently it's a "thing" now, she didn't just make it up herself.

Another thing I've heard of is having a tube put down your nose into your stomach so you don't have to worry about eating at all. Just pour down the necessary formulations. Yummy.

Yes I want to lose 20kg, but I can't imagine being driven to these extremes. There must be some very unhappy people out there.

Some dieters prefer to eat fairly bland foods, not just because they are the healthy ones (in some opinions) but because it takes their focus off food. They find it is better for them to enjoy food as little as possible. It is completely the opposite for me. If I have a meal that is bland or disappointing, I am much more inclined to cruise around looking for something to satisfy my need for tasty food, no matter how full I am. If I have a delicious meal with a lot of flavour and zing then I am happy and feel content, and don't need to look for that hit of taste from more food. You don't need a lot of fat to achieve a good taste (a little bit does help), you can do a lot with spices. I am really starting to work out some things about myself, how I tick. Your mileage may vary.

Now there is a thought. I love fried chicken, but obviously it's not something I'm eating at the moment. I wonder if I could do an approximation of the taste with a lot of herbs and spices, a chicken breast, and a teaspoon of olive oil.

Does a little piglet live in this bedroom?


Yesterday and today I've been tackling my son's bedroom. I probably haven't tidied it properly for a couple of months, my husband devoted half a weekend to it a while ago. He just has so much stuff! A lot of it in tiny pieces. Yesterday I did a bit by myself then after school got the kids to help me. Their job was to pick up every single piece of Lego they could find and put it in the big block (Duplo) box or the little block (Lego) box. It took the three of us about half an hour, but it made a bit of a difference to the amount of stuff on the floor.

This morning before school, the two of them got out most of the Duplo and built a tower beside his bed. Sigh. At least it's stuck together neatly not spread all over the floor again. Yet. I can't put it away because they were talking excitedly about playing with it this afternoon.

Today I looked with some despair at what remained. I pushed it all into a big pile, then decided I'd just pick out all the rubbish. I filled a big bag with used tissues, and rocks that came home in his pockets, and Uno cards from a deck that I threw out a while ago because it was missing so many, and packaging from various toys, and squashed paper aeroplanes, and artworks done at school now torn and smudged, and Texta lids, and bits of broken toys. And it diminished the pile by about half! Getting there. And you can get from the door to the bed, and to the chest of drawers, and even to the window to open the blind. Amazing.

After a bad sleeping night I bought some cold & flu tablets this morning. I don't take medication much. I think suppressing symptoms can sometimes be a bad thing. Also I took a lot of medication when my shoulder was at its worst and then later found that a lot of people were having heart attacks on that drug and I think there was even a class action against the company. Anyway I took a couple of the day tablets and it has dried up my nose a bit but I feel kind of dizzy and hollow. I think I prefer just having the flu symptoms. But I am really frustrated with being sick for so long.

I'm still sticking to my food plan but it's been much harder for the past couple of days for some reason. Just my mood, I think. I want to comfort myself with food. I've nearly given in a few times but somehow struggled on. I think the tracking is helping - I have a chart with 5 boxes for vegetables, 2 for fruit etc that I fill in each day and I also always know what my main meals are going to be. I have the fruit and any leftover dairy for snacks. So I can look at my chart at any time and know what I have left outside my meals. Right now, after taking into account my upcoming dinner of fajitas (one in a tortilla, then more meat and salad wrapped in lettuce leaves) I know I can have one more fruit and one more dairy, and also have a fat serving left which I could use for a few nuts. So I can have something for afternoon tea and there will still be a little something left over for evening.

I've found it really helps me to have something in reserve. Even though I haven't usually been eating after dinner (off-plan, I used to eat a lot in the evenings!), I don't like the feeling that I am "not allowed" anything else until the next day. Knowing I could have a piece of cheese if I wanted to, or half a serve of fruit, keeps me feeling safe.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Walking the bike


Yesterday I managed two walks of about 25 minutes each. Left me a bit tired but I did ok. I'm still a snot machine in overdrive though. I've been sleeping with an extra pillow under my head and that seems to help through the night.

Last night was the usual Tuesday night supper and I call it a big win for my diet. I provided grapes, and saved a fruit serve so I could eat some. I also used an indulgence to have two brownies. They were really good, and apparently mainly cocoa powder with only a little butter and sugar. Yes I probably should have only had one, but considering I wanted more, and there was also plenty of other naughty foods available which I avoided, I'm still giving myself a big victory fist pump in the air for stopping at two.

Later in the evening I really wanted another piece but was resisting. There were only a few pieces left and every time someone took one I got stressed that I would soon lose my chance to have another one, even though at the same time I was determined not to. I mentioned this and Joe reminded me that there would always be another brownie, or some other indulgence, coming along. It's a good thing to remember. The world is not about to run out of brownies, or chocolate, or whatever. I don't have to panic that I am going to miss out if I don't take every opportunity to have a treat.

This morning was shaping up to be difficult. Tim's bike needed a service, and as he rides it to and from work it was important that he didn't miss the appointment he'd waited two weeks for. But his work sprang an early morning on him, away from his usual workplace so he needed the car. This meant I would have to wheel his bike all the way to the shop, about a half hour walk each way. Far more exercise than I've been doing since I've had this flu. And pushing a bicycle.

It turned out fine. I found the sweet spot on the handlebar where I could hold it comfortably and the bike just rolled along beside me in perfect obedience. It was hardly more difficult than just walking. I was pretty tired by the time I got home, but not nearly as bad as I had feared.

I guess we're going to miss Salsabor again tonight. We've hardly made it to any classes. Such a waste of money! Arg! But I can't help being sick. Even if I had the energy to dance, I don't think it would be fair to all my partners. I can just see me blowing my nose every few minutes then shoving the tissue in my pocket and holding out my germy hands to the next man. I'd spend half the night using hand sanitiser. And trying not to sneeze all over people.

Oh well. My successful long walk this morning shows I am getting better.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week One


Starting weight: 81.5kg
Week one: 80.0kg
Loss: 1.5kg


When my old scale died some months ago I bought an old-fashioned one with a dial instead of digital. The digital ones look very precise, weighing you to the nearest 100 grams, but if you try hopping off and back on a few times you see how inaccurate they are - I can apparently gain or lose nearly a kilogram in few seconds of breathing! Or at least that's how it is with the mid-price ones I have bought, on a probably-uneven floor (although I try to use the flattest bit). Anyway, given that, I decided the old-style would give me close enough. I'll probably go by quarter kilograms.

I've been reading "The four hour body" by Timothy Ferris which claims to be a carefully researched guide to the optimal way to lose body fat, gain muscle, have great sex, and other things I haven't got to yet. I'm not in the market for a new diet, I like my current one, but I enjoy reading stuff. A couple of my friends have been following his weight-loss guidelines for a while. It is an extremely restrictive diet of mainly protein and legumes six days a week with a binge one day a week. And I mean binge, you are encouraged to overeat junk, I think to stop your body going into starvation mode. My friends have lost a lot of weight on it but the husband fainted at least once, hitting his head on the wall as he went down at work and ending up in hospital.

Other ways to speed up fat loss include ice baths and various supplements.

Apart from the details, he has four interesting principals:
1. Make it conscious
2. Make it a game
3. Make it competitive
4. Make it small and temporary

The first one involves food journaling or photographing everything you eat - being aware of it and tracking it in some way. He says it doesn't matter if you count calories (he totally disagrees with calories-in/calories out) or use some other method as long as you are mindful of what you are eating. A "fat" photo of yourself stuck on the fridge is also recommended.

Making it fun and competitive are self-explanatory, I think, if not necessarily easy. I always find starting a new diet regime fun, planning it out and tracking it. But how do you keep it fun? I'm not doing Weight Watchers or anything similar so I don't have a competitive element.

The last point seems to be saying you don't have to decide to give up chocolate forever, or say you are going to walk for an hour every single day. I'm not totally clear on this one as it seems to argue against the "lifestyle change" concept. He says to take off the pressure, give yourself a small goal that you know you can achieve, and commit to it for a couple of weeks as a test drive.

That was just a couple of chapters of a huge book, he really goes into detail about everything. At the moment I'm up to the section where he talks about the importance of the upper left hand quadrant (from the woman's perspective) of the clitoris.

The freedom of no choice

later Sunday:

I've always struggled with breakfast. I used to not eat it at all, and later I had a lot of trouble finding something that was both healthy and digestible. Some people can get away with not eating breakfast, life is not one-size-fits-all, but I do much better if I do eat something. I've tried lots of things over the years and was never happy (I ate and loved Cruskits with butter and vegemite for years, but they are basically high-GI biscuits with fat and salt on top - not a healthy way to start the day).

The CSIRO plan calls for a serve of high fibre cereal each day. You can argue for or against packaged cereal, but it is in this diet. Doesn't have to be for breakfast, I suppose (I quite like cereal for supper) but that is the logical place to fit it into the plan. So I just decided to have Sustain each morning. I used to eat it, and my husband still does, it is a reasonably healthy option. Having a million choices wasn't working for me, so I just gave up that choice and ate it each day. And it was a relief! I eat it and get my fibre intake and it's filling and then it's done with and I don't have to worry about it.

I still spend a lot of time planning the food for the rest of the day, making sure it's tasty and balanced and VARIED, but at least I don't have to stress first thing in the morning.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

First week


My first week of the CSIRO diet has gone really well. I've had excellent compliance, my only slip being one extra serve of fat on one day as I'd run out by dinner time and needed a splash of olive oil to cook with. Actually my worst day was yesterday, not because I ate anything I shouldn't but because I didn't have nearly enough vegetables. Better today.

The only thing I still haven't managed is the minimum 30 mins exercise each day. I've done more like 15 or 20 mins, just walking. The last dregs of this annoying virus have me nose-blowing and coughing and still with a sore throat but I'm sure I'm nearly over it now. At least water consumption hasn't been a problem because I'm always sipping to soothe the throat.

Apart from all the menu planning, most of my thoughts have been revolving around the possibility of moving state very soon. My husband should hear about one job this coming week. If he gets it (or another) there will be such a flurry of packing, and getting the house ready for sale, and looking for a new house and school etc. Exciting but rather daunting. I used to move about once a year, when I was single, and really enjoyed it. But now there's four people's worth of stuff, and we've been in this house about eight years so there's been plenty of time for junk to accumulate.

I even picked up a few packing boxes today. Not to start packing, exactly, but we have stuff lying around that we don't want to throw away but don't have a place for. So I want to start boxing up a few things that we won't care if we don't see for another three months. Like we cleared a stack of sheet music out of a drawer in my son's room ages ago so he could use the drawer, but didn't have anywhere to put it so it's just sitting on top of a desk in a teetering pile. A box out in the studio is the best place for it at the moment.

I'm allowed two pieces of fruit a day and I've been really enjoying tangelos. They are a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin, so they are tart and sour but with sweetness as well, and they peel and segment easily like a mandarin. I never liked grapefruit until I had one straight off a tree. They are sour, but lovely. The ones you get from the shop have settled into a sullen bitterness. Actually I don't like mandarins, because as a child I overdosed on mandarin-flavoured soft drink. By overdosed, of course I just mean drank so much I felt very sick, not that I was actually near death or anything. Anyway, I no longer like the taste. Yet tangelos, a combination of two things I don't like much, are delicious! Also strawberries a suddenly very cheap at the moment so I've been having them chopped and stirred into my unflavoured/unsweetened Greek yoghurt. Yummy.

Thursday, September 5, 2013



I had a little peek at my weight this morning, I'm down about a kilogram after four days which is great. I want to be under 80 again! And this is with no exercise (because I'm still sick), and sugar in my tea and not counting calories - but I am following a careful plan which allows a certain number of "servings" of various foods each day. Plenty of protein, fruit, dairy and vegetables. I have noticed the drop in carbs, I have to plan my meals to take that into account.

Of course the thing I have noticed the most is the lack of junk food! I get two indulgences a week, like 20g of chocolate or a glass of wine. So I had a square of chocolate and little piece of fudge on Tuesday, but otherwise no biscuits or cake or chocolates or chips or KFC etc. I miss chocolate the most, I am accustomed to having some every day. Not a lot; but a piece here & there, whenever I want it. A nibble of sweetness after meals or in the evening. And it all adds up. Which is why I got over 80 kg again.

I will limit the grumbling to saying I had a very restless night with my sore throat and still feel blah today, worse than yesterday. Runny nose and headache and cough etc. Better and worse, worse and better. It will pass eventually. But I'm not exercising at all and not writing much either with my stuffed-up head. I feel like all these days are just passing, wasted, while I slump around and watch TV. But at least I'm not letting it stop me stick to my diet plan.

I was thinking about my career this morning. I had to leave my full-time desk job eleven years ago due to RSI, I stayed home and had my kids and did some study. For the past few years I've been a freelance editor, working only a few hours a day. Recently I went back to an office part-time, but after about a month the RSI started coming back and after six weeks I was glad to leave. It seems I can't even do five hours a day part-time, even after all these years. This rather smashes my dreams of looking for work with a fiction publisher, which I had always planned to do after I got some experience and after we moved to Sydney.

I need to re-think the next 20 years or so. With the kids at school all day, I am not a full-time mother any more. I mean, I am, but I have time during the day to earn some money. I was getting as much freelance editing business as I was able to do, but with my very limited hours and low pay rate I wasn't really making enough money for it to be worth-while. I'm writing a novel now (again, with very limited hours of typing) but even if my book/s is/are eventually published I can't rely on a living wage from that.

I am a desk jockey. That is what I have aptitude for. I am a thinker and a writer and sitter. But I need to start planning for something else.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Resisting chocolate


I guess I can be proud of myself for yesterday. I was feeling sick and really wanted some comforting chocolate. But it wasn't part of my plan for the day (I get two little "indulgences" a week) and I didn't have it. I stuck to the plan.

Feeling quite a bit better again today, but this flu seems to have cycles so I am not counting of being completely well yet.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Good and bad


The good news is that Tim has a job interview on Friday in Sydney, which is where we want to move. He could have Skyped it but we think face-to-face is better for something so important. I've talked before about why he needs to change jobs - current one is stressful mainly because of the people - and all our family is in Sydney where we both grew up. Parents are getting older, our own generation is having kids, seems like a nice time to be back with family.

Nothing is certain, of course, but he is very qualified for this job so we have high hopes. But you never know if they already have an in-house favourite. It would be a drop in pay but we feel that it's worth it at this point.

The bad news is that I am sick again/still. That makes three weeks sick with a couple of improvements in the middle, making me think I was nearly better. Yesterday I woke with a horrible sore throat again and started to feel unwell in the afternoon. Today, after a restless night, the throat is worse and I feel generally tired and sick. It is so frustrating! I'm going to miss my son's contribution to school assembly today (no way I'm going to go and infect a hall full of kids and parents) and I'll miss Salsabor again tonight. We've already missed two - or is it three? - classes which makes it tricky to keep up. Luckily we both have some dance training in other styles which helps. I'm just sick of being sick.

I'm shying away from solid food and I'll be living on soup and tea today.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sunshine and curly hair


I'm into day two of take 2 of the CSIRO food plan. It's going well. Last night I was grumbling because I'd only had one serve of vegetables at lunchtime so I had to have FOUR serves with dinner! That is a lot of vegetables. But I ate it all. More careful today to distribute them more evenly.

Today I had my hair permed. I used to do that all the time but then straight hair became fashionable. Dead-straight hair pulled down beside my face is absolutely the worst look for me so I always have my hair pulled back. But finally I just decided I'd rather be pretty than fashionable (anyone who knows me would laugh at the concept of me doing anything fashionable anyway) so I had it done today. I don't look like a poodle, I just have curly hair now. Still smells a bit from the chemicals, though, which isn't nice. But I loved being pampered at the hairdresser, a mini massage and having my hair washed twice and reading a trashy magazine without guilt.

Canberra has thrown itself into spring with gay abandon, with sunny skies and soaring temperatures. I walked for 45 mins yesterday and 20 mins this morning before my hairdresser appointment, picking up the kids from school will add another 15 mins today. I downloaded a pedometer app for my iPhone but only remembered to turn it on just before my walk (missing a couple of hundred incidental steps, I estimate. I'm only up to 2346, I'll be lucky to get to 5000 today. Need to work on that. Apart from my formal exercise, I don't move around much. Both work and leisure time involve a lot of sitting.

My staring weight, yesterday morning, was 81.5 kg, the highest it has been for a couple of years. But I'm doing something about it now.