Sunday, August 31, 2014

Photo log


Jasmine's big dance concert was last night. It's a pretty big deal for the dance school, with sold out shows in Canberra Theatre. This year they did two shows instead of one, a matinee with the big kids plus the tiny ones, and the evening show was the big kids again plus the medium-sized ones like my daughter. I was kind of sad that I didn't get to see the tiny tots, they are so cute in their little bee costumes or whatever, always out of time and facing the wrong way. By contrast, the older teenagers are full time dance students and could be candidates for So You Think You Can Dance.

There was kind of a storyline that strung all the performances together, but not really. Jasmine, as you can see, was a cowgirl (hat and make-up not pictured) and had nothing to do with anything as far as I could tell. The bit where she came on, I thought the scene was in an Arabian marketplace. With cowboys. Oh well, whatever. I enjoyed the show.

I took some "before" photos of myself this afternoon (at least, my husband took them). I don't like them much, but they accurately portray what I look like, I guess. Just not in my own head. The side view is something I don't see on a regular basis and was an unpleasant surprise. I made sure I didn't suck my stomach in, these are supposed to show what I look like "before". I have also taken some body measurements.

Front view:

And side view:

And here is my food for the day, a low carb day. Breakfast, two poached eggs on one slice of toast with butter, a Lebanese cucumber and a really delicious flavourful small tomato. Cup of tea. Sugar is not an approved part of my diet. I have cut down to half a teaspoon and I'll work on it. I do poach a good egg, if I say so myself.

Morning tea. Tasty cheddar cheese - I didn't eat all of it. Another Lebanese cucumber and small tomato. I hadn't been shopping yet and the vegetable choices were very limited! It was that or an onion.

Lunch after shopping trip. What I call Rainbow Stir Fry, one of my "on a diet" favourites. Strips of chicken breast with julienned snow peas, carrot, capsicum, shallot and baby corn. With garlic, soy and oyster sauce.

My lunchtime cup of tea, showing how much sugar.

Afternoon snack, Mexican chilli/lime flavour mixed nuts (they have 1.4 grams of sugar for the packet, which I decided was ok) and two baby carrots.

Then I lightened my hair colour. I've never done this myself before, and I've only had it done at the hairdresser a few times. All my life I've been blonde, but since having children my hair has gone darker. I recently had it lightened at the hairdresser but couldn't see any difference! Waste of money. So I decided to spend $14 at the chemist and do it at home. I like the result, it's a nice golden blonde and quite noticeably different (to me, anyway). The circles under my eyes aren't really quite that bad, it's the indoor lighting. They are there though.

Dinnertime! It was odd not having any roast potatoes but I told myself I could have them on my high carb days. I had roast beef (nowhere near all of this, I ate about one and 3/4 slices not three), onion, broccoli, asparagus and a vegetable medley consisting of onion, carrot, zucchini and celery (I also didn't eat all of that, it's put away for tomorrow). I love my roast vegetable medley; cut up so small it gets caramelised all over in the oven. Drizzle of homemade gravy with a pinch of flour in it. The glisten on the vegetables is olive oil.

Day one completed. The two times I didn't finish my food, I obviously served myself too much and I need to be more careful with my portion sizes. I didn't weigh or measure anything. At the end of the day I got curious. The plan is based on portions (using your hand as a guide) not weight, but wanted to know if I was within my target range of various nutrients. I used another carb cycling site to get some guidelines - I wrote them down days ago and I can't remember where I got them from.

Target calories: 1200 (for a low carb day). Actual approximate calories: 1250. Excellent!

Target carbs: 36-90 grams. Actual carbs: 63 grams. Perfect!

Target fat: 18-36 grams. Actual fat: 62 grams. A bit high, due to full fat cheese and the nuts probably.  But I don't think it's high for Chris Powell's plan. And it's exactly right according to my Calorie King app.

Target protein: 180 grams. Actual protein 90 grams. I think 180 grams must be for bodybuilders! I had a palm-sized portion with every meal and snack.

Target fibre (national guidelines): 25 grams. Actual fibre: 23 grams. Pretty close - especially considering so little starchy carbohydrate. One slice of toast and a hell of a lot of vegetables.

Water: I had six glasses. Still need to work on that.

Exercise. Nil. Yesterday I went for a walk with the family and couldn't keep up at all and felt horrible afterwards, still getting over being sick I guess. Today I was very tired after doing the grocery shopping on a Sunday which meant having to park a long way from the doors and pushing around a wobbly trolley. Does that count? Surely it counts as the 5 mins minimum requirement. I'll do more tomorrow!

And how do I feel? Full! Very full all day. Do you see how much vegetable I ate? Ten servings! Two with every meal and snack! And protein every time too. I didn't miss carbs at all. The not-eating bit wasn't a problem, just fitting in all that vegetable matter was. Feel a little bit bloated, might take my tummy a few days to get used to it. Overall very happy with day one. Just wish I was up to exercising.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fast or slow?


The general received wisdom is that it is better to lose weight slowly, that you are more likely to keep it off. I saw Michelle Bridges (trainer from Australia's Biggest Loser) talking about this in relation to the extremely rapid weight loss on that show, and she argued that EVERYONE struggles to keep weight off, whether they lost it quickly or slowly, and that people who lose slowly don't have a better record of keeping it off. In fact, losing weight quickly can be very motivating. (Although I suppose that doesn't make any difference once you get to maintenance.)

I was thinking about that this morning so I found Gretchen Rubin's post today about habits very apposite. She says:

Sometimes, counter-intuitively, it’s easier to make a major change than a minor change. When a habit is changing very gradually, we may lose interest, give way under stress, or dismiss the change as insignificant. A big transformation creates excitement and energy and a sense of progress, and that helps to create a habit.

Anyone want to weigh in (pun intended) on this issue? Fast or slow?

Of course there are other factors to consider when it comes to losing weight fast or slow. Skin elasticity. Getting enough nutrients in a low calorie diet. Not injuring yourself exercising excessively. Taking up so much time and energy it interferes too much with the rest of your daily life.

I've mentioned carb cycling a couple of times over the past two weeks, but I haven't managed to get it going yet. Being sick has had a lot to do with that - I find simple carbs (like toast) are all I want to eat when my stomach is upset. (My weight is down to 81.7 kg today from 82.5 kg last Monday, which is nice, although I didn't enjoy the process!) My husband likes scrambled eggs when he is sick, which I don't understand at all. Yuck. When I am sick, eggs are the last things I want to smell. Stomach-turning.

So anyway, I've done a lot more reading about carb cycling (mainly from the website of Chris Powell "Choose to Lose") and I'm giving it another go starting tomorrow. I'm not starting today because I haven't been shopping yet, we're going out to dinner tonight before Jasmine's big dance concert, and Saturday is going to be my "free" day anyway. But I'm not waiting until Monday, first day of spring, either! Sunday will do just fine, and fits in with how I want the low carb/high carb cycle to run. And don't worry, I'm not doing a last hurrah binge today either.

I plan to copy Sean Anderson and take photos of all my food to keep me accountable. I'll talk a lot more about carb cycling as we go along, I imagine, but the basic premise is you have some low carb days (starchy carbs/fruit only at breakfast) and some high carb days (starchy carbs/fruit with every meal) so that you get the benefits of a low carb diet without the problems. There are different ways to alternate the days in different amounts. You also eat lots of non-starchy vegetables, and it's low fat especially on the high carb days. In the past I have found I lose weight when eating low carb, but couldn't handle the misery and crankiness - and wasn't much fun for my family either! I'm hoping this method will work for me without messing with my emotional health, if not obviously I'll stop it. You also get one free day, Saturday for me, or else three free meals throughout the week if you prefer, so you still get to eat whatever you like sometimes. Without going overboard, of course, if you want to lose weight!

I'm in that lovely excited state just before starting a new diet. Yay for honeymoon periods! As long as it lasts past the first morning.

To relate this back to the start of this post, I don't really intend to do carb cycling for the rest of my life. Unless I love it and it makes me feel great; there are modifications for maintenance, I think. I've downloaded Chris Powell's iPhone app which has a 12 week transformation challenge, and that is my current plan and goal. I want some fairly quick results to keep me motivated. If/when I get to my goal weight, I'll worry about how to vary my diet for maintenance then.

I will also be exercising, of course. Six days a week (Saturday off), walking and dance.

If you're wondering about where my professed love of cognitive therapy went, well I still plan to use that. Cognitive therapy isn't a diet, it helps keep you on your diet. I feel it did help me stick to my last one a lot longer than my usual record. So I'll be reading my flash cards again, reminding myself of all the reasons I want to lose weight.

The biggest reason? To get rid of my CPAP. Sleep without it by Christmas.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

CPAP and pizza


I'm a bit over talking about this, but I've spent the past two days sick again with round five (I think) of this stomach bug I've got. I'll be better for a few days and think it's over, then... it's not. If it happens again I'll see my doctor, I would have before except I just assume there is nothing they can do other than tell me to rest. And it occurred to me this morning that maybe cleaning my CPAP more often than the recommended once a week might be important right now to avoid reinfection!! I don't know why I didn't think of that before, it's a warm moist environment in there and I'm probably breathing in my own horrible germs every night. Yuck. I'll be cleaning it every day for a while!! Hopefully that will help.

I hadn't been eating that much while I was unwell but I was still eating a bit, so I shouldn't have been starving. I'd had cruskits for breakfast and plain noodles for lunch, so basically pure carbs with a little fat, it was all I felt my stomach could handle. But then we ordered pizza last night because I didn't want to cook and Tim was dashing around getting Jasmine to dance, and I ate six slices of pepperoni pizza! Six! I usually have three. I just kept eating and eating. And at the end I felt much the same as when I started: a bit sick, not particularly hungry but not stuffed full either. I could have kept going but I didn't let myself. It was really weird. Was it just carbs triggering cravings for more carbs?

Back to normal today, I hope.

My kids have four more weeks of school before two weeks of holiday, I would really love to have finished the first draft of my novel by then. No reason why I can't. Except I don't write when I am sick, so I really hope that is over now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The perfect day to start a new diet


I've been fighting off the impulse to put off a big "restarting my diet" until next Monday. It is very appealing to think that there is a "perfect" day to start a diet. Monday is traditional in itself, of course, but next Monday is also the first of September so it's a whole new month of unblemished days. AND, biggest of all, it's the first day of spring. Not just a new week, a new month, but a new season - and the most new-start-y season of them all.

And this week is so hectic there's hardly any point trying, right? And I keep trying and failing which is disheartening, so better to start when I have a chance of succeeding, right?

But the thing is, even on a Monday, even on the first day of spring, I will still be me.

I. Will. Still. Be. Me.

Nothing wrong with being me. I am quite nice, overall. But on Monday, I will still struggle to drink enough water. On the first day of the month I will still be lazy about exercise. On the first day of spring I will still be tempted by unhealthy foods. I won't miraculously change just because I've turned a page on the wall calendar.

Sometimes I somehow think I will, though. Like there is magic on the first day of the month. Like somehow it will be easier on that mystical day in the future.

Maybe on Monday I will be glad of the new page, the clean slate. But that doesn't mean I'm giving up on today.

Sunday, August 24, 2014



This weekend we introduced the kids to the card game Magic: The Gathering. It's one of the many geeky things my husband introduced me to, along with Dungeons and Dragons and the computer game World of Warcraft. We used to play Magic a lot when we were first going out. Since we lived eight hours drive apart, we even played over the phone! You each have your own deck, so as long as you trust the other person to be honest about what cards they have, you can do that. It's a collectable card game and we have hundreds of cards, plenty for the kids to make their own decks.

It was a perfect demonstration of my children's personality types. Jasmine sat with me for an hour sorting cards and taking my advice to create a balanced deck. Aiden randomly grabbed whichever cards looked good. His needed a bit of tweaking to make it playable!

I did not stick to carb cycling or any other diet this week, or exercise much. I just ate. This morning I weighed in at 82.5 kg, up again. My main excuse is lack of sleep driving me to want fatty sugary food to keep me awake. Thor has suddenly started waking much earlier, presumably because it is getting light earlier but it's still a big jump. Tim and I take it in turns to get up to let him out and we both dread it. I'm already sleep deprived but even Tim is walking around with dark circles under his eyes. We're getting up nearly an hour and a half before we otherwise would (and on weekends don't get to sleep in). And of course the other person is woken by Thor's banging on his door (he sleeps in the bathroom) even if they don't have to get up. I know some people thrive on getting up at the crack of dawn, or hate it at first but get used to it. But I've tried it before and continue to hate it forever. And Tim is definitely a night owl, not a lark. Maybe we can pin a blanket over the venetian blinds to keep it dark longer in there so he sleeps? I've been doing a fair bit of napping in the afternoons, on the lounge with Thor draped over me. It keeps me going.

That is my excuse, but I know that I have to put on my big girl panties (as I've heard it expressed) and get on with my life regardless. I can be sleep deprived and fat, or sleep deprived and a healthy weight.

This week is going to be particularly challenging. Jasmine's big dance concert is on Saturday night and she has rehearsal every day after school, often until late. And Tim and the kids also have a karate grading assessment. And Jasmine also has two band performances (trumpet) and a dance performance at school that Tim & I will split between us. She's going to be exhausted! She's like me, too, a very poor sleeper. What all this means for my diet is that I'll be trying to juggle making healthy meals with driving back and forth and sitting around at the dance studio, and having dinner really early or late. I'll be making casseroles every night, I think! Then I can put it on at lunch time and have hot food ready even if I haven't been home to cook it. It's less tempting to get take away if you know food is already ready at home. I'll also be up at the school at lunchtime a couple of days.

It's only a week until spring and we've had a few lovely days already. Floriade must be soon, our annual flower festival. A whole big park by the lake is filled with tulips and hyacinths and other spring bulbs and flowers, it is quite a tourist attraction. I am so looking forward to that! I don't think dogs are allowed, which is a shame, but it's a lovely place to sit and read or walk around. -- I just looked it up and dogs are not allowed, except they are having one "Dogs Day Out" for RSPCA. I'm not sure how Thor would cope with a whole park full of dogs! He's a bit scared of them. I'll see how he's going at that point. It's around then that we start puppy preschool class with him, the current session was already full when I enquired so we had to wait. So he's not really socialised with other dogs yet. They are all so much bigger than him.

Here is Thor being a good dog at the dinner table:

and being a wily predator:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Getting back on the carb cycle after a fall


Ok, lets try this again! I'm over my two days of PMS and ready to begin.

I think my PMS is getting worse. When I was a teenager I such horrible cramps I had to take a day off school each month. I was put on the pill and that helped a lot. I've always had a lot of physical problems with my cycle and have tried a few different pills over the years. I don't remember any emotional issues, or just a very rare weepy day in my 20s, until maybe the past ten years. Since I had children? Maybe before that, but not so bad it really affected my life. Now I generally have two days when the world seems a dismal place and I'm annoyed with everyone and everything. I'm both sad and snappy and try not to take it out of my family too much but I don't know how well I succeed. The best I can do is keep my mouth shut. If I let myself make major decisions on those days I certainly wouldn't have a puppy any more and I don't know what else. I don't want to think about it. I also eat too much and don't exercise. Maybe I need a strategy for that, but for the moment I'm just going to accept that I need to do whatever I can to get through those days without any consequences more dire than gaining a little bit of weight.

I'm ready to do more exercise than just walking Thor. I seriously considered joining the gym again - I have at various times in the past enjoyed BodyStep, BodyPump, the rowing machine, the elliptical and the weights machines, but I get bored with them within a few months so next time I join the gym it will be for three months instead of a year and wasting most of my money. But going to the gym is a huge time investment with all the driving and finding parking and changing twice and showering etc, an hour exercise takes nearly two hours out of my day. So for the moment I'm going back to dancing at home. I still have to change and shower but it takes travel time out of the equation.

I was inspired by a new TV show, "Bringing Sexy Back" (terrible terrible name!) which is like an accelerated Biggest Loser. Each week they show a new person or couple, and follow them over about three months with a personal trainer and help from a celebrity chef and a big makeover and reveal at the end. They do it all from home, fitting healthy living around their normal work and other commitments so it is a tiny bit more realistic than Biggest Loser where all you do is exercise.

I did some writing this morning (I have rewritten what was lost and moved on) and then an hour of dance. It went well. I'd dipped my toe back into dance a few times recently but had trouble keeping up with the energy levels and the choreography, neither my mind and body were cooperating. But today I was back in the groove. I'm working my way through getting 5 stars in every dance on medium difficulty in Dance Central 3. I love a goal.

Then I had my lunch, and took a cup of tea outside with the puppy so he could run around a bit without getting lonely. I did some work reading, then took Thor for a walk that went past the school on our way home. Thor is getting a bit better with walking. He still pulls a lot. The kids rarely ask to walk him now, it's not very pleasurable. Yesterday I started giving him food treats as well as verbal praise when he was behaving well, and it certainly keeps his attention on me more! My previous dog, a collie, was not particularly motivated by food and was very eager to please so I don't think I ever used food treats, just attention and praise. The working dog (sheepdog) temperament. But Thor, both sides of his ancestry from hunting/gun dogs, likes praise but it takes food to distract him from the exciting outdoors! He tries to chase birds, too, and points his little foot. Very cute. But he is much nicer to walk when you don't end up with the lead strap embedded in your hand.

Today is a low carb day. I've gone a bit over my very low carb allowance (36 - 90 grams) because I was surprised by a few things. My banana had nearly 22 g, the orange 17 g and the Yakult a very unexpected 11.6 g of carbohydrate considering it is a tiny 50 mL bottle. I know I could have checked before I ate things but I don't want to give up fruit regardless so I'm not sure how I'm going to get around that on low carb days. Maybe only one piece of fruit? The Yakult is a rare thing, just to help my gut flora rebalance. Apart from that, my carbs came from one slice of toast, four wholegrain crackers and lots of non-starchy vegetables. If I cut out any two things (not the veges) I would be under my limit. On high carb days I get 180 grams of carbohydrate, plenty for just about anything, but high carb days are low fat days so I still have to monitor everything carefully.

If you haven't tried Yakult it is a fermented drink full of probiotics that I expected to be like slightly nasty runny yoghurt but in fact tastes just like melted vanilla ice cream. Delicious. Full of sugar, of course. I don't get it very often, but I buy a pack after a stomach upset. And hide it from the kids.

... (A bit later.) I had a lovely low carb dinner of steak and salad. Then ate three chocolate biscuits. So, hmm. I'm still giving myself a B for today's healthy eating. Mostly I did very well. I ate at least five serves of vegetables. And I did an hour and a half exercise! And drank seven glasses of water! And wrote! Overall an excellent day.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Maybe not today

a bit later Monday:

I am getting the feeling that today wasn't the best day to start a new diet. That cranky time of the month, and leftovers still in the fridge. Cheesecake. Not very low carb.

What can I eat that will make me feel better?


Apparently people without food issues don't look to food to solve problems that aren't hunger. Isn't that a weird thought? Whereas I (and I imagine a few of my readers) look to food to solve sadness, anger, tiredness, boredom, frustration, and even an upset tummy. And it does kind of work, in the short term.

Tim and I both still have this stomach bug that we'd thought we got over (twice). It's a bit annoying, although I feel ok most of the time. It certainly hasn't stopped me eating! In fact I eat to settle my stomach. But it has stopped me exercising. Funny, that.

I haven't been sticking to any kind of diet for a couple of weeks. That doesn't mean binging, but I haven't been worrying if something is fried, I have some dessert if I want to, I take a chocolate from my hairdresser's reception desk. Last Thursday I was 81.8kg, about the same as I'd been hovering around for a few weeks.

Then this weekend was absolutely horrendous in terms of unhealthy food. We had family staying. I provided desserts and snacks. My sister-in-law brought dessert and snacks. I actually started eating junk on the Friday before they even got here because me and chips in the house? How have I not learned yet that that is a problem? I indulged in everything while they were here. I ate some leftover cheesecake after they left.

This morning, resolving to start over and needing to know the worst, I got on the scales. 81.8kg. No change. I was puzzled but I'm not complaining! The body can be weird. It doesn't do what you expect.

I'm calling this a new diet, starting today. A new plan. The old one has been dead for weeks. I'm doing it this way because I find I do better during the honeymoon period of a new diet. New rules to follow. Some people are better off refreshing the same plan. I like having something new. I just want to stress that I'm am not looking for that one perfect diet that will quickly and effortlessly make the weight fall off. I just enjoy researching and planning a new diet, it gets me motivated again.

That said, I'm thinking about carb cycling. Intermittent fasting is popular at the moment but I can't do that, I feel awful if I try to fast (as I have done for charity - I didn't make it through the whole 40 hours - or for a shorter stretch for medical reasons) - sick, tired, headachy, trembly, miserable and irritable. How can anyone work through that or do anything other than lie in bed? Maybe it's because of my insulin resistance. I also can't do very low carb, I've tried that too and feel almost as bad as fasting, which makes sense because it's the carbs that affect blood sugar. On the other hand, I lose weight if I reduce carbs. And I feel just as sick, in a different way, if I eat too many carbs. Really sleepy and bloated.

Carb cycling, as I understand it, alternates days of low carbs with days of higher carb intake. You eat more protein on the low carb days and very little fat on the high carb days. It was apparently developed by body builders to strip off the fat layer before a competition so all their huge muscles would show better. For me, it would mean 1200 calories on Mon, Wed & Fri (low carb) and 1500 calories on the other days (high carb). As with any reasonable diet, there is a focus on lots of fruit and vegetables, lean meat, and "healthy" carbohydrate (ie not cheesecake). There is a formula for how many carbs and protein grams I should be eating based on my weight that could be a bit fiddly to translate into daily meals - but isn't that what I want? To spend time on the technical aspects? Worth a try.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lost in the ether


I'm upset right now, although starting to get some perspective. Usually I only write about an hour a day but I was really fired up with inspiration, getting close to the end of my manuscript. I worked on my novel all day over three sessions. The third session was in an earlier section that I'd only roughed out yesterday, so I didn't notice until the end that all the work I had done in the second session was gone. Just not there.

I am as certain as I can be - say 95% - that I saved it and copied it over to my USB as I always do for backup. When I went to copy it I couldn't see the USB on my desk then realised it was still plugged in from earlier. I remember that moment. Hard to be wrong about it.

Unless I didn't save it, closed the document, and copied over the same document I'd copied earlier in the day without the new work? Wouldn't it ask me if I wanted to close without saving?

I should be telling myself it's no big deal. It was only about an hour and a half of work, what is that in the scheme of things? But it was a very emotional scene, basically a main character offering to sacrifice his life for everyone else. I'll never write it again the same way. Maybe better. But not the same.

I feel all empty inside and yuck and sad. I worked so hard today. Gone.

Not all gone. A third gone. Feels like all gone.

On the home stretch


I had a haircut today. I forgot to take a photo and I'm all tired now so you'll never see it salon-fresh. But I'll take a picture tomorrow if I remember. It's so short up the back and sides that my hairdresser (stylist?) used the clippers. But still longish at the front.

I love the little massage they give you first, and then my salon has a massage chair at the hair-washing sinks. But today the vibrating chair made me really need to pee! Even though I went just before leaving home - that was one of my mum's rules, you go to the toilet before leaving the house. But I had to ask to use their bathroom. And it's a shared bathroom with a couple of other businesses in the building, so I was wandering around holding a key with my hair all wet and the cape on and everything. I felt a bit odd.

My writing is going well. My novel is up to 65,000. I estimate the first draft will be around 80,000. Finished novel more like 100,000 once I flesh out some of the skeletal bits. There are only two more big scenes to write, plus the connective tissue between them. I'm thinking I might have the first draft done in around a month. I'm a bit excited and disbelieving about that - I will have actually written a novel! Finally! It only took me 44 years and a dozen false starts. But I can't celebrate yet. Not until I write 'the end'. Then I get to start the editing process, which I expect to enjoy because that part is what I do for a living for other people! It's the fun bit. Writing new material is the hard part.

Sleep well.

Monday, August 11, 2014



I am feeling really well finally today. It's amazing how good that feels! I thought I was over that stomach bug after its first bout but obviously I wasn't because I never got up to this happy place before it struck again. I just feel good. And even though I ripped the CPAP off half-way through the night again, I feel well-rested. I actually wanted to get out of the house for the first time in a week.

I was productive today. An hour of writing in the morning, the grocery shopping, read several short stories for an award I am judging, eventually won in a fight with my Kobo, and got out for a nice walk with my puppy and my husband who is home this week for a break between moving sections at work.

If it seems like I do the grocery shopping strangely often, I do. Whoever renovated this kitchen before we moved here seemed to think a small space for a fridge was just fine. We bought the largest fridge that would fit in the space, but that isn't very big. There just isn't anywhere else for a fridge. The pantry is already in the laundry. I don't know why, the house is a decent size. But it was an elderly couple and I guess they had different ideas than I do about storage space for food. To make matters worse, one of the shelves in the fridge recently broke so now we only have two shelves and a vegetable drawer. I checked with the company but they don't make that model fridge any more so we can't get a replacement shelf. I didn't really want to buy a new fridge when we'd only have to get another tiny one and we've been thinking of moving for a while now. When we have houseguests we turn on my little single-person fridge out in the garage (no direct access to the house, so not very convenient) and use a lot of eskies (insulated boxes). Christmas in the middle of summer here is tricky! But even with just the four of us, I shop twice a week and have to juggle everything around to cram it all in. We might just have to give in and get a new fridge.

I started tracking again today, something I haven't done for a while. And I made zoodles (zucchini noodles) for dinner - I like them but lately I've been eating pasta because I just can't be bothered making something different for me. But I don't claim to have eaten cleanly today - quite a few treat foods. Still, it's a start.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's back...


The stomach virus I thought I shook off earlier in the week? Not so much. I've been feeling pretty unwell the last two days. But aside from being annoyed at missing valuable weekend time, I'm doing ok. Just a bit sick of being sick.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Thursday weigh in


Back up to 81.8 kg today. 0.5 gain. Completely reasonable since I haven't been sticking to my diet at all, not even a little bit. I've lost all momentum.

On the upside, I fell much better today, over the tummy bug. I didn't go for a long walk, but at least went up to the school twice today so that was two little walks.

And my husband is better too, back at work today.

And I did some good writing, and got a couple of other things done.

And standing in our backyard in the middle of the day was nice, the sun warm through several dark layers of clothing. Only my bare hands were cold.

There are good things every day, even if I don't have my weight under control.

Migrating tummy bug


Last night was my husband's turn with the tummy bug so I guess it wasn't the food. We are all feeling a bit wiped out this morning. Queasy and woozy.

Tim mentioned yesterday that a colleague of his is going on a liquid food diet. He is a bit dumbfounded by this, firstly it sounds like such a stupid diet but also she is slender and the most attractive person in the office and therefore doesn't "need" to diet.

But the thing is, she probably feels she does need to take extreme measures to maintain her slender figure. I don't know her at all, so I'm making all sorts of judgements based on this one thing, but I'm guessing she bases a lot of her identity of being thin and beautiful. Enough to do unhealthy things to make sure she doesn't lose that part of herself.

I would love to be as slender as I'm imagining she is, but not enough to make it pursuing it my whole lifestyle. I was going to say I wouldn't risk my health for it, but that's kind of a silly thing to say considering I regularly risk my health more with a "normal" unhealthy diet.

I can't really claim to have been on my diet at all the past few days. I just can't get motivated.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tummy bug


I don't know what it was that I ate yesterday that left me curled up, nauseous and limp, all last night (if it wasn't a virus).  Actual food poisoning from the healthy oven baked chicken breast lunch that turned out to be not cooked all the way through? Body rebellion from half a packet of biscuits in the afternoon, which I binged on after being hungry from not eating all my chicken? Stomach distress from the evening casserole which turned out to be way fattier than usual, even though I took off all the solid fat and spooned off all the liquid fat I could find (it's not usually that fatty at all, was it a particularly obese pig?). A combination of all three? Who knows? But I passed an unpleasant night and I'm not feeling at my best today.

[later: my husband isn't feeling great either, maybe a virus]

I've started to call this day of the week "crazy Tuesday". Jasmine has both trumpet lessons and cooking class at lunchtime at school. Have to remember to take trumpet and music books etc. After school we have a regular playdate with a family we love. Then we rush off to Jasmine's dance class. Then back, quick dinner, kids in bed early, and it's Dungeons and Dragons games night.

In addition, today Aiden had two doctor appointments so I didn't get him to school until nearly lunchtime. The upshot of the consultations is that he needs to drink a lot more fluid than he is currently doing. The specialist gave me guidelines which included a lot of juice boxes and flavoured milk for variety which I feel isn't very healthy but I guess encouraging him to drink is the important thing at the moment. He gets a gummy bear if he has three drinks before school! And a new Lego set every Saturday if he follows the guidelines. I'll be doing it along with him (my poor little man), the doctor was rather horrified when I admitted my low level of fluid intake. I guess it runs in the family. I really struggle with it, always have. My usual intake is probably two cups of tea and one or two cups of water with a squeeze of lemon. Not enough.

Thor had to make do with just a walk up to the school this afternoon, I didn't have the energy for anything else. After shuttling Aiden around all morning, I spent part of the afternoon in a nap. Then back into the swing of crazy Tuesday.

Night all. I'm sure I'll have more energy tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My, what big teeth you have


Today on my walk with Thor we saw the most enormous Rottweiler. Seriously, it looked like it should have been sitting on a trapdoor at Hogwarts guarding the philosopher's stone. The guy walking it also had a little whippet - or maybe it was a full size greyhound and just looked small beside the Rottweiler. (My computer keeps capitalising that, but why? It doesn't capitalise poodle. Or spaniel. Maybe they are so big and scary they command a capital letter!)

So I'm not particularly scared of any kind of dog but it was really straining at the leash to investigate my terrified little puppy. The owner very nicely gave us a wide berth, practically going onto the road to give us all the footpath and the grassy median strip. So that was lovely of him. But it made me wonder why he gave us several metres of space. Was it just politeness, or necessity?

We had a long walk today, nearly an hour, to make up for not going out it the morning. It was still below freezing when the kids left for school so I decided a hot cup of tea sounded more fun than a walk. I was pretty tired after the afternoon stroll, Thor still keeps me going at a brisk pace. But I felt like I'd had a bit of a work out, even if it was only walking.

I don't think I'll talk about cranky tiredness or food choices today.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sugar and gluten


Thanks for the kind suggestions about cutting out sugar (and gluten), I know that works for a lot of people, however I have tried giving up sugar, gluten, soy, dairy and alcohol and it didn't help me at all. I don't think I am sensitive to any of those things. But I do think my slide back into less-healthy food has made existing problems worse so I need to work on reducing the junky processed stuff. It's just that horrible cycle that when I'm tired and run down I want to turn to easy processed food (full of sugar, fat, carbs and salt - none of which I think are necessarily evil but they are in that quantity and that highly processed), but processed food makes me feel worse so I want to use food as a crutch even more...

My food was pretty good today (dark chocolate still counts as good, right?) and got out for a walk with Thor so here's hoping for a better night sleep tonight.