Sunday, November 30, 2014



This morning I went for a walk after I got the kids off to school. It is the first day of summer here in Australia and the cicadas were out in force. In some places (near big trees) they literally nearly drowned out my music. They are incredibly loud insects. The cicadas spend some of their life cycle underground, then in summer they dig themselves out and crawl up trees (or, as I saw today, tall agapanthus stems) and then split their backs open and wriggle out, leaving behind an empty shell. Some trees had dozens on. As kids we sometimes wore these as bizarre broaches on our school uniforms!

Where I grew up in Sydney the most common kind was the "Green Grocer" with only the occasional black or yellow. Today I saw three actual cicadas, all "Black Princes", so maybe that is the common kind in Canberra. This one seemed to have only one good wing, the other deformed, so it was buzzing around on the footpath in circles, unable to fly.

I haven't been getting up early to walk as getting up early seemed to cause me to wake even earlier! I am still sleeping very badly, with or without my CPAP. I haven't been posting to my blog because the posts would all be the same "Boo hoo poor me I'm tired and cranky and not coping with my easy stress-free privileged lifestyle" and no one wants to read that every day.

I then spent a long time struggling with my menu planning, unable to think of dinners that were healthy and delicious and varied and provided leftovers but didn't use the oven because it's too hot for that. I don't think I did particularly well.

I talked to mum on the phone. She is not doing well at all. It's about a year since she found out she has breast cancer that has spread to her bones, including her skull and spine. She responded really well to the various therapies and has had a pretty healthy year, considering. But just these past few weeks she has been feeling very unwell, she sleeps nearly all the time and is having trouble eating, and she is retaining so much water that her stomach has swelled up so she looks pregnant. She has had some tests done and is seeing her oncologist tomorrow, hopefully to try some different medication. It is all very worrying. She has gone from cheerfully planning a move to a retirement home where she can get more help, to wondering if she will outlive her own father who is 96 now and fading fast.

Living four hours away, there is not much practical help I can offer right now. She says she doesn't need me to go and stay there, she is sleeping all day and my brother drives her to the doctor and does the shopping, what little she needs considering she is hardly eating. I've offered to do her Christmas shopping for her (it would be mainly for my kids, anyway) or anything else she needs, and we are visiting this weekend. She rarely replies to my emails any more as she's too tired to bother, and I don't like to call too often because it wakes her up. She was trying to find the energy to have a shower today, which is such a change from a month ago. I guess we'll see what the doctor says and make decisions from there.

I just realised that if she does die at home (soon or some time in the future) it will almost certainly be my brother who finds her. What will he do? What would I do? I have no idea what happens. What authorities do you call? It's not something I've ever had to think about. How horrible and morbid. But much as I hate to think about it, it is something I should research so if I do get that call from my brother I will no what to do and what advice to give him.

So after that phone call I went and did the grocery shopping. That went as usual except for being verbally abused by a woman with mental issues who seems to spend at lot of time at the shopping centre. I suppose it is as nice as place as any, out of the weather and lots of people and things to see. She walks up and down the aisles of the supermarket without apparently buying anything. Last week she made a pleasant-sounding comment to me, although I didn't quite understand what she said, but this week she told me to get my trolley and my fat ass out of her way, that I was blocking the whole aisle (I wasn't ) etc. I was pretty shocked, and a man nearby said "hey!" to her retreating back in tones of strong disapproval. I know it was a very minor incident, but am not used to being insulted like that and it ruffled me. People are usually so polite.

When I got home I needed a nap, and took one. Not the most cheering day. But at least I managed a walk.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Second week of dietbet


I maintained this week. I was extremely tired all week and made some bad choices, so didn't lose any weight. Still two weeks to go!

I slept a bit better last night and felt ok this morning. We went out for a family walk in between the summer rain. Almost summer - tomorrow! We each chose a roll of Christmas wrapping paper at the local shops, we are going for a red and silver theme this year. I've bought a couple of presents already and I like to get them wrapped, safe from curious eyes. I think we are putting up the tree this afternoon.

Normally this time of year I would be getting stuck into the "it's almost Christmas" food treats. This year I plan to wait until it's actually Christmas!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014



I got up again yesterday and walked for half an hour in the morning coolness. After breakfast and getting the kids off to school my legs were really tired and aching so I didn't go to the gym. By mid-afternoon, when I walked up to pick up the kids, my legs felt like lead! I was also really sleepy, in fact while sitting outside Jasmine's dance class in the late afternoon I went to sleep. This is right next to loud music, other parents chatting, and children in tap shoes trotting up and down the hallway! I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I yawned my way through Dungeons and Dragons in the evening and was very glad to get to bed.

Still very tired this morning and although I did wake early, I went back to sleep again pretty quickly. A shower didn't help much and I am feeling barely functional today. I think I'll need a nap today.

I've been eating too much the past few days - nothing terrible, just too much (cashews, cheese, lots of grapes) - and I did have some chocolate and a macaron last night, tiredness makes me weak. I've also slacked off on tracking, getting lazy by lunchtime. My daily weight has reflected this lack of focus - funny, that! It has crept up a little. I need the numbers to go down! Determined to be back on track today. If I'm tired I'll nap, not eat.

Oh my goodness I'm sleepy.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Exercising twice


I've been waking much earlier than I need to just about every day since getting Thor, even after he was gone and I no longer needed to wake up to take him outside, even when it was still dark outside at that hour, even when I was exhausted and really needed more sleep. It has been very annoying. I've thought a few times about getting up early but up until now I've been trying to break the habit of waking, and sometimes I do get back to sleep. And by the way, I see no particular virtue in getting up early. Sleep is more important to me, and going to bed earlier in the evening would mean seeing my husband even less than I do now.

This morning I gave in and got up (after lying in bed for a while). Yesterday was horribly hot and it was still uncomfortable in the house even though there had been a cool change overnight. I went for a 30 minute walk in the lovely coolness. This is my street.

I don't really have any decent "exercise music" as my taste runs more to ballads and musical theatre (Glee!) so while I walked I downloaded an app called "Rock my Run" which has lots of music compilations of different lengths for exercising to. You can make a list of the ones that appeal. It seems to be very American so I had to skip past lots of rap and bands I've never heard of, but there was plenty to choose from even so. For my walk, I chose two 10 minute compilations; some 70s disco which was surprisingly fun to walk to and then some current pop, finishing with "All about that bass".

I got up a good sweat and the house felt very hot when I got home. After getting the kids off the school, I went to the gym. First time I've been back for a while. Since I'd already done some exercise, I just did 30 mins on the elliptical. I used Rock my Run again, and hiked through Californian forests. I had it on a difficulty level of 4 but it isn't steady - when hiking "uphill" the difficulty goes up to around 7. I was pretty tired by the end.

Then I had a shower and did the grocery shopping and came home exhausted and had lunch.

Have I griped about the showers at my gym before? Tiny little cubicles, nowhere to put your towel so it won't get wet, you have to stand right in the boiling/freezing stream of water to reach the handle to adjust it, no space at the tiny sink array to do hair and makeup (which doesn't bother me but it must be a real problem for the crowd of women who do an early session before work then have to get ready there), and they didn't even have soap dispensers until I asked for them to be installed a couple of years ago. I got sick of taking in my own soap. They agreed to do that, which was nice of them, but to my other comments they said that "it wasn't a boutique gym" and I suppose there isn't much they could do without major renovations. But it was very poor planning. This isn't a small cheap gym, it is a huge well-gleaming place spread over two floors. With the toilets on the ground floor permanently locked for some reason. Anyway, unless I am going straight somewhere else after my workout like today, I prefer to drive home all sweaty and shower there.

Aside from the stupid showers, it was a good day.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Stealing mulberries


After my first week of dietbet (final weigh in will be on a Tuesday, I started a bit early) my weight was 82.9 kg this morning, down 1.3 kg. A good start, I need to keep that going and improve in some areas. My average needs to be 0.8 kg per week and this first week included water weight loss.

The four pillars of weight loss are sleep, diet, exercise and water. I don't include metal health/head space as a pillar - it is the foundation!

My diet has been good this week, a reasonable number of calories each day and a few treats like the lemon tart I bought from the bakery on Friday. Sleep has been decent, I've managed to keep the CPAP on most of the night on most nights. Exercise has been bad, almost none. And water has been terrible. Yesterday was hot, yet I only had two cups of tea and two and a half cups of water. And one and a half of the water was close to bed-time, trying to catch up a bit, which meant I was up three times in the night.

Today I've tried to get a head start on my water consumption, four cups by 11:00.

Summer fruit has suddenly come down in price and up in quality. Yay for fruit! I've been eating a lot of grapes, which are one of my favourite foods but only when they are crisp and fresh. This morning I had a mango for breakfast and this for morning tea:
Mulberries! From the big tree over our back fence which has a couple of branches hanging into our yard. Especially if you grab the end and gently pull them over. I was standing on the little step ladder we use to get onto the trampoline, wondering if the new neighbours would mind (we knew the previous renters but haven't met these ones) and then looked into their yard properly instead of just at the fruit.

It is a huge wilderness of overgrown trees and waist-high weeds. I'm not even sure, now, if there is someone living there at the moment. I haven't seen anyone for a little while. I haven't spent a lot of time out there since we rehomed our puppy. Anyway, I doubt they are going to care if we eat all the mulberries we can reach. The ground is covered in the dropped ones. Later in the year there will be little yellow plums - there is a whole row of fruit trees along their back fence. None of the fruit grows very big because the trees aren't looked after, but it's all very tasty.

In case you are wondering, I miss our little puppy Thor a lot. It was the right decision but I miss him. We have had the option of going to visit him at his new house but Tim and I both feel it would be too painful for us. And maybe confusing for him. I feel a bit sad about it sometimes, remembering his funny ways and his joy in life.

Today is going to be scorching hot. It is a week until summer but it definitely feels like summer here already. I will be staying inside in the air conditioning all day. And we had our Sunday roast last night instead so I wouldn't have to have the oven on today. I'll have to really start rethinking menu choices. It's tricky because things like roasts and casseroles have such good leftovers for lunch the next day. But hot meaty dishes seem a bit less appealing, and I definitely don't want the oven on for six hours in summer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014



My dietbet is going well so far. It is officially Day 2 but since I weighed in at the earliest possible moment I have had an extra 48 hours. I've eaten very well and have lost my water weight (and hopefully a little fat), it will slow down from here but I've made a good start towards my 3.4 kg in four weeks.

I don't find it stressful and I enjoy reading everyone's comments on the website.

Yesterday the plumber was here all day - eight hours - doing expensive things. But we now have a new hot water heater and the water pressure fixed and the toilet fixed and I just hope we don't have to spent any more money for a while or we won't be able to afford Christmas!

I couldn't go to the gym yesterday because of Mr Plumber and I wasn't willing to prance around the lounge room in my lycra with him here. So no exercise. I haven't been to the gym for a couple of weeks due to being unwell, I did put my membership on hold for a week but it's back on again now. I'll go tomorrow, no car today. I still don't feel 100% but I've been looking after myself with rest and good food so I need to start easing back into it or I'll still be sitting on my behind until the New Year. Aiden is back at school with just a bit of a cough, he has certainly bounced back a lot quicker than me.

I went for a walk just before lunch. These are flowers in our garden, I thought they were interesting with the two different colours on the same plant.

And this is not very clear, but those two splashes of red are birds - Rosellas I think.

So I got a bit of fresh air and gentle exercise today. I need to work on my water consumption (as usual). But I'm feeling good about my food intake.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A bit of chaos


My really busy Monday has been thrown off course by a sick child. Aiden has come down with a sore throat and "don't feel well". Since I'm on the tail end of two weeks of the same thing, I know how he feels! I've let him stay home. It means chaos today, though.

I drove the car up to the repairer as soon as it opened and walked home (around 20 mins walk, hurrying) so that Tim could leave for work - he is planning to come home very early so that I can pick the car up before they close and do some grocery shopping or else we are having cheese on toast for dinner (obviously I can't walk to the shops because I can't leave a sick eight year old (or even a well one) home alone).

The car repair man rang after looking at the car and he said the drive belt has fallen off (so that was something falling out of the engine on the highway!) and also the alternator belt is badly damaged. None of that means anything to me, except that he can fix it today for around $300.

I cancelled my glucose tolerance test, and remembered that I cancelled the original appointment five months ago because Aiden was sick then too. It's a strange coincidence because he isn't sick very often. I'll book another one later. Since they no longer require three days of carb loading it's no big deal. Also my blood sugars have improved a lot since I started feeling better so I think it was being sick that was messing them up.

The plumber coming this afternoon to fix the hot water heater flooding the laundry is unaffected by having my baby home sick, thank goodness. So everything other than the glucose tolerance test should still get done, as long as Tim can get home in time.

[Edit: I spoke too soon about being relieved the car repair was only $300 - the hot water system will be nearly $3000! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!]

My dietbet starting weight has been approved and I am officially in weight-loss mode.

Last night I had my CPAP on for around seven hours, which is excellent. I woke during the night but didn't take it off. I think I got a good night's sleep.

Dietbet weigh in


The very moment that I was allowed and had the code word, at midnight in PST and therefore 7pm here as we are 19 hours ahead in Australia, I submitted my weigh in photos to dietbet so I could officially get started.

If they are approved, then my starting weight is 84.2 kg and my goal will be 80.8 kg, a loss of 3.4. Nearly a kilogram a week is quite a lot to do consistently for four weeks, but do-able I think. I will certainly try! And I will feel good about it at Christmas.

Good luck to everyone trying to lose weight this holiday season.

Friday, November 14, 2014

My cousin's wedding in a heatwave



Yesterday was my cousin's wedding. We left the kids with a friend for a sleepover, taking them over before school so we could drop off overnight suitcases. Then Tim and I set off for the four hour drive. It was a stinking hot day, 37 degrees C (98.6 F). And an hour into the trip there was a weird rattle from the engine, a bit of plastic may have fallen out (or I may have just driven over a bit of plastic on the road, not sure), and the steering became very sluggish. I pulled over and we looked at all the tyres and under the hood but there was nothing for our inexperienced eyes to see. I drove on cautiously and we realised that the air conditioning was no longer working. And Tim connected this to the resistant steering wheel (power steering gone) and that something must have gone wrong with the electrics. Not much we could do on the road in the middle of nowhere.

We continued on, the steering seemed safe enough it just took a lot more strength than usual to turn the wheel, especially at very low speeds like trying to park. Losing the air conditioning, on that particular day, was much more of a problem. The car got hotter and hotter. Opening the window was like opening an oven door, and the fan just blew hot air around. We had drinks, but I felt very dehydrated and horrible.

We got to mum's, dripping sweat and exhausted. There was no option of a different car as mum's had recently been rear-ended and hadn't been fixed yet. A drink and a quick cold shower was the best we could manage before getting into our wedding gear and back into the hot car. Tim had a stressful 45 minute drive through unfamiliar territory but we found the church and made it just before the bridal party.

The ceremony was nice if very short (less than 15 minutes, cut to the bare bones - it was a Catholic church for the groom and I would have expected something much longer) then we stood outside under the shade of trees for as long as we could bear before Tim and I with mum and my brother headed off to a nearby pub to sit in the air conditioning and have about six cold drinks.

Mum was coping amazingly well with the heat, considering. Actually she was getting cold easily and carried a shawl around. She has been really tired again lately. Very worryingly, her whole abdomen has swelled up and is hard and uncomfortable. She looked pregnant. Her GP (family doctor) had no idea what was going on so she is waiting to see her oncologist (she has breast cancer that has spread to her bones) in two weeks to have a new round of tests.

The reception was at a restaurant right in the middle of the city, almost directly under the end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Poor Tim had to drive us through the middle of the city in heavy traffic as people left work for the day. It was nice being right on the water, by that time we were starting to get a little breeze as relief from the horrible heat. My outfit looks hot but actually it was light and floaty with air vents and I don't think I was much hotter than in shorts and a T-shirt.

The reception was nice with good food, funny speeches and a good band. I didn't overeat and I drank a lot of water as well as some juice and a couple of soft drinks. I was chugging down liquids all day but hardly had to go to the bathroom at all, I guess my body wasn't willing to give up any of that precious fluid! No alcohol, it only makes me feel a lot hotter.

Of course my cousin looked lovely. And very slender.

Almost as soon as the formal part of the evening was over and the dancing started, mum said she was tired and the music was too loud and she was ready to go home. So we drove back in the much cooler evening and stayed at mum's house. She tried to check we had everything we needed but after she went to bed I found I didn't have any sheets. I was sleeping in the spare room (where my kids usually sleep) and Tim had the tiny futon that we usually share all to himself. I just draped the quilt thing over one leg and that was fine. I was too tired and hot to care.

Today was much cooler, thank goodness, and we made it back to pick up the kids before lunch. And came home to find our hot water heater had sprung a leak and the laundry floor covered in water. I rang and organised someone to look at the car Monday morning and Tim rang and organised someone to come and fix the hot water tank Monday afternoon and then we both collapsed.

The new expansion for the computer game World of Warcraft just came out on Thursday. We tried to log in then but there was a long queue because so many people are playing, and I went to bed before we got to the front of the line. Tim stayed up and played a little bit but we like to play together, as a team. As soon as we got home today we logged on to get in the queue. That was two and a half hours ago. Tim's computer currently says "Position in queue: 2121. Estimated time: 822 minutes". So I don't know if we'll get on before tomorrow! Oh the estimated time has changed to 316 minutes (it changes a lot), so maybe tonight? It will all settle down in a week or two, usually there is no queue at all, but right now everyone is excited about the new content. We'll get to play eventually. I just glad to be home in the cool.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Diet bet and the perfect diet


I am planning to try a diet bet, starting on Monday. I've read of a few other people doing them and it all seems legit. No idea if it will help me or not but I'll give it a go. What happens is you join a group (or start your own) that is starting on a day that suits you and you pay the ante - generally around $25. If you lose the requisite amount of weight (4% of bodyweight in 4 weeks or 10% in 6 months depending on the group) you get to share the pot. It seems that on average around 40% of people succeed so after the facilitators take their cut you get between 1.5x and 2x your money back. If you don't lose the weight you lose your ante. At my current weight I would have to lose 3.3 kg (7.3 pounds) in the 4 weeks, which I would love to do before Christmas and it seems like it should be do-able. Any extra motivation would be awesome.

I felt quite unwell again yesterday, maybe too much running around the day before, but I rested up and I'm mostly better again today. I did some more clothes shopping today and bought a couple of pretty tops for Christmas. As it is always very hot here on the day, middle of summer, dress is casual. I found something I was very happy with today. I am so glad that I am not hating my body at the moment. Of course I want to lose weight, I wish I was 25 kg lighter right this second, but that is no reason to hate myself as I am. I am still me and can still look quite nice. I picked up my tailored pants (with the legs shortened for me) and I also lightened my hair again, all ready for the wedding. Ready to face the extended family and pretend I don't feel like a hen amongst flamingos.

With worries about my pre-diabetes possibly getting worse - my blood glucose levels have been consistently high for days after even moderate amounts of carbohydrate - I revisited my recommendations for the diabetic diet. It is all so confusing. My diabetes nutritionist told me to eat regular doses of carbohydrate at every meal and snack, in amounts that seemed bewilderingly large to me although some other people in my class still didn't think it was enough, to keep my blood glucose steady. The official guidelines seem to be the same for Australia, US, UK etc. But there is a huge community of diabetics out there on the forums who say it is much better to eat almost no carbohydrate at all. They eat less in a whole day than the dieticians say to eat in a single snack. There is a lot of support for LC/HF (low carb/high fat) diets. These people say that low carb is much better than moderate carbs for keeping blood sugars low. On the nutritionist recommended diet they seem to expect you to gradually get worse and need various medication, that is the normal progression. And the LC/HF people say that of course that is the progression if you keep eating lots of carbs!

I personally don't like eating high fat, it makes me feel sick and greasy. And I am unwilling to approve any diet that greatly restricts fruit and even many vegetables. But I don't think lots of carbs is good either (and I'd never lose any weight, which is very important for diabetic health). Is there a compromise?

I think I have a pretty clear idea now of what I think the "perfect" diet is (for me, at least), and it is summed up by Michael Pollan's "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

"Eat food" means to eat real food - vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy and meat. Nothing that has a shelf life of several years - if it won't rot, it isn't real food. And mostly plant food is healthiest, lots of fruit and vegetables of as many varieties as you can get.
I don't ban fruit from my "perfect" diet even though it has natural sugars. I don't ban grain even though it has gluten. I don't ban dairy even though it has lots of fat. I don't have sensitivities to any particular foods so that would be an issue for some but not me. But there is very little room in my perfect diet for anything heavily processed. Basically anything that comes in a packet. If it needs a label with nutritional information on it, I probably shouldn't be eating it. And there needs to be portion control even with the best of foods.
So why don't I follow this perfect diet? Because the other junk is so tempting! Still working on it, every day.
I saw a bit of a documentary the other day about meat consumption and they were saying that for environmental sustainability (with the world's population continuing to expand but the land available remaining the same) we should be consuming around 100 grams of meat per person per day. I eat a lot more meat than that. But we are running out of forests to cut down to make more farm land for our cows and sheep so rich people can keep stuffing themselves with meat. It's another thing to take into consideration.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New clothes


I had a very busy but productive day today. I spent basically the entire morning looking for something to wear to this wedding on Friday. I was running out of time to buy, especially as a lot of things I buy have to be altered to fit because I am so short. Today I was feeling much better, nearly over my cold, so I was up to stressful shopping. Clothes shopping is definitely stressful when you are unhappy with the way you look in just about anything. You have to compromise between finding something you think you look good in and realising that you are not going to look like Elle McPhearson no matter how many dresses you try on. Every outfit you ask "is this as good as it gets?"

I chose a pair of floaty black pants, very interesting actually and not at all like work trousers, and a floaty purple top. I felt a bit like a gypsy. It is going to be a stinking hot day but I decided I would be more comfortable in loose pants than with my thighs rubbing together. I was happy with my eventual choice.

Then I realised how late it was getting and rushed to my hair appointment without having any time for lunch. Happy with my haircut too. I'll take a picture when I'm all made up and not so much red nose and bleary eyes.

At 2pm (so late for me, I always eat at noon) I grabbed lunch, put in the trousers for alteration, got a script at the chemist and asked them to check my blood pressure. The lady tried four times but kept getting an error message. All that arm-squeezing pain for nothing! I'll have to wait for my doctor next week. My blood sugars have been consistently high yesterday and today (I hadn't checked it for a while before that) but apparently being sick can mess with that. If you're diabetic. I've booked in for the diabetes blood test I didn't have six months ago, next Monday when presumably I'll be completely over my cold so the results should be accurate. The great news is you no longer need to carb load for three days beforehand! I always hated doing that. But I am definitely a bit worried, my pre-diabetes had seemed to be improving last time I was tested 18 months ago.

I got home just minutes before the kids and their playdate guests, had a nice chat with my friend, took my daughter to dance, got a rotisserie chicken on the way home because I hadn't had time to do grocery shopping today, then had Dungeons and Dragons night. I'm really not enjoying it at all lately, my favourite bit is the combat and we get to do that about one session in four this campaign (usually it should be every session, or I think so anyway!). It's all debate about what to do next and how to achieve our goals. Hours of it. Boring. I want to charge in and kill the monsters! But we can't because they are usually too tough for us and we have to be sneaky and clever. Blah. I spend a lot of type rudely playing with my phone. But they know how I feel.

At least with the playdate and the games night I put out all the rest of the cake and party leftovers so that is all gone instead of sitting around tempting me. I'd already tipped chips into the bin to avoid eating the whole packet after I couldn't resist opening them. Gone now.

Sunday, November 9, 2014



My darling boy is 8 years old today. Still my baby.

I was awake from 5am coughing and blowing my nose so eventually I got up, sitting upright is slightly better when you are a snot machine. I was tired though, so after presents and breakfast and walking to the chemist near the school to buy more tissues, I settled in front of the TV to watch the second innings of last night's cricket match and fell asleep almost immediately. Cricket is awesome for sleeping to. A traditional match goes for five whole days, so you can have a nap and not miss anything. Then they invented one-day matches (controversial!). Last night's match between Australia and South Africa was the new exciting twenty/20 format that only takes around three hours and is much more dramatic. I'd watched the first half then gone to bed early last night, recording the second half so I could watch this morning.

I woke from my nap an hour later, right at the end, Australia close to winning but not assured. I watched for five minutes then the recording ended with only another five minutes to go! I had set it to run an extra 15 mins just in case but even that wasn't enough. Argh! I had to look up the ending online. (We won, but it was quite close.)

My three mouth ulcers have stopped me snacking on anything sweet, but that didn't prevent me getting into the leftover Burger Rings this morning. And my blood sugars went up to 12.5 mmol/L afterwards (225 mg/dl) which is completely unacceptable. I totally suck at looking after myself properly. I hope that result was influenced by being sick, otherwise it looks like a scary plunge towards full blown diabetes.

I have been sick so much all this year and I think the sleep apnoea has a lot to do with that, being constantly sleep deprived is a serious problem for the body. I need to get my weight under control to get rid of the sleep apnoea, or at least improve it. But losing weight would be so much easier if I didn't have sleep apnoea... yeah well this is where I am right now and I have to break the circle somehow. I am so sick of being sick all the time. Not just my usual "fat and tired" but actually catching every disease going around.

I have to stop thinking about losing weight for the wedding Christmas and start thinking about nourishing my body and getting healthier. Eating foods that promote wellness not illness. Moving my body. Do I sound like a broken record? Do anybody even use records anymore? A scratched CD, then.

But it's my baby's birthday and we are going out to dinner tonight.

But we have left over junk food from the party which I am raiding saving for tomorrow's games night.

But I am going to a wedding on the weekend and there will be fancy delicious food.



Birthday party


It was a very busy and exhausting weekend. I am still battling my cold, and trying not to pass it on to everyone, while having family staying here (including a toddler) and hosting a birthday party for Aiden who turns eight tomorrow. Lots of cleaning and cooking and making some vague attempt to be sociable when sometimes I just wanted to sit down and cry from tiredness.

Aiden asked for a strawberry birthday cake. I've never made one but I searched the internet and came up with a recipe that included real pureed strawberries in the batter. I made cream cheese frosting and put fresh strawberries on top and it turned out very well. I make no claims for decorating skill.

Tim ran the games, which included the Water Balloon Olympics in the backyard (it was a very hot day) and I think all the kids had a great time. But my favourite moment was when all the guests left!

Everyone is talking about sugar these days and a lot of bloggers talk about their addiction to the substance, for instance their brain lights up like it's cocaine and they just have to avoid it entirely. I'm finding I also have to avoid it these days but not for the same reason! My body does not in any way have a positive response. For many years I've felt quite ill if I've eaten a lot of sugar, I feel what I call "over-sugared" and it is not a nice feeling. And I also get mouth ulcers which stay for days and are quite painful and make it hard to eat anything. Last night because we had visitors we had dessert after dinner (we don't usually), a rather delicious chocolate mousse cake that I bought frozen because I was too tired to do any additional cooking. And within about half an hour I had an ulcer on the tip of my tongue. I couldn't believe everyone else wanted supper a couple of hours later - how could they eat when I felt so yuck? Today at the party I had one single m&m, and the pain from the ulcer convinced me not to have anything else sweet. (I did try the cake though, I will admit, but left a lot on my plate.) I enjoyed my roast chicken for dinner tonight very much, but if I look at the left over party food I just wince.

I've been going back and forth for years on sugar in my tea and I may have finally conquered that one. I just didn't like the taste as much without that half-a-teaspoon of sugar. I went down to zero for a week then tried sugar again and it was too sweet. Yet I still don't like the taste so much without it. I could give up tea altogether I suppose, but I like the calming ritual of it. If I'm not "addicted" to sugar do I need to give it up? It has never been a trigger food for me, salty crunchy fatty things are my downfall (Doritos I'm looking at you). Yet my body is clearly telling me it doesn't like it. I just looked up that chocolate mousse cake and I would have eaten around 21 grams of sugar, four teaspoons (much less than is in a can of cola). I guess I am resentful that I can't have the occasional sweet dessert without consequences. But I've been having this response to large(ish) amounts of sugar for years and I am pre-diabetic - I really need to start listening to my body!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A cold


I am down with what is probably a cold: very sore throat, constantly running nose etc. Annoying more than anything else. I've been napping and watching TV. But I'm feeling a bit stressed because it is my son's birthday on Monday so this weekend we have a party and also some of my in-laws coming to stay and I just don't feel up to all the shopping and cooking and cleaning and coping. Oh well, I'll get through it. I just hope I don't spread around my germs too much, I will be very vigilant with food handling.

I am also behind in getting ready for my cousin's wedding next week - finding something to wear, getting a hair cut etc. But at least hopefully I'll be feeling better by then.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014



I kept my CPAP on for more than five hours last night, the best I've done for months. So that was great. But then my husband had to get up super early to catch a flight and I couldn't get back to sleep for ages after he left. And when I did get to sleep the doorbell rang and I slowly struggled up out of the mire of deep sleep so I could get up and answer it only to realise that we don't actually have a doorbell. And then I dreamed about snakes, lots of very aggressive venomous red-belly black snakes. And I didn't have any shoes on but I couldn't go inside to get some because then I wouldn't see where the snakes went and the kids might get bitten. I was armed with a stick and a spatula. Holding them down with the end of the stick and cutting their head off with the edge of the spatula and chopping them up with it.

Finally I woke up, late for school and very groggy and woolly-headed. I managed to get the kids away but there was no way I was going to the gym, I could hardly see straight. I kidded myself that I might exercise later, but didn't. I spent the day editing and reading, mostly. Taking Jasmine to her dance lesson. Cleaning the house for a) friends coming over for kids' playdate and b) friends coming over for Dungeons and Dragons playdate - neither of which actually happened.

I had a very strange phone call yesterday. The (youngish female) caller asked if I knew one of my neighbours a couple of doors down. I didn't. She asked if I would mind putting a note in his mailbox with her name and phone number, and a reference number - the ref number made it sound like a business rather than personal thing. I said I would. She asked if she could call back in a couple of days if he hadn't called her. I asked her not to, I didn't want to get any more involved in whatever this was, and she was politely accepting of that. I didn't get around to it yesterday but walked over today and put the note in the mailbox. The weird thing is that I'm pretty sure it's a retired Greek or Italian couple living there. Did someone give her a dodgy address, which is why she's having so much trouble contacting them that she had to call a complete stranger who lived in the same street? And how did she get my address, did she scan Canberra's white pages until she found that street name? I could have asked for more details, but the mystery is probably more interesting.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Catching up


Well I somehow skipped blogging for a few days. So here is a summary.

On my Thursday workout, which I slogged through despite feeling yuck, I must have bruised my tailbone on the stationary bike because sitting back in my chair hurt for the next three days! I did feel a bit sore when I was on the bike but I was basically hating it all anyway so I didn't realise there was anything extra. I seem to be ok now but I might stay off the bike a few more days.

I took Friday off exercise without guilt, after doing four days straight. Both Tim and I had some mild illness with fatigue and I had a sore throat and we both had depressed mood - which maybe explained Thursday's ennui. I spent most of the day shopping for my son's birthday which is next week. Lots of presents! I was really good while I was out, making great food choices when surrounded by temptation, but when I got home, exhausted, in the afternoon I had some unplanned snacks and went over my calorie limit.

Saturday included my son's best friend's birthday party. I had a few m&ms then a slice of cake that was so sweet I only had a few bites. I thought it was probably just me, but my daughter said it was too sweet too, and she is a child! The icing was just an inch of sugar. When we got home my husband baked a much nicer cake ... I don't think the 15 minutes dancing I did counteracted two slices of that. I planned to dance more but was still feeling very fatigued.

Sunday was my official weigh in. I had watched my weight go down and down during the week then up and up again at the end, and I finished where I started. I did do four days of exercise, which is a win, but my food got out of control in the second half of the week. Sunday was a quiet day at home I think? It's all blurring together.

Today I chose to dance for my exercise because I have just bought the new Kinect Xbox game "Just Dance 2015". I hate that they call it 2015. I can guarantee that there are no songs from 2015 on it! I do like having new tracks to conquer. They have made it pretty easy though. There are no levels of difficulty and I've got 4 or 5 stars first try each time while still learning the dance. The Just Dance series are more about fun than challenge (Dance Central is more difficult). There is a sing-along feature which is good. I get to work on "Let it Go"!

In my non-weight-loss life I am still working through self-editing my novel before I let anyone else read it. And the pace is picking up in reading entries for the Aurealis Awards. I've read 8 out of 20 books (anthologies and collections of short stories) so far and more will be submitted up to the end of the year. It's not too onerous, when I did fantasy novels I had 63 books to read in about 8 months. I haven't received any "hard copy" books at all this year - they are all on my Kobo e-book! Ah, times change. They only started accepting e-books the year before last, I think. Didn't take long for everyone to swap over. I suppose it is easier for the publishers to send me a file via email, but I will miss big parcels of real books being delivered every week.