Thursday, October 30, 2014

Minimising the damage

later Thursday:

So I went to do my tax and the online system wasn't working me for, I rang up and went through all the long process of getting through to a real person only to be told that it was a known problem, happening to everyone, try again in a couple of hours. Which I will do. But I was already unhappy and this made me more frustrated.

I had my afternoon snack even though it was really early. Then I wandered around the house like a disgruntled ghost, avoiding all the other things I could be doing, sad and unsettled, and I gave into food. Oh, I resisted for a while first. But then I crumbled. Luckily we didn't have anything truly bad in the house. But I felt annoyed with myself afterwards, defeated. I'd already had my afternoon snack before the kids even got home from school and here I was eating extra! And I thought about eating more and more. Eating had squashed down all the bad feelings for a few moments, I wanted to repeat that. But I had just been re-reading my cognitive therapy book and one of the things it talked about was getting back on track after a binge, and all the reasons it was better to stop right now than continue and make it worse. And I put the food details into my calorie tracker. And you know how many extra calories I had eaten? 200. 200 is nothing, in the big scheme of things. 200 calories is not a disaster. Certainly not a reason to give up and eat even more.

I could, if I wanted, have a tiny dinner and still get in under my daily calories, but I am not going to. I am going to have my normal planned dinner, back on track, as if I hadn't stepped off the rails there for a minute at all. I was having a bad day, I need to learn to deal with stress some other way, but I am not going to dwell on it unduly or beat myself up. I'm forgiven.

... Hmm.

While waiting for dinner to cook I ate a couple of squares of chocolate and an unknown number of cashews - I didn't weigh them I just ate them straight out of the packet. And then later in the evening I ate some more chocolate, not because I was still upset but just because I'd kind of given up on the day. Despite the part of me saying that was a wrong-headed attitude, I still went with the "start again tomorrow" option. Total damage, around 800 calories extra for the day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014



Today I felt dull and sad, a big contrast to earlier in the week when I felt quite perky. I dragged myself to the gym, dragged myself through a lacklustre workout where the screen visuals of the Grand Canyon and the French countryside seemed boring and uninspiring, made myself have a shower, forced myself to eat my planned healthy lunch instead of ALL THE THINGS. Actually, anything else would have been way too much effort to go out and get.

Still on track. Still plodding along. I'm not sick, just feeling down. Maybe worried about my mum. Maybe bad sleep. Both. Had a bad dream.

Now I'm going to do my tax. Due tomorrow. Having a bad day anyway, might as well wallow in it.

Walking for nachos


Since I don't have the car and can't get to the gym, Wednesday is an official rest day for me in terms of exercise. But today there was no particular reason to take a break, no excessive muscle soreness or tiredness, so I did 30 mins of dance. It was nice to do something a bit different, fun, with no pressure of doing a certain amount of time or at a certain intensity. I was moving my body and enjoying the music. And since I did it in the morning I felt I'd started the day off well.

Shortly afterwards I decided I wanted to turn my leftover pulled pork lunch plan into nachos with pulled pork. I don't consider corn chips to be very healthy but I have completely changed my old "lazy nachos" which were just Doritos with salsa and melted cheese - lots and lots of melted cheese - into a far more nutritious version with salsa and much less cheese plus a bit of meat, jalapenos, and topped with a big serve of finely chopped lettuce, cucumber, tomato and capsicum. And it is so delicious! But I certainly don't keep corn chips in the house as anything like that is an instant trigger food for me. Today I could only have nachos for lunch if I walked to the shops to buy some corn chips.

So I did. I got in nearly half an hour of brisk walking in the lovely sunshine and bought a single serve of corn chips plus some strawberries. No hay fever symptoms at all. Sunshine makes me happy! And I earned myself a fabulous lunch. I kept the meat and cheese proportion low and it was under 500 calories, still a very hearty lunch but I managed to fit it into my calories for the day.

We still haven't decided about Jasmine doing the extra dancing next year. Auditions are on Friday. She already does one dance class, French, karate, swimming, and trumpet for school band. Not sure about adding two more dance classes! I suppose she could drop karate to have one afternoon free. But self defence is important, and so is learning to swim (especially here in Australia). And music and languages are fabulous too. Hmm.

I talked to mum this afternoon. She hasn't been feeling quite so well lately, which is worrying. A few aches and pains coming back, sleeping a lot of each day, and her voice is really croaky again. It's nearly a year since her cancer diagnosis (breast and bone). She'd been doing so well before this, responding well to chemo and radiotherapy. She'll see her doctor soon, and hopes changing her medication might help. She sounded cheerful but there was a real turnaround in her ability to cope with things - she's been talking about moving to a retirement home but today it all seemed too hard to her. And her car got rear-ended, nothing serious, but the boot won't close properly and she doesn't have the energy to do anything about it. We have a family wedding coming up and she was very glad that I said we would be driving her but not sure how she'll deal with tiredness on the day. It's all a bit scary that she has gone downhill since I saw her last just a few weeks ago.

I don't want to finish on a depressing note so I'll remember that I had another day of eating within my calories, exercising, and feeling happy and healthy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Core strength, or lack thereof


I actually didn't resent getting out of bed this morning! Amazing.

I went to the gym to tackle those pesky New Zealand mountains again. I tried to go a little faster, a little harder. Overall much the same as yesterday. I did the second half of NZ (there are six segments for each area, I think, around 10 minutes each), including visiting a glacier and a lovely hike to a lake. My right foot hurt quite badly nearly the whole time on the elliptical yesterday, no idea why, it stopped hurting when I moved on; today it started hurting after about 15 mins but not as bad. So that is an improvement. Maybe the elliptical set up is a bit different to what I am used to.

Then I got back on the bike to finish my ride through the Champagne region. I was just thinking yesterday, on the bike, how none of the exercises I was doing were targeting my core and I probably needed to add something else. But I was wrong. Somehow I didn't feel it yesterday, but today when I got on the bike my stomach muscles protested in no uncertain fashion. Apparently still tired and sore from yesterday. No other pose triggers the discomfort, only the bike. But it was pretty uncomfortable! I only made 20 mins today before finishing with a short walk. Ow my core.

So I got my hour of exercise in again.

After school we walked to a friend's house for a play date. I didn't feel hay-fevery at any point, and I noticed that there was hardly any Capeweed left around. And/or maybe this third antihistamine is working for me. Either way, it was great not to feel awful just for going outside. I took my own portioned out afternoon snack as well as healthy stuff for everyone. And that little walk there and back was a bit of extra exercise so it was good all round.

At Jasmine's dance class she was invited to audition for the Junior Performance group. She is keen and we all love dance here, but it is a big commitment. As well as her jazz funk she would have to add ballet and a special performance class. Three afternoons a week instead of one! Lots of driving, lots of sitting around (especially boring for her little brother), lots of expense! Three eisteddfods next year and a few other performances to commit to. And I'm not that keen on ballet (I've seen their damaged feet), although Jasmine wants to try it. We haven't decided yet.

Tim had to work very late so Dungeons and Dragons was cancelled, so I didn't need to negotiate the food. I decided to still have my low-cal hot chocolate for supper. And YUCK! I had forgotten how nasty fake sugar is. Spit yuck pthew. I must have been desperate when I had it before a couple of times. One of those "diet" things you do when you are denying yourself real food. Now I think back, I'm pretty sure most of the last packet was thrown away. As an experiment, I tried mixing pure cocoa powder (chocolate) with hot water - no sugar or sugar substitutes at all. And the taste was much nicer. Would be a lot better in milk instead of water, but it has a pretty good chocolaty taste for 40 calories a cup (two teaspoons of cocoa).

Oh my legs are sore this evening. Those NZ mountains are killers.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hiking in LoTR and cycling through Champagne


I go to a very large gym that has two floors and several big rooms of equipment as well as the group classes rooms (there is also a pool complex and a women-only gym in the building) and I've been going to the only room with rowing machines. The equipment in there seemed pretty new, there were big screen TVs with captions, and I was happy with it. It always seemed fairly empty, but then so is the whole gym at the time of day I go.

Today I decided not to use the rowing machines due to the rubbing problem (I haven't got any BodyGlide or similar yet) so I went to a room closer to the lockers (and the toilets) that always seems a bit more popular. Now I know why! The equipment is awesome! It looks the same to a casual glance but the screens do so much more.

During my 30 minutes on the elliptical, I hiked through the rainforests and mountains of New Zealand. The screen showed me moving through the landscape. It was fun and very motivating. Got to get up that mountain to the view at the top! The rainforests were lush but the mountains rocky and barren. Looked like Lord of the Rings. There were plenty of other choices of hiking routes for next time.

Then I got on one of the upright bikes I don't hate quite as much as the leaning-forward spin kind, and cycled through the Champagne region of France. Through little towns and past vineyards. I planned to only do 15 or 20 minutes, depending on how much I hated it, and then finish with a walk on the treadmill; but it was so fascinating I kept going for the whole 30. The hills were fairly gentle but still hurt going up, but the down slopes made me want to go Wheeeeeeeee!

Also, at the end the machines tell you how much energy you've saved, in relation to how long it would power a lightbulb (not all that long, actually). I asked at reception if that energy from my pedalling was actually saved/used but the girl had no idea. She said she would find out.

I worked hard and ended with my usual tomato-red face so the program was motivating not distracting. This reminds me of those heady first days after I found the "Zombies, run!" app to make walking/jogging more interesting.

Yesterday my nutrition was pretty close to perfect. Right number of calories, fruit and vegetables, dairy, healthy fats. Eight drinks, which is great for me. The only way I know to reduce calories without missing out on essential nutrients is to cut carbohydrates, but I am still eating some. Fruit, yoghurt, potato. Avoiding anything processed. On track again today so far.

I can't be perfect every day, I certainly don't expect to be. And I want to have treat foods sometimes. One meal on Saturdays (not all day!) is my planned treat. That allows for eating out, or a party, or having dessert at home, or a favourite meal that isn't quite as healthy as I am eating the rest of the time. A few extra calories.

Tuesday night supper is an ongoing problem. This week I will offer vegetable sticks with dip, and I am buying myself low-calorie hot chocolate sachets. I don't usually have anything fake or with pretend sugar, but I have had this brand (Jarrah) before and like it, and a real hot chocolate with milk and sugar and maybe marshmallows is just too many calories! If I want a mini-treat on Tuesdays it needs be very mini indeed, because I am going to stay within my calorie limits and I don't have a lot of wriggle room. So it's probably a single square of dark chocolate, or sipping a low-cal hot chocolate.

I had a much better sleep last night and feel good today - even though yet again I didn't wear my CPAP for long. Shortly after I put it on we had a power blackout so I couldn't use it. When the power came back on I wore it for a while and did sleep, no idea for how long, before ripping it off again. Oh, and I dreamed I had these two tiny carrot sticks, about as big as my little finger, and it was mid afternoon but they were all the food I was allowed for the rest of the day and I had to check them out of the library and then they got covered in books and papers and I couldn't find my carrot sticks... diet anxiety? Still, feeling good today.

But I miss sugar in my tea.

The other day I put a sugar cube in my tea instead of a sachet, not realising it was 4.5 grams instead of the 3 grams I was used to. And it was so sweet and horrible! So I don't like extra sugar. But I like some. Trying to give it up. Going cold turkey.

Sweet sweet sugar.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A small surprise weight loss


I lost 0.5 kg this week which is wonderful considering my diet and exercise efforts were very erratic. I was expecting a maintain, so a loss was a lovely surprise.

I've decided to go back to weighing daily (when I remember). It seems to work better for me. I give too much power to weigh-ins when they are less frequent. As you may have seen I can get very upset about an unexpected gain! If I weigh every day, I allow for fluctuations and don't get upset about them, while using the general trend to keep track of my true weight. Sundays will be my "official" weigh in day.

I will also be more diligent about tracking my food. Again.

I had a somewhat better sleep last night, although I still only managed to keep my CPAP on for around four hours. I can see it is going to be a real problem in hot weather. Sweaty. A folded tissue between me and the plastic helped a bit but kept working its way out.

Yesterday we decided to go to a cafĂ© for lunch. We sat outside next the lake and shared a pizza. I was already not feeling very chipper before we went out, but I kept feeling worse and worse, and by the end I was sneezing and constantly blowing my nose, and when we got home I collapsed into bed and slept for half the afternoon. There is less Capeweed around, I'm hoping it is getting to the end of its flowering season, but there was still plenty around the car park where we were. Yesterday made me reconsider the effectiveness of my antihistamines. The first one I tried (Loratadine, trade name Claratyne) made me very groggy and woosy; the next one (Cetirizine hydrochloride, trade name Zyrtec) didn't seem to have any side effects (unless it has affected my sleep) so I thought it was better. But have either of them actually helped my hay fever, or is it just that I haven't ventured outside for weeks? Because the first time I go out and sit in the "fresh air", I get all the symptoms back again. Maybe they are doing nothing at all for me. I had one more to try, Desloratadine (trade name Aerius). When I was folding clothes that had come in from outside I started to get itchy eyes and nose etc so I went and took one and the symptoms did subside fairly quickly. So maybe the pills are doing something as long as my exposure to pollens is minimal. I'll just stay inside for a few more weeks. It is such a shame missing spring though. I don't know why it has hit me so hard this year. Possibly general run-down-ness has made me vulnerable.

Excellent food compliance today. All nutritious stuff. And I've felt much healthier today than I have all week. Which is cause and which is effect? Each is positive feedback for the other; eating well makes me feel healthier which makes it easier to eat well...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Longest fast ever


Still plodding along, having good days and bad days with my eating and exercise.

My sleep all week has been horrible. It is really wearing me down. The last two nights I have tried really hard to keep my CPAP on, which means lying awake (drifting briefly into sleep then waking again) for nearly four hours before giving up each time. But even without the CPAP I've found it hard to get to sleep, and of course I wake frequently and don't have restful sleep without it.

One of my problems with the CPAP is that it has warmed up here, and having plastic stuck to my face and warm humid air blowing up my nose makes my face sweat and itch. It is really unpleasant. I've turned down the humidity twice and the temperature once over the past week, I'm turning down the temp again today so we'll see how tonight goes. I can't turn the humidity down too far or I get sore dry nose and throat.

The heat has only been the last couple of days so I don't know why I've been sleeping so badly all week. Unless it is the hay fever medication? I did switch to this better antihistamine nine days ago. Supposed to be non-drowsy but the chemist said it wouldn't stop me sleeping. Don't tell me I have to choose between bad days and bad nights.

No exercise for the past couple of days. No energy.

I've often wondered if obese people would survive a fast longer than a thin person, it makes sense that they would; that is why our bodies store fat, right? I looked it up and one guy in 1965 who weighed 207 kg (455 pounds) fasted for a year and 17 days and lost more than half his bodyweight. He told hospital staff that he was going to do it anyway so they might as well monitor him. They gave him electrolytes and yeast. I'm not sure why yeast doesn't count as food in this example, it does have calories - mainly protein but some fat and carbs. I think they gave it to him for the potassium.

Fasting can be dangerous for reasons other than starvation, heart attacks and impacted bowels for example. But it can be done, this guy basically lived off his body fat for a year. The human body is a fascinating thing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CPAP compliance


I think one of my big problems at the moment is my lack of CPAP compliance. I'm supposed to wear my CPAP every night because of sleep apnoea. I was really good when I first got it. Then I got the flu and couldn't use it for a while, and since then I've been struggling. I rip it off after six hours (I call that a win) or four hours or two, or I'm lying awake and it's annoying me so I take it off before I even get to sleep, or quite often I decide I have a slightly blocked nose or sore throat so won't even try.

But I have to wear it for a reason. I need it to get proper sleep without waking up every four minutes or so. Today I had two naps in my comfy chair, one in the morning and then one after my kids got home when they kept trying to talk to me! My eyes just kept closing. Unacceptable. That is an unprecedented level of tiredness for me.

So I hereby make a new commitment to wear it every night. If it bugs me, well I just need to get used to it again.

Hunger reset study


I read an interesting article about a recent study that concluded that you regain weight just as fast after slow weight loss as you do after rapid weight loss. What a depressing way to word it! As if the regain was inevitable. Apparently around 71% in both groups had regained all the weight after a year. At least that leaves 29% who didn't regain it all. But the study was arguing against the idea that slow weight loss is somehow better, easier to maintain.

The other interesting thing they concluded was that it can take up to three years for your body to "reset" its comfortable weight. This is the idea that your body is somehow happier at a certain weight and if you lose weight then relax your diet you will spring back up to that set point. My understanding of their argument (it was an article not the actual study) was that this is true and is because of your body's set hunger level. It can be reset, but it takes up to three years. So once you go into maintenance mode you have to continue to be vigilant for several years until your body resets, then it should feel more normal to eat the right amount to maintain your lower weight. Thus your "natural weight" is not set in stone, it is just what your body is used to and you can change it.

I was home all yesterday, unmotivated to exercise. I spent the morning doing sitting work - writing and researching - then forced myself to do some dancing in the afternoon. I hoped that once I got started I would get into it. I managed 25 minutes before my limp limbs refused to flail around any longer. At least I tried, I really did. Gravity was just too heavy.

Today was worse. No energy at all. I did put my gym gear on but didn't get out of the house. I made the mistake of doing some work reading in a comfy chair. Slept for an hour. Sitting up, in the morning. I do often need a nap, but never in the morning! Still feel dopey and fatigued. No exercise today.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jumping over molehills


I had a bit of dilemma this morning. Yesterday's rowing session had left sore patches under my arms again, and they weren't better by this morning. Even wearing a bra around the house hurt, let alone exercising in one. I don't believe in pushing through pain of this kind - I would likely only make it worse, tear the skin, make it even harder to exercise - but I couldn't not exercise today either!

With no bra I couldn't go to the gym or out in public (um, headlights) and I couldn't do any jumping (overweight 44 year old who has breastfed two children, bouncing is not a comfortable option) so I procrastinated for a while but with no intention of avoiding exercise altogether. A bit of abraded skin wasn't going to stop me.

I ended up doing an hour of Just Dance 4 and really enjoyed it. I had to modify some moves a bit but not as much as I'd expected. I avoided tracks I knew included a lot of jumping around. JD4 is a couple of years old and contains such gems as "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen and golden oldies like "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. Lots of fun, actually. Cheerful. In the past I'd earned 5 stars on every dance on this disc and I still remember a lot of it so I didn't have to concentrate on learning the steps. I just danced along and enjoyed myself.

I'll have to cut out or cut back on the rowing for the moment.

My other perceived "molehill" today was that I had a terrible sleep last night. For some reason I tossed and turned for several hours (with my CPAP on for a couple of hours then without it, unfortunately taking it off didn't seem to help). And then I woke at dawn, also for no reason I'm aware of. I think I got 4 hours sleep. So I fully expected to be exhausted and sleepy all day. But as usual my perception of how my night went has no relationship - or perhaps an inverse relationship! - to how I feel the next day. I was fine. Didn't need a nap.

A friend of mine, whose kids are also close friends with mine, came over this afternoon. They have been overseas for a month so we had a lot to talk about. So that was lovely. And aside from the general catch-up, there were several other good things. I had a chocolate bar before they came (that's not the good thing) and I wasn't at all hungry so I didn't eat any of the snacks we put out for us and the kids. I could easily have eaten some snacks, it was all right in front of me the whole time we were chatting. But I had nothing other than my cup of tea. I was proud of myself for keeping the calorie damage limited to the chocolate and not make it worse.

Another good thing is she can probably babysit for an upcoming event, which will be very convenient for us. And thirdly, she asked me a question about the name of something that she said she'd asked a couple of people about and they didn't know. I did know. She said she knew I would. And I felt all warm and fuzzy inside, not just that I knew something but that my friend had confidence that I would.

Tuesdays are our busiest day, we still have dance class and dinner (chicken casserole already in the oven) then Dungeons and Dragons to get through. D&D is the trickiest, health-wise. I am offering grapes. But other people will bring junk. And I think I've had as much as my calorie budget can allow for the day, unless I spend my daughter's dance class doing calisthenics on the sidelines! Maybe I can do surreptitious isometrics.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Climbing the mountain


I knew I wasn't going to lose weight this week. I hadn't quite anticipated gaining a whole kilogram. It is a strongly worded reminder that I can't eat whatever I like, even if I am exercising a bit. So I'm back to restricting my eating from today.

Restricting. Now there is a word. I have quite a vivid mental image about dieting. Me not dieting - I have big doors in the front of my body open to the world. Fresh air, bright streamers, freedom, all flow in and out of my body. It's a warm spring day with a light pleasant breeze. Me dieting - the doors are shut. I am cold and rigid and hunched over like the Tin Man without his oil can. Nothing gets in, nothing gets out. Gloomy.

Probably not the best frame of mind to bring to a diet. I need to work on that just as much as the actual eating.

I have a big motivation at the moment, one that speaks to vanity. I just realised my cousin's wedding is just under four weeks away. I have talked about my mother's family before. Aside from me and my mum, they are all very slender, tanned, athletic. My aunts in their 60s all still play competition tennis and look fabulous. I definitely feel like the ugly duckling amongst them. I'm the smart fat one. Now we are all adults I only see them at Christmas and the occasional wedding or other big event. And every time one of these occasions looms I feel despair about my weight. I even avoid going sometimes. I am not exaggerating when I say mum and I will likely be the only overweight women at this wedding. Actually, what with the cancer mum has lost a lot of weight so it will just be me.

Just thinking about it makes me feel depressed. I'm so short and dumpy, like a hippo in a giraffe colony.

Four weeks. How much can I lose in four weeks?

So I wasn't in the best frame of mind when I went to the gym. But I went! I started with 30 mins on the elliptical. I put the resistance up to 5 (up from 3 last week) and it was much harder. It felt like I was climbing a mountain. No speed intervals today, I just slogged on. With my eyes closed some of the time. Pushing, pushing. Not giving up. Not feeling very happy about it.

Then I got on the rowing machine and did my 20 mins there. I put that up to 5 as well, but it didn't feel much different to 3. I used to row on resistance 10 and I don't know that it feels much harder. But I'll move up gradually anyway. While rowing, I started trying to turn my point of view around. First I thought about changing my picture of me "not dieting" to being bloated and sickly and sad. But then I decided not to. I don't want to demonise any kind of food. I don't want to link having a treat with feeling horrible. So instead I worked on my image of me "dieting", changing it from the very negative deprived unhappy picture I had to something more positive. Here is what I came up with:

I am standing on the top of a mountain, which I have just climbed. It is sunny and fresh with a magnificent view of nature. I am pleasantly tired, but not exhausted because my fit healthy body can climb a mountain without feeling like I'm going to die. I feel happy and calm. I am a bit hungry, and there is a picnic laid out with delicious healthy food. The fresh fruit is especially appealing to my well-deserved thirst. There are no artificial restrictions on what I can or can't eat, because I will enjoy eating the right amount of healthy food to nourish and replenish my body.

So, that is what I am trying to picture when I think of myself being "on a diet". Not restricting, but nourishing and nurturing my body so it can do the things I want it to do.

I finished at the gym with 10 mins on the treadmill, not fast but on an incline. Another mountain to climb! But by this time I was feeling quite cheerful. And they had an old repeat of a sit-com on the nearest TV and it was quite funny. So I ended on a high.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sunshine and afternoon nap


This morning my children were taking turns wrapping themselves in a double doona and "evolving" then emerging from the cocoon. Cute.

Despite apparently snoring all night I am feeling much better today. It hasn't been a bad 24 hours. You know some illnesses make you feel miserable, either from pain/nausea etc or because somehow they depress your spirits. This one didn't affect mood at all, my husband said the same when I mentioned it. Despite a sore throat and aching body and fatigue, I just felt like myself and was able to enjoy various non-active things instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself like I often do when sick.

I weigh in tomorrow after a week of starting back at the gym. I don't expect to have lost weight, my eating has been pretty bad. A few hours of exercise can't compete with that. But my current focus is getting back into an exercise rhythm.

Quiet day today. I at least got out into the backyard and did a bit of weeding, cut back the huge rosemary shrub and watered a couple of dry plants. Lovely sunshine. The vegetable garden is looking good, most of the seedlings survived their first couple of weeks. The strawberry plants are covered in little white baby berries. The pansies are still blooming. The gardeners came a couple of days ago so the lawn was all neatly mown too. We've been here for nearly ten years and I probably spent the most time I've ever spent in our backyard this past winter, when we had the puppy. It's nice to be out there when it isn't freezing, or raining, or pitch black!

After being outside for ten minutes I came in and had a nap. Afternoon naps are awesome.

Back to the gym tomorrow, and I'll start tightening my food intake.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Excuses and Lessons


I didn't go to the gym yesterday. I could give you my list of excuses (which would not stand up under scrutiny) but the real reason was that - as I planned to walk around the lake and go on to other things straight from there - I was wearing normal clothes not my exercise gear. And in my normal clothes I just didn't feel "in the mood" for exercise. I skipped the walk and was busy all morning. I was not busy in the afternoon. Various times throughout the day I told myself to get changed and go to the gym, but I never did. Too much effort.

I bought myself new hand weights, 3 kg each, and did about 15 minutes of various moves with them. So I guess that was something. But there was no reasonable reason why I didn't do a lot more. Gym, walking, dancing, a whole array of choices. I told myself I would make up for it on Saturday morning, so I would still have done four sessions this week.

My husband called me at lunchtime as he was feeling sick so I went and picked him up from his work, he spent the afternoon sleeping. He feels better today but I feel like crap. My body aches and I feel like I'm trying to swallow a golf ball. Bloody germs. Hopefully just a 24 hour thing that I will fight off.

I can turn this into a learning experience. Two lessons. Firstly, like many people I need to do my exercise first thing or it won't get done. (For me first thing is after I get the kids to school.) And I need to set myself up for exercise, not make it easy to avoid it. Get into my exercise gear when I get up in the morning! Not allowed to get changed or take off tight uncomfortable sports bra until I have exercised!

And secondly, don't assume that tomorrow will somehow be easier than today. Or even as easy. Do what you need to do when you get the chance because tomorrow might not be what you expected.

Yes I am cranky with myself for not exercising yesterday. But on the bright side I did three good sessions at the gym this week. That is a decent start.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Twenty kilometers an hour


I had a really good session at the gym this morning. As usual I woke up today feeling like rubbish - if I went by the first hour of every day I'd assume I was close to death with some horrible illness - but also as usual felt much better after a while.

I read a great quote today: Hold onto your dreams - stay asleep!

Anyway, I got to the gym and jumped on the elliptical. I increased the time to 30 mins but kept the resistance at level 3. After 5 mins warming up I started high intensity intervals, increasing intensity to as hard as I could push for 30-60 seconds then back to a much slower recovery interval. Mostly I was going up to 14 km/h but once I got up to 20 km/h (12.4 mi/h) for about 10 seconds. I thought I was going to vomit after that one! I can't run anywhere near that fast (I think 11 km/h is my record on a treadmill) but the elliptical is different to running. And no impact, which is great for my shins. Recovery was at a rather slow 5 to 6 km/h. At the end of the 30 mins I had gone 3.24 km. It's quite a long way below my target, which is fine because I'm giving myself a few weeks to get there! I plan to gradually increase the number of high intensity intervals and also go a bit faster in my recovery intervals, while also increasing the resistance level.

I was pretty tired after that, but got on the rowing machine. I had thought of doing 30 mins there, too, so I could cut out the stationary bike entirely; but I just wasn't ready for 30 mins. 20 was enough! I tried to keep my pace up, but also amused myself my watching a PT training his client nearby. One thing he did was put a wide band around her waist and got her to pull him along while he held on to the ends and leaned back. It looked hard. He probably weighed a lot more than she did.

I finished up with 10 minutes, fairly easy, on the bike.

I really felt like I spent a lot of that hour pushing myself really hard, which is great.

I had an awesomely delicious lunch. I picked up some corn chips on the way home and made nachos with pulled pork left over from dinner. Cheese and jalapenos and lots of fresh salsa on top.

Apart from the corn chips, all real food. And so yummy!

I haven't had the ravenous hunger I experienced on Monday, it seems to have been a one-off confused physical reaction to me actually exercising hard. I'm also not getting any muscle soreness or stiffness. On Monday I had both, almost straight away, but that has all passed. It didn't take my body very long to at adapt somewhat.

The only negative I'm getting from the exercise is general fatigue for the rest of the day. I'm spending more time napping than writing. But hopefully that too will pass as my body acclimatises.

I have lots of options for exercise tomorrow, but what I am thinking I might do is walk around the lake. It's all manicured lawns around public buildings, hopefully no Capeweed (which the kids and I now call Deathweed), and I feel like I am missing out on Spring stuck inside like this. I need a bit of sunshine and fresh air!

Day off


I had a day off from exercise today, even though I've only done two days so far. I don't have the car on Wednesdays so couldn't get to the gym, but also it's a good break for my body. Not so much my muscles, they were all ok today, but other things like the spot under my left arm where my bra rubbed when I was hot and sweaty on the rowing machine (that particular rowing action often gets me there) and the palms of my hands were not used to 20 mins elliptical and 20 mins rowing, grasping the handles. I know it sounds kind of silly, but I've talked before about my girly feet and I also have girly hands! I'm a writer, ok? my hands aren't used to anything tougher than floating over the keyboard. Once I tried to mow the lawn and got blisters on my hands. I need to toughen them up a bit, but not all at once. One day off will be enough, then back into it tomorrow.

I did do a tiny bit of weight lifting in the lounge room. I need some new free weights. Mine are only 1.5 kg each, too light, and my husband's are 5 kg each, too heavy. I need some that are just right! It was funny when I bought the 5 kg ones for my husband for Christmas, just getting the 10 kg home was so hard! Then wrapping them and getting them to the hotel as we were away that Christmas, and lugging the parcel from my suitcase to the little travel tree. I was so glad when they passed into his possession and were his problem.

I did some more revising on my novel today, and also finished re-reading a book in one of my favourite series ever, by Robin Hobb. There are several trilogies set in the same world with some of the same people. I was finishing the second trilogy about Fitz and the Fool, and I cried and cried. Some happy tears, some sad. I can never write that well, but I am going to give it my best shot. My work will be the best I can make it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Setting goals


I wasn't too sore when I woke this morning, the main pain was in my triceps (backs of my upper arms). I guess I don't use them much in daily life so the rowing machine was a bit of a shock for them.

Last week was like a taste of summer, but this week we are back to winter. Freezing and pouring rain. I dropped the kids at school and got to the gym quite early (and damp). I could have done some exercise then gone to the Zumba class but decided to just stay with the equipment. And when I was leaving I saw the end of the class and it was the same teacher I used to have. She does all the tracks I don't like, she prefers the hip hop aggressive type dances whereas I like the more Bollywood flowing type. So I'm not sure if I'll ever go back to her classes or not. Maybe when I get sick of the elliptical.

Taking the treadmill out of the equation meant 20 mins each on the elliptical, the rowing machine and the stationary bike. It seemed harder than yesterday. But I got through my hour. I also spent some time learning what the different buttons/programs do. And I like having goals, so I've set myself a goal for the elliptical (I already conquered the rowing machine in the past). Today I was moving at 6.6 km/h on level 3, my first goal is to do 4 km in 30 mins (8 km/h) on level 6. I will move the difficulty level up each week as well as increasing the time and my speed, so I expect it to take me a month. After that I'm sure I can find more goals to conquer.

I wasn't as hungry after the gym today but I did struggle a bit with negative feelings which I think is because of my blood glucose imbalance. I often feel depressed shortly after exercising hard. I felt better after eating. I made some bad food choices, I still need to do a lot of work on that.

Tomorrow is a rest day. I think my body will be grateful.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Off to the gym


After a really bad night I got up feeling tired and bleergy and not at all in the mood for exercise. And my gym voucher hadn't come through yet. But I got into my gym clothes anyway, determined to at least do some dance. Then I got a test message that they had sent my voucher and sure enough it was now in my inbox. So I could go to the gym after all. And can I say I am quite proud of myself that I was going to exercise even feeling how I felt, and even if I couldn't use the gym?

After I woke up a bit and my antihistamine kicked in I started to feel much better. I got the kids off to school, first day of term four. I wasn't planning on shopping today but we were out of fruit so I dropped into the shops on the way to the gym and got lots. I was kind of uncomfortable walking into the shops in my gym gear. A bit body-hugging. But it was the most convenient time in the day for me today, while I was out anyway but not sweaty yet, so I did it. And it was a cool rainy day so I didn't have to worry about the fruit going bad in the car.

Then onwards to the gym to fill in the paperwork and get my access pass, and work out how to use my access pass to open a locker, and go to the bathroom, and then back to my locker because I forgot to get out my iPhone for music, then looking for the equipment I wanted because it's all been moved since I was last there etc etc.

There is at least one class every day at 9:30 but I was too late for today's, and anyway it was a core and abs class which I am not ready for - may never be ready for! So the plan was to do 15 mins each on four different cardio machines. 5 mins easy, 5 mins hard, 5 mins moderate on each one. Resistance level 3 where relevant. I wanted to balance pushing myself with keeping my unfit body injury-free.

I started on the elliptical. I followed the plan, starting slow then pushing harder in the middle 5 mins. Felt quite tired by the end, the backs of my legs were burning. Then I moved on to the rowing machine. Elliptical and rowing are my two favourite cardio machines. I think the rower is good for my dodgy shoulders, it uses the muscles without twisting the joints. Got through that ok, with sweat dripping off my chin. Definitely a workout.

Then a stationary bike. I can't use spin bikes because they push my weight forward onto my injured shoulders (apparently this isn't supposed to happen but I have no core strength to support myself and stop it happening). Recumbent bikes are ok, but today I got onto a non-recumbent one that had me sitting very upright not leaning forward so it was ideal for me. Still very hard. I was fatigued by this stage and didn't really attempt to increase intensity in the middle. I just slogged through.

Finally the treadmill. I walked briskly for 5 mins then did two short jogging intervals in the middle. And on the second one my shins started to hurt. This is after not running for at least a year (so they were well rested from any previous damage) and as warmed up as it was possible for me to be. So it seems no matter what I do, I am going to get shin pain when running. I've tried numerous times over the past few years on various surfaces. I just have to accept that (at this weight, at least), as much as I would like to be a runner, I can't do it without damaging my body and causing a lot of pain. It's ok, there are lots of other things I can do. It's just one thing. I probably won't bother with the treadmill at all, unless I use it for a quick warm up or cool down. The elliptical is more fun and no impact.

I felt pretty wiped out after an hour of exercise. And hungry! And sore. Ow, my legs. It's nice to feel good-sore and know you've worked hard. I wonder how I'll feel tomorrow morning after I've stiffened up!

My plan is to go to the gym 4 or 5 days a week. I don't have the car on Wednesdays so can't go then, and I don't think I'll go Sundays. But I could go on Saturday morning while my kids have their swimming lesson there. I'll see how I feel come Saturday.

I had a banana when I got home but was still hungry so ate a big lunch even though it wasn't yet noon. I thought that was a better idea than snacking more before lunch. Then I had a short nap in front of the TV. Then finally got down to some writing. And a big afternoon tea. I basically had my whole day's calories before I even got to dinner. I hope the hunger is just a temporary reaction to exercise, I don't want to eat more extra calories than I burn off! And I assume it won't always exhaust me for the rest of the day. "They" say that exercise give you more energy!? My poor body is not used to exercise. This is all a bit of a shock to the system. I don't think I overdid it at all, I think I did just the right amount.

A good start.



This morning my lovely husband went up to the local chemist (twice, it wasn't open yet the first time) and got me a different kind of antihistamine and the difference is amazing. My head is clear instead of all foggy and weird. I don't know if the other one just didn't work as well or if it had side effects, but so far this one is great. I still have a certain amount of burning in my eyes and a sore throat, but I can think normally and I can imagine doing more than just "getting through the day" for the first time in few weeks.

So I've signed up for three months at the gym. I got a special online deal for my preferred gym, considerably cheaper than if I had paid there. It said it takes 24 hours to email me the voucher so I'm not sure if it will be ready for tomorrow morning or not. I hope so. There is a group class every morning at 9:30 which is a good time for me, straight after getting the kids off to school, but I will also sometimes use the equipment instead. I am quite looking forward to getting on a cross-trainer/elliptical again. Then there is dear old BodyPump and Zumba. And I might even get the courage to try BodyBalance. Me, yoga? I used to be reasonably flexible. I also used to be moderately fit and 25 kg lighter. Those were the days. But I've tried yoga once and it was so hard! Much harder than cardio or weights. All the more proof I need it, I guess.

Today we had planned to visit a friend who had a baby (her third) three weeks ago and somehow we hadn't made it out to see her yet. But she called to say she was lunching quite near us and would we rather they came to our place instead? Absolutely! So that was lovely. I got to hold little Matilda nearly the whole time they were here. You forget how tiny new babies are. And how light!

And them coming here also meant we did a frantic house clean, which is never fun during but at least gets you a tidy house.
Then my daughter had a friend from her dance class over to play. Her mother came quite late to pick her up (I was waiting to put dinner on the table!) and I think for the last hour or so the girls were quite bored with each other and wanting it to be over. They asked to watch TV so I let them. Normally I rule that if you have people over to play, then you play, but they had already had two hours of trying hard to find things to do.
In the evening Tim brought in a couple of baskets-full of clothes from out on the line and we all folded and sorted together. And by the end I felt like I'd had a bucket of pollen dumped on my head. Itchy eyes, itchy nose, headache. It came in with the clothes! I'll definitely be avoiding going outside and using the dryer for clothes for the time being. But apart from that, I have felt so much better today.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

More of the same


I haven't been posting every day only because I don't have anything interesting to post about! Still fighting seasonal allergies. I'm taking antihistamines which help but make my brain woozy. I struggle to find the word I want sometimes and I've made some silly mistakes when cooking. I worry a bit about driving, luckily I don't have to do much of that. The pills are supposed to be non-drowsy and they don't make me sleepy but I'm sure they're affecting my brain. It's hard to concentrate. I'm going to try a different type to see if that helps, apparently there are three main different formulations available.

Yesterday I took Jasmine clothes shopping, today Tim took the kids to their swimming lesson in the morning and I drove Jas to a playdate in the afternoon. It was in a new area on the outskirts of Canberra, new enough that it wasn't on my GPS or my old paper street directory! I drove around in circles a bit. Found it eventually. Then came home and had to lie down for a while to rest my brain.

I'm not exercising and I need to get started on that. Hay fever isn't that big of a deal. But every day I plan to do some exercise and every day I sit around in a fog instead.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Foiled by allergies


Yesterday I didn't have the car and I'm still a bit scared to go outside around my own neighbourhood (hay fever) so we stayed home. Aiden spends a lot of time jumping on the trampoline. Jasmine and I spent several sessions going through her clothes and sorting out which were too small for the coming summer and needed to be given to charity, and what she needed to replace them. We also went through some of the junk on the floor of Jasmine's wardrobe. My goodness. Nothing had been there long enough to evolve into sentient life yet, but it was close. Mainly clothes, toys and books. Used tissues. Broken junk. A towel. Dust. Loose sheets of paper. Pens. Knitting needles. We've got the clothes in the wash and everything else in seven (unsorted) boxes now. Plenty more work for another day.

Today the kids chose a movie as the activity. We saw "The House of Magic" which was suitable for younger children but still enjoyable for mine. Interesting that the villains in both movies we've seen recently were foiled by their own allergy to something! I can relate to that at the moment. The allergy bit, not the being a villain.

Nutrition is a science, eating is a behaviour. Read that today. One of those phrases that drips with significance.

Monday, October 6, 2014



Yesterday was the hottest we've had so far, really a taste of summer. It was enough that I felt a bit sweaty when just sitting around in the evening. Then later, lying in bed, I noticed a pain across the skin of my lower stomach. It was like a long scratch horizontally, very low on my abdomen. I assumed it was a minor scratch I'd done to myself somehow without noticing, exacerbated by sweating, and didn't worry about it.

This morning it was still sore, so I had a look in the mirror. And it is not a scratch, it's the crease where my stomach folds over and hangs down.

I now have an "apron", as I have heard it called.

I've been cruising along lately, not worrying about weight loss much because I felt mentally healthy and ok about myself. Not physically healthy, with the hay fever and various illnesses, but pretty happy. It's nice to feel that way, a break from hating my body and myself for being so weak and lazy. But every so often something happens that gives me a kick, like seeing a photo. Or something more serious, that reminds me that weight loss isn't just about vanity, it is about health. Like pre-diabetes. Sleep apnoea. High blood pressure. A stomach that has gone from an hourglass to an apple to an apron. A stomach that actually causes me discomfort because of the way the skin folds and rubs together in hot weather.


I kid myself that "I'm not really that fat." But I am. I am that fat.

I'm not expecting a sudden permanent turn-around in my lifestyle from this. But I'm working on taking steps. I did some exercises with the kids this afternoon, planks and squats and leg lifts. I bought healthy food today while shopping, no treats even though it is still school holidays. The kids don't need a house full of junk any more than I do. Trying to make each small decision a good one.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ready to edit


All our scheduled guests for these school holidays have gone, and today is a public holiday (celebrating the unions winning an 8 hour working day) so we have Tim home. A lovely quiet day. Tim dug up the hard-packed earth in the herb garden for me, so I planted the chives and did a bit of weeding. I am still hesitant in venturing out at the moment as my hay fever is pretty bad. Antihistamines are helping. But I forgot to take one yesterday and really noticed the difference. My nose was too blocked to use my CPAP last night and I didn't get a very restful sleep.

There is still another week of school holidays so I'll need to think of some fun things to do. Then the following week I start editing my book. There are already things I know I need to change/fix but I didn't want to stop my momentum as I was writing so I just made quick notes for myself when I thought of things. So I will attend to those first, then go through and work on the fine detail. A lot of people dread the editing process but I am looking forward to it - it's my day job after all, so I feel like it should be easier than the actual writing.

I've done government work and edited articles for scientific and medical journals, but what I like best is editing novels. And what I like very very best is substantive editing fantasy fiction novels. That is the big picture stuff - world building, characterisation, holes in the plot, why does magic work one way in chapter 3 but completely differently in chapter 12? Cutting out the 37 pages on the life cycle of Quirmian High Elves. Though it can be hard sometimes to convince the author that their readers don't need to know all this groovy world-building they spent four years creating. The trick is weaving the essence of it into the story instead of just dumping it on the readers' heads. Then after that you get down to copyediting, the nitty gritty of word choice, spelling and grammar. Important, but less fun. I am itching to get back to work. I find it very difficult to work with my kids around, so I'm waiting until they're back at school.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Floriade Mk4


I had a good day today. Everyone else took the kids to their swimming lesson this morning so I had the house to myself for a little while, then we had a nice lunch and off to Floriade.

We found a dinosaur ...

And a mutant tulip with one stem but lots of flowers ...

And some pretty pansies ...

And walked 5 km during the 2.5 hours. It was a very warm sunny day, I was wishing I'd worn shorts instead of jeans.

When we got home I made dinner while everyone else had a nap or played on the computer, and now I am exhausted! But it was an enjoyable day. I've mostly been able to avoid hearing any political arguments by the simple tactic of leaving the room. Although there are some comments going on behind me right now. I will block my ears. It all other respects grandad is a great visitor, excellent with the kids and happy to eat any kind of food (unlike my own parents, who both have very specific diet preferences) and willing to go along with anything.

The kids are being put to bed, then no doubt there will be some games, maybe Trivial Pursuit. If I can stay awake.

Friday, October 3, 2014



Today we did the shopping, and went to the library, and saw the movie The Boxtrolls - which we all enjoyed.

Later we were halfway through dinner (not expecting Tim home for a while, this week has included home-times of 10:30pm, 1:30am and 9:30pm) when my father-in-law and his partner turned up on the doorstep. I had known they were visiting this weekend but I had assumed maybe Saturday lunchtime, not Friday night! I hastily redistributed dinner for six instead of four people and notified Tim it was time to come home. It worked out ok, not the best situation for a planner like me but I adapted.

But now my house is full of political argument and table thumping and the same tirades against various things that I have heard so many times before. It is no longer my sanctuary. Two more days of this.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014



This morning we walked up to the local hardware store, which has a big plant nursery section. About 2.6 km there and back. A week or two ago Tim and the kids dug some manure into the vegetable patch and weeded most of the herb bed, so the garden was ready for some new things. We bought tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, snow peas and chives.

My hay fever has been fine while walking around Floriade, obviously most flowers don't affect me, but unfortunately the walk today put me next to lots and lots of Capeweed. It's in the nature strip beside every footpath. I should have taken a photo. By the time I got home I had a headache and my brain was all foggy, and my eyes were itchy and weeping. Instead of the other things I had planned for the day I huddled inside. I'll buy some kind of medication tomorrow, for the next time I dare go outside around here. It really took hold of my whole head.

In the afternoon my lovely son came in and told me he'd dug the few bits of Capeweed out of our back lawn for me. Isn't that sweet! So I dared go out and we planted the vegetables in the empty bed with its sole two-metre stalk of asparagus starting to unfurl.

We couldn't plant the chives because the herb bed (twin in size and shape to the vegetable bed) was like a slab of concrete. And my metal trowel was missing, we were using kids' plastic ones. I'll have to get Tim to dig the bed up a bit and add some manure before we plant anything else in there. It has already got rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage - the only things that survived the frosts of winter. We had some vegetables growing in there alongside the herbs last year but I think I'll add lots more herbs instead. I use them so much.

We got slightly damp watering everything in with our elderly hose and its cracked fittings, not a problem on such a nice day. But it was getting shady and mosquito-y so time to come in. I'm glad I got at least one thing done today.

"You're entitled to your emotions"


On my cranky post earlier in the week, Jennifer commented "You're entitled to your emotions".

Unfortunately I have never felt this to be true for me. I was thinking about it last night, remembering all the times I wasn't allowed to have strong emotions.

When I was 5 and my oldest brother died, run over by a train. A few weeks or months later I asked my mother why the train driver wasn't being put in prison, and she told me that it wasn't his fault. So where was my anger and distress to be aimed?

When I was 6 and my other brother got horrifically burned and spent a long time in hospital and I felt abandoned and ignored as I was dragged back and forth by my parents or left with my grandmother so they could spent time with my brother. Who was I supposed to be angry and upset with? My brother, in so much pain? My parents, doing their best?

When I was about 11 and learned I needed glasses, and was scared I was going blind and my mother told me not to be silly.

In my teens I used to cut myself rather than feel my emotions. Physical pain distracts you from emotional pain. You're not allowed to feel emotional pain.

And not just negative emotions.

When I was 18 and my boyfriend went away to the defence force academy and after a week he proposed over the phone. My mother said "he must be lonely". Crushing.

Getting excited about new pretty clothes and being told they didn't suit me.

So many little scenes like this, I can remember them vividly.

Obviously a lot of this comes from my mother, but in general my family doesn't display any strong emotions. Maybe it's unseemly or something.

The original cranky blog that I took down so quickly made me feel like an awful person. Because I am certainly not allowed to be upset or offended by someone trying to help me. I probably hurt their feelings. What I briefly thought was me standing up for myself on my own personal space turned into me being an horrible human being. Not acceptable. If I feel any emotions I'm certainly not allowed to show them.

And it is my impulse to do the same to my children. Squash them down if they get too excited or emotional about something. Restore placidity. Eternal calm. How sad.



I thought I'd weigh in on this water thing that is going around, the idea that you should drink 1/2 your weight in water in ounces every day. Of course I have to convert kilograms to pounds, then ounces to millilitres for this to make any sense to me. But I like maths, I can do it.

This would mean a slender model-type woman might need to drink about 6 or 7 cups of water a day - and I am very sure most drink a lot more than that - and one blogger that I follow is required to drink 17 cups a day, which seems like far too much. (And that person has other fluids on top of the 17 cups of pure water.)

I'm a bit worried about that amount. My husband's mother once made herself very ill drinking too much water (not sure of the details) by diluting her electrolytes too much or something. So I'd say don't do it if it makes you feel sick or dizzy. Your body needs water, but not so much you are diluting or peeing out a lot of essential nutrients and electrolytes.

The old standard was 8 cups a day and I've even heard a nutritionist say that that includes fluid you are getting from food - you don't need to actually drink 8 cups of water.

Of course humans are extremely adaptable and we can survive on very small amounts of water. That doesn't mean it's the healthiest. I'm not saying to stop drinking. And we are so out of tune with our bodies (many of us) that we don't realise we are thirsty.

At my current weight, if I use this rule I would have to drink about 11 cups a day. I consider it a win if I manage 6.

In summary, I have no idea how much people "should" drink. But I don't think a formula like the 1/2 body weight thing is a sensible way to go about it.

Floriade again and some good news


We took dad and his girlfriend to Floriade. A little cooler today, but still lovely. Another slow walk, at the speed of a elderly couple in a crowd (not breaking any records here), we did 4 km in 1 hr 40 min. But the map on RunKeeper shows a strange detour that we certainly didn't make. So it was probably more like 3 km. My pacer (steps per day app), on the other hand, is telling me I've only done 11 steps today. It's done that a couple of times lately, not that I bother to check it much, saying I haven't moved at all when I've had a fairly active day. So I deleted the silly thing.

The kids also had a short play at the "castle" - that is what we call it, I have no idea if it has an official name. A collection of stone crawl tunnels with ladders up to slides.

I think we're halfway through this 50 km walking challenge and I've done about 13.5, so I need to pick up the pace a bit (if you'll pardon the pun). Actually I need to increase the distance, not the pace. It only counts formal walks, not random meandering around the house during the day.

Our visitors left straight after the morning outing so we had a quiet afternoon. I had a nap on the lounge. All this unaccustomed sunlight really makes me sleepy! Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?

I got some really good news tonight, the owner of the other car involved in my bingle yesterday texted me to say the scratch was minor and would buff out so the insurance company wasn't going to take any action. Yay! I'd hated to think of that money wasted. Very happy about that.