Tuesday, March 31, 2015



I've been ponding the excuses I usually use to avoid eating healthy and exercising. I came up with three main ones straight away which stem from real reasons but fade into lame excuses, and later thought of another one which I find a bit weirder.

1) "It's a special occasion, like my birthday." I do think I should be able to have cake and my favourite dinner on my birthday. Or relax the rules at Christmas. It's both a social/cultural thing and also a personal break from constant vigilance. Problem is "special occasions" can happen a lot more often than twice a year. You start with birthday and Christmas. Add Easter, because I love chocolate. Valentine's Day, well that's a special day. My husband's birthday. My kids' birthdays. Other family members and friends' birthdays. Weddings. Engagement parties. Baby showers. Once a week afternoon tea with a friend. Sunday morning brunch. Supper on games night. It never ends. When I worked in a big office and ran the tea club for more than 80 members, we had a birthday morning tea at least once a week and often twice. 

I struggle with this one because I'm not sure where to draw the line. Sean Anderson chose two days a year on his original weight loss plan when he could add 1000 calories to his usual 1500 plan, and that was it. Two days - Christmas and Thanksgiving (I think). But on the other hand, he ate whatever he wanted within those daily 1500 calories so he didn't have to give up less healthy options. He eats a little differently now. I don't think I could face saying "no junk except two days a year". That is too restrictive for me. So do I just count calories and fit in a treat whenever I want? Do I have one treat meal or free day a week and be strict the rest of the time? I go back and forth.

2) "I am sad/stressed." Sometimes I feel like I somehow deserve bad food, or don't need to make an effort to exercise, because I am having a bad day. Again, at one end of the spectrum I think this excuse has some validity. When my mother died, I had about a month where losing weight wasn't a priority for me. I wasn't binging or gaining weight, but I wasn't making an effort to get healthier either. It just wasn't the most important thing to me for a while. But really traumatic things don't happen that often, thank goodness. Mostly a bad day comes from something much smaller. At what point to you say "that is not a good enough reason"? Actually I don't really need help to sort this one out. I know that I am just being slack! But I do it anyway. I feel bad therefore I get to do whatever I want.

3) "I am too sick." I have a genuine problem with this one. I think some people exercise when they shouldn't, when their body needs rest to recover from or fight off illness. But I know I go too far the other way. Since I am overweight and unfit, and have sleep apnoea so I don't get enough sleep and am always tired, I feel a bit sick all the time anyway and I can't always tell if it's something I should be pushing through. I've been too sick to exercise the past few days but when do I go back to the gym? When I am "completely better"? How will I know when I am? When I can go for a walk without wheezing and coughing? Actually I wouldn't go to the gym while I am still snotty or coughing, I try not to infect others, but I could exercise at home. Would I make myself sicker again if I start too soon? I worry a lot about this excuse because I genuinely don't know.

So those are my three main excuses, I think, but today I realised I have another one. It's the excuse of anticipation.

4) "I can't wait." If I am anticipating eating something bad soon, I give in and eat something bad now. Most years in the lead-up to Easter (not this year as I've been unwell and mostly uninterested) I would eat a lot of Easter chocolate before the day. And it's not just big celebrations like that. If I start thinking "Saturday is my cheat day and I can eat x and y" then I really really want x and y now! I am not good at delayed gratification. Apparently that is a key problem for general happiness in life - they've done studies. Maybe the answer here is to just not think about it? Is that possible? Or maybe I need to consider this and point 1 together. Daily strictness with occasional splurges leads to thinking about the splurges with leads to anticipatory extra splurges. So maybe I should go with a basic calorie count and I can fit whatever I want into that, to avoid the deprive/binge cycle. It feels like a beginners diet option, but maybe that is the stage I am in. I like the idea of structure, but I fail at diets pretty quickly. Keep it simple.

Anyway, Fogdog went for a walk today even though he was feeling sick, so that guilted me into doing the same. My legs ached pretty badly afterwards but otherwise I was ok.

Report card:
Diet: Ok. Ate too much in the afternoon.
Exercise: Good start.
Water: Good.
Sleep: I've spent a lot of time in bed but without my CPAP (nose pillows) due to very runny nose, so I don't feel very rested. I don't think I can use it tonight, but hopefully tomorrow night.
Mental health: Ok.

Teacher's note: Natalie needs to stop making excuses. Her dog did not eat her homework. She does not even own a dog. She can achieve anything if she applies herself and works hard.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Stand


So much better today! I still seem to be a snot-producing machine, but I feel much more myself today. Took it easy, did a little work and lots of reading. Another early night is on the cards.

I was wondering today if the difference between my normal and my sick is similar to the size of the difference between my normal and a fit healthy person's normal. Imagine feeling that much better, all the time! Something to aim for.

Sorry I don't have much to talk about. I've spent the last few days re-reading Stephen King's "The Stand" which is about a superflu killing off 99.4% of the human race and what happens afterwards. Possibly poor timing on my part, reading about everyone dying of similar symptoms to what I was experiencing!

The book came out around 1980 I think, my goodness that is a long time ago, so obviously the discussions of technology etc are old, but the thing that really struck me are the outdated ideas about pregnancy. One of the main characters gets pregnant out of wedlock and her mother completely freaks out (to be fair that would still happen today in some cultures, just not mine), there is a discussion about not having sex after the four month point of pregnancy or they might "squash" the baby, a doctor says alcohol is fine when pregnant as long as you drink in moderation, childbirth with the mother's feet up in stirrups like in the Monty Python comedy movie (mother: what do I do, doctor? Doctor: nothing, madam, you are not qualified), a newborn baby is put one of those wards you only see in movies - the babies all together behind a glass wall and the parents only able to look through and not touch (or breastfeed) their own child except at designated times... crazy.

Sunday, March 29, 2015



Half of today in bed, the other half slumped in front of the TV. I won't revolt you with a list of symptoms. Tim had to take Jasmine clothes shopping for a few things she needs for camp. I've kept up the water intake. Looking forward to my cool pillow under my hot head.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Another funeral


We travelled to Sydney yesterday for my aunt's funeral. It was sad but went ok. Such a shock that she died. She was always so fit and healthy, yet she was outlived by her husband who smoked much of his life, is a heavy drinker, and who had a stroke a couple of years ago. And outlived by her own father, who is about to turn 97 and still lives in his own home.

My brother didn't turn up and I don't know if he even knows she has died. He is not easy to get in contact with. Emails, phone calls, text messages, phone messages, all unanswered. I don't know whether to start worrying about him now, but this isn't unusual for him. We could have gone over there, but it wasn't close or on our way, and I just wanted to get home.

I'm down with this nasty head cold; sore throat and headache and constantly running nose. I feel guilty about letting people hug me at the funeral, I hope I didn't pass it on too much. Glands in my neck are sore and swollen but I am ok from the collarbone down so I think that means cold not flu.

I don't see any exercise in my immediate future but I will be careful with my food. Sleep and fluids. Oranges and soup. I can't wear my CPAP wih my nose running like this, but I can spend lots of time resting. I can still enjoy reading and watching TV, grateful I'm alive and home and surrounded by those I love.

Thursday, March 26, 2015



Thought I was getting over whatever I had Tuesday, but no. Down with flu, or maybe just bad cold. Feel yuck. Not life-threatening. Husband has it too. Travelling this weekend is going to be unpleasant.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Not a Nimbus 2000


We received a very long parcel in the mail yesterday, a birthday present for my husband from his cousin Matt. I wondered at first if it was a Nimbus 2000, but no, it was Gandalf's staff:

Isn't that cool! I realise that "cool" probably isn't the word some people would use...

Tim doesn't look his years, does he! Just turned 40.

I haven't done much revision on my novel yet but I'm back in a good headspace about it. I'm having ideas about how to fix the problems that have been identified, and making notes in the margins. It's more bits and pieces of work rather than any long sessions. My best "thinking" times are generally when I'm not sitting in front of the computer. Long drives to Sydney, in the shower, and while on a walk are my best times. Or after I've got into bed, which is why I keep a notebook and pen nearby.

I'm also reading the next person's novel for the critique group. We do one a month, mine was the first for the year. You basically commit to a year (8-10 novels) in return for having yours included. I like the editing process, I've done it as a paid profession, but what I am not looking forward to is the face-to-face part. I've never liked meeting clients in person although they sometimes ask for it, and I'm bad enough at giving criticism by email let alone to someone's face. I shrink from any kind of confrontation. I am reasonably practised at being tactful on paper, but dread the thought of having to say to someone "these are the problems..." Easier to be on the receiving end! And this particular author is one of the less experienced writers (like me) so there are going to be plenty of problems.

I had a heart-racing experience this afternoon. Jasmine collected the mail and a free local newspaper from the mailbox on her way home from school and handed it to me at the door, and a big huntsman spider crawled out. Screams, mail everywhere, spider scuttling under the chair. I managed to squash it with my shoe (shoe being on my foot) on the second try. Still feel the adrenalin. I say big, its leg span was probably smaller than my hand so it wasn't especially large by Australian standards (I have literally seen them as big as a dinner plate) but it was still an unpleasant shock to have one crawl out of something I am holding in my hands. I'll be nervous for days.

Report card:
Diet: Poor. Take away dinner after late dance class. A couple of choc chip cookies earlier.
Exercise: Poor. None.
Water: Will try to drink two more before bed.
Sleep: Ok. Still needed a short nap this afternoon.
Mental health: Good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

1000th post


I dreamed I was at a family gathering and my aunt Bev was there. I was confused because I thought she was dead, but I didn't like to ask anyone.

I dreamed my uncle Greg (mum and Bev's brother) was going to sell his house and we were planning to buy it, but when we were walking through it instead of being beautiful and immaculate as usual it was old and dingy.

I dreamed I was going to get my dog back, not our recent puppy Thor who we rehomed last year mainly because of mum being sick and lots of travelling, but my collie Vixen who I had 15 years ago. I was patting her silky head.

I woke in the night feeling horribly nauseated and feverish, like you could fry an egg on my stomach. A bit better in the morning, but not great. Headachy and achy legs.

Apparently this is my 1000th post on my combined blogs (I have a couple of others I don't use much). I wish I had some amazing insights or breakthroughs or something to make it special but alas, no. Just me, living another day.

It was pouring rain all night and this morning so Tim took the car, so I couldn't go to the gym. Well, "couldn't" isn't strictly true, I could walk 30 minutes through the rain each way if I wanted to go that badly! But I wouldn't have gone anyway. Continued to feel quite sick all day. Slept in the afternoon. My husband has been a bit sick for several days so it's probably a virus. He's just a lot more stoic about it than I am!

Report card: Sick day.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Aunt Beverley


I slept really well last night; according to my fitbit I barely moved a muscle all night. It was a great catch up. But then I logged on to my email to the news that my aunt died yesterday of inoperable stomach cancer. She was only diagnosed less than two weeks ago. And only about ten weeks since my mum, her older sister, died of cancer. My aunt Beverley was only 66. It's very sad. My cousin Kim and I have been messaging and she said "I'm still in shock. The pain is unbearable." I've discussed here before about whether it's better to have warning of a loved-one's death, and I've decided definitely yes. I had a year to get used to the idea that my mum was going to die soon, it was hard but I was prepared and I'd spent time with her first. My aunt was diagnosed less than two weeks ago. Ten days, I think. That is still a little time, I guess, but not much. I think a sudden death, like a car accident, would be the worst. You would probably feel so many things left unsaid, guilt for not resolving an argument or not being a perfect daughter or whatever, cheated that you didn't get to spend any more time with them. They are just suddenly gone. Even though it means seeing your loved-one in pain, knowing ahead of time still gives you some time for resolution. And my mum had time to settle her affairs and say goodbye and was ready to die. I didn't even have time to visit my aunt in another city, I found out last Wednesday.

I had already decided that after the weekend, what I needed today was a long walk out in the autumn sunshine. And after that news, even more so. It just seemed much more appealing than sweating it out at the gym or jumping around my lounge room. So I went to the lake with the warm sun and fresh breeze and the water views and the trees thinking about turning to autumn colours.


I was tired by the end of the 5K and also hungry. I had brought an apple in the car but after I dropped it onto concrete twice and it rolled into a filthy gutter I decided against eating it. I had to wait until I got to the shops and then had a banana. Grocery shopping was weird, they had hardly anything I wanted in the meat section. I plan my meals ahead of time and get a bit frazzled if I have to make last minute changes. So I just bought ingredients for the next two days then I'll shop again. No whole chickens, raw or cooked?! No beef ribs for casserole?! No steak that looked up to my high standards! And then I went to my favourite rotisserie chicken shop to buy lunch and guess what: no chickens ready for takeaway! 25 minute wait! Bugger that. Too hungry to wait. It was a bit annoying, as well as having some for lunch with salad it would have been the basis of the kids' lunches for a couple of days. Is there some kind of protein shortage in Canberra today? I made a less-healthy choice instead.

As well as the cake, we had a few things left over from the party. I put a couple of tempting things away in the cupboard. Why? Because a) at some point in the next few days it was magically going to be ok for me to binge on them? or b) I wanted to binge on them and if they were there I could, and then blame it on my poor judgement in keeping them? Not "current self's" fault for eating them, it was "past self's" fault for keeping them. Guess which is the right answer. But last night after I went to bed I got up and put them in the bin, carefully pouring the contents out so they couldn't be salvaged. So good job there. I definitely would have eaten them today. Now we only have stuff that doesn't tempt me. And they will go to supper tonight with Tim and his D&D friends.

I weighed myself this morning, a small increase after the weekend but nothing too dramatic. But my weight has crept up all fortnight - with three weekend events in a row - and I am above last month's weigh-in for dietbet. Yet I need to lose 3% from that winning point in the next fortnight. I really don't think there is any possible way to make this month's goal without losing a limb. Yet I am not giving up. The point of doing a six month dietbet is so I won't give up just because one month is going badly. I just have to keep trying for that end goal. It's a struggle, but one that has to continue for my health's sake. It will continue to be tricky, I imagine we will be travelling soon for my aunt's funeral, and then the following weekend is Easter and I love chocolate.

Report card:
Diet: Ok. Bad lunch, but good the rest of the day. I'm glad I took action last night to avoid a binge today. Because I really wanted those Malteasers.
Exercise: Good. 11,500 steps.
Water: Good.
Sleep: Good.
Mental health: Sad. I am not looking forward to the funeral, whenever that is. I can feel the roomful of misery already. It is going to be hard to keep it together.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cocktail party


It's been a very busy few days. Tim's 40th birthday cocktail party was last night and we had lots of family staying here. We don't actually have a spare room so that means mattresses all over the floors everywhere! And lots of cooking, and running the full dishwasher after every meal.

On Friday I did a marathon three hour shopping trip and got home exhausted, only to find that my fitbit said I was barely moving during a big chunk of that time. What? I worked out it was when I was pushing a (heavy and eventually overflowing) shopping trolley. I assume that pushing the trolley stabilised my arms so much that the sensor on my wrist didn't register any stepping movement. Bugger! I still got to 8,000 steps by the end of the day, but I reckon I would have done closer to 10.

Saturday continued the cleaning and preparations and cooking for guests, I was up to 8,000 steps again by the time the party started and I didn't even set foot out of the house! We had cake and a little family party in the afternoon so the kids could participate. Then the cocktail party was fun but I drank too much. I hardly ever drink alcohol, it's just not part of our lifestyle, but once or twice a year we have one of these parties and my body can't handle it. I was happy and friendly at first, I'm sure I charmed everybody by telling them I really wasn't tipsy at all, but I felt quite ill by midnight! I couldn't go to bed because my niece was sleeping there until the house quietened down and she could be moved. So I lay on the floor for a while. Nice comfy carpet. Eventually all the guests left, we got family bedded down wherever we could fit them, and I got to crawl into bed where I got a few hours sleep before waking about 4:30 feeling even worse...

So Sunday morning everyone was feeling very tired, except the kids of course, but it was my sister-in-law's birthday so I made French toast and after lunch we had birthday cake. I didn't eat much of it, even though it was my favourite, my stomach just wasn't up to it. Legs aching badly too. Finally all the guests left.

I'm not sure how my report card should read for the weekend. I certainly had plenty of indulgence foods nibbles but didn't stuff myself ever, and I had proper meals. But the cocktails would have had a lot of calories and sugar, and I did have dessert three times. I didn't do any intentional exercise over the past three days, but I got in a lot of activity, mainly cleaning but also a little bit of dance. I tried to drink my water but I'm sure I'm still dehydrated from the alcohol. Sleep, not so good. Mental health good. Right now I just want to slump and do nothing, even though I already had a nap this afternoon, but it's time to start making dinner. Could probably have leftovers, but I want a proper meal.

Oh, and I got rid of most of the leftovers from the two cakes. I kind of forced it on people as they left. I could have just thrown it out I guess, but it feels less wasteful if you give it to people. They can toss it in the bin if they want. I do hope I get my containers back. I saved one piece of cake each to have for dessert tonight. I only had a few bites each time before, and I may do that again. Too much sweet. Now if we had chips left, that would be a problem! But they all got finished.

Back to the gym tomorrow, and shopping for fresh food. I made a new batch of yoghurt, my poor body needs a few probiotics I think! Why on earth would some people drink like that every weekend? Why do I do it even once a year? I guess I forget how bad I feel afterwards.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Swimming upstream


Thanks everyone for your kind wishes yesterday. I am feeling a lot better today. It's been a hard year so far, I'm hoping things improve soon. At least my mood has lifted.

I was looking at the first couple of weeks of this blog, which I started on 19 June 2010, a few days before my 40th birthday. My starting weight was 83.1 kg. I am less than a kilogram different today, nearly five years later. Five years of trying to swim upstream has kept me in the same spot. I suppose at least I haven't put on weight, which I'm sure I would have done if I wasn't fighting it. There's a strong current trying to wash me downstream. It feels like damn hard work to swim against it, and it is relentless. If you stop swimming, you start floating away immediately, and then you have to fight even harder to get back to where you were.

So what are the options? I can give up and get washed out into the vast sea where I will grow just as vast. I dream of getting towed along behind a boat, not having to do the work myself, but I don't believe the ads that promise a free ride (and once they've got a hook in your mouth, who knows where that will end). I can swim more consistently, so I don't keep slipping back... is this salmon metaphor going anywhere or have I lost the plot?

What I believe is that I know what I have to do, but I don't do it with any consistency. My average month probably has one good week, two mediocre weeks, one bad week. Which averages out to mediocre, which keeps me in the same weight range year after year. If I could even make it two good weeks and two mediocre weeks that would be a big improvement that might show some results.

I spent the morning present shopping and the afternoon in housework and time wasting. If you want a bit of a laugh, have a look at the web show "The Katering Show". The episode "I quit sugar" is hilarious (with a certain amount of profanity as they go through withdrawal). It's only 8 minutes long, go on, you've got 8 minutes. And you get to hear some Australian accents!

Report card:
Diet: Ok.
Exercise: Poor.
Water: Good. Yay!
Sleep: Ok.
Mental health: Good.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015



I woke with headache, fatigue, sneezing and runny nose. I was rather relieved. I would hate to have been feeling so yuck for the last couple of days for no reason!

I actually mean that. I have experienced severe depression a couple of times, in response to specific horrible circumstances. The last few days I have felt like I was slipping into depression for no reason, or not a very good reason. I am sad about my mother's death, emotionally bruised about revising my book, frustrated about my inability to lose weight, stressed about the thought of moving house and state. None of these is the same as depression; which is where you not only feel terrible, you feel like nothing will ever get better. You want to give up on life because your circumstances and your emotional state will never improve and there is nothing you can do about it.

But now I think I just have a cold or flu and that is combining with those other issues to bring me down. Temporary and I can deal with it.

I was thinking last night about the two opposing voices in my head. One says "how dare you even feel sad, let alone depressed, your life is so privileged you should be happy and grateful every day." The other says "you are entitled to have feelings like everyone else." The first voice is much louder than the second! But I think I can take something valuable from both. From the first, yes I need to practice gratitude more. Focus a bit more on the good and positive things in my life, make sure I appreciate them. From the second voice, I need to let myself feel my feelings. Supressing negative feelings is likely one of the causes of my obesity. I feel guilty if I get angry or sad. I need to process my feelings instead of squashing them under food. For the record, I had a pretty traumatic childhood that I don't talk about much here. I have a great life now, but I didn't always. I used to cut myself as a teenager because physical pain distracted me from the emotional pain. Not that that means someone who had a nice childhood isn't allowed to have feelings! I need to work on both sides of this equation. Look for the good, but let myself acknowledge and feel the bad.

It was pouring rain this morning so I drove Tim to work. A lovely thing about being in such a small city is that even in peak hour in bad weather conditions it took less than 30 mins to get there and 10 home again.

The morning disappeared again somehow with not much done. I had a nap after my chicken soup lunch and did a little work on my novel. At the moment I'm just ruthlessly cutting out the worst bits! Then I'll start fixing up what is left. It's not a complete disaster, the criticisms were mainly about the first quarter of the book. I need to work a lot on the first section. I guess that makes sense, it was the first part I wrote, with the least experience.

... I just heard from my cousin Kimberley that her mother, my mother's sister, has been diagnosed with cancer and is already in palliative care too weak for chemotherapy and they don't know how long she has. Only two months since mum died of cancer. It's just horrible. I talked to my aunt when she came to visit my mum in hospital in January and she'd been experiencing a lot of pain in her bones then but they hadn't yet diagnosed cancer. I grew up in the same street as my aunt, just two houses away, I probably played over there every second day when Kimberley wasn't over at my house. My mum was the eldest and sickly and overweight all her life, Kim's mum was always slender and fit and healthy. Made no difference. Cancer has got her anyway.

Rich and famous doesn't make you happy. Thin doesn't make you immortal. A marriage contract doesn't make you safe from heartbreak and loneliness. Today on the news a woman ran over her own toddler, backing out of her driveway. There is nothing you can do to protect yourself. Life is pain, princess.



I didn't write yesterday because I was in some kind of time warp where minutes and hours kept disappearing from my day. Like in the morning I sat down to do some desk work, wasn't very productive so got up to exercise and it was already 11:00, not 10:00 as I had thought. And daylight savings doesn't change here for another couple of weeks so it isn't that. I went out and took an hour and a half to do a small grocery shop. What was I doing, did I fall asleep leaning on the trolley? I don't even know where the afternoon went.

I did half an hour Fantasia exercise and ate well until evening, where I ate about 500 unnecessary calories because I was tired.

Today we all accidentally slept in for half an hour. We never use an alarm clock unless we have to get up really early for a flight or something, we just always wake up on time. Today was a strange exception. I was dopey and tired all morning and really depressed as well most of the day. Tim either has bad hayfever or has a cold, and I now suspect I am fighting something off or maybe hayfever too. It could be affecting my mood and my ability to keep track of time.

I spent the morning out present shopping for my husband (Saturday) (successful) and my sister-in-law (Sunday) (unsuccessful). Despite tiredness and general sadness I resisted getting any junk food and came home to a healthy lunch. Plus a couple of chocolate biscuits, the last ones from the packet that I should have thrown out days ago but didn't. At least they lasted nearly a whole week, since last Wednesday night. I had planned to go to the gym after shopping but that didn't happen. Kind of lucky, because straight after I'd eaten there was a knock at the door and it was the loans officer from the bank, I had completely forgotten the appointment. Shows how foggy I am.

The upshot of various factors like work and finances means it makes sense for us to start looking to move in two or three months. So I guess that is what we will do. Gives us time to work on this house a bit. This afternoon I set the kids a quest to fill a bag with rubbish from each of their rooms, which they did easily, and we also went through clothes and filled three big bags with too-small things to go to charity. So that is five bags less of clutter in the house already. It's a start.

Report card:
Diet: Poor, but I'm giving myself some points for it not being a lot worse.
Exercise: Poor.
Water: Poor.
Sleep: Good, but not nearly enough.
Mental health: Poor.

I do feel like I'm coming down with something. My face feels like it weighs twice as much as it should. I prescribe rest and chicken soup.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Turning two


Wow, that was a long day. As usual I struggled with sleeping on the stone slab that is my brother-in-law's spare bed ( to be fair, his own bed is the same) and Tim and I were exhausted in the morning. One big benefit of moving to Sydney would be that we could easily go home after a visit and not have to stay the night!

As we hadn't pre-arranged things with real estate agents, they were all unavailable and we couldn't see any houses. Who closes on Sunday these days? I would have thought they would do most of their business on weekends. But next time we travel up we'll plan and call ahead, maybe drive up Friday night so we can go to all the open houses on Saturday morning.

Since we were at a loose end, we went up to the newly renovated huge shopping mall nearby, sat and had a much-needed cup of tea, walked around a bit, let the kids play on a cool indoor playground, and had lunch.

Then we went back to my brother-in-law's house, where my niece was fresh after her nap, and helped set up for her 2nd birthday party.

The party was nice, mostly family, then the long drive home. We couldn't stomach any more fast food so we waited until we got back to Canberra and went to a proper restaurant for Thai food even though it was pretty late for the kids to be eating dinner.

Report card:
Diet: Ok I guess. Had some party stuff. Didn't overdo it. But I think there was a lot of sugar in one of the Thai dishes, I can feel it. Definitely not a healthy food weekend.
Exercise: Ok. 7,500 steps walking around the shops. Not bad under the circumstances.
Water: Terrible again. Really going to work on this tomorrow.
Sleep: Terrible.
Mental health: Better.

As usual after an unhealthy weekend, I am so ready to recommit! But I need to plan better for these weekends away. It wasn't so bad when we only travelled every second month or so, but it has been much more frequent lately. What really annoys me is that I'm not even eating delicious indulgence calories! It's yuck food that is terrible for me and I don't even like.

Next weekend we are at home but everyone is visiting us for Tim's 40th birthday, and it's also my sister-in-law's birthday the following day. So I'll be catering for cocktails and cake, and also at least seven houseguests. At least I'm in control of the food!

I will leave you with a photo of "the castle" so you can see why we named the house that. I still look at it and think "if only..." but it really wasn't right for us on the inside.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Storming the castle


After the kids' sports this morning we drove straight to Sydney to view "the castle". The outside was very much like the pictures but unfortunately the inside was much older than we expected, not as nice as the photos seemed and most of the rooms very small. So that was that. The real estate agent offered to show us another one nearby so we looked at that but liked it even less - newer but basic and soulless. Both these homes were at the bottom of our price range so I think we're going to have to go higher.

For some reason we've decided to try to look at some more houses tomorrow while we're in the area, even though it would be more logical to wait a month or two. Oh well, Tim and I talked about it in the car and I'm sure we can make it work whenever. I think the fact that he is turning 40 next week is affecting Tim's sense of urgency! 15 years have slipped away while we've been living in Canberra.

Food has been terrible. We had McDonalds on the way here and I tried a new chicken burger. It was so bad I couldn't eat it. And Aiden had half my chips because he hated his burger too (usually we both get nuggets, I hate McD anyway but at least it is usually blandly edible). So later I was very hungry and had half a muffin from a petrol station. And dinner with my brother-in-law was frozen lasagne. Still kind of frozen actually (his wife was working late, I guess he hasn't learned to cook yet!). Actually I may not have had an excess of calories today, but every single calorie was from fat or salt! And I can feel it.

Report card:
Diet: Poor.
Exercise: Poor.
Water: Poor.
Sleep: Good last night.
Mental health: Good.

Well it's somewhat of an improvement on yesterday!

Friday, March 13, 2015

A bit sad


Woke up today feeling stressed and depressed. Are we really thinking of borrowing a lot of money just when we've finally paid off our house? And all the stress and bother of moving house, new job, new schools, preparing old house for sale? And my novel needs a lot of revision, why did I ever think it was any good? And this whole losing weight thing, obviously I am a failure at that. My weight went up last weekend and is only a bit down from then - still high above my last weigh-in so I have to get rid of that extra weight before even starting on the "virgin weight". With two busy weekends full of temptations coming up. Why is life so difficult and scary and stressful? So that is how I started the day. Probably just a reaction to a couple of days of adrenalin.

And then I logged on and found that Terry Pratchett had died, which is really sad. He was a fantastic British comedic fantasy author (with lots of social commentary in his comedy) who the world had already kind of lost as an author several years ago due to early onset Alzheimer's. He was only 66 when he died. I have at least 30 books of his and I've been reading them since my early teens when I discovered him as an author, he's probably published one a year since then, until recently.

And then on my facebook stream I saw a clip from an upcoming episode of The Big Bang Theory which is about the death of Howard's mother (the actress recently died in real life) so you can imagine how the whole "mother death" impacted me today. I should have just stayed in bed.

I got out of the house, went out and did some essential shopping, like for my niece's second birthday party this weekend. I got books. I love giving books. Started feeling a bit better.

Came home and started re-reading one of my favourite Terry Pratchett books in memory of him while I had lunch.

Then got a phone call from probably the same people who scammed me last year about my computer, or another group who do the same thing. Of course this time I just made some loud obnoxious noises into the phone and hung up, but it gave me some bad stress flashbacks about last time when they actually got details from me and I had wipe my computer and change my credit cards (they didn't get any money, but it was scary).

I just noticed it's Friday the 13th. Ha. I don't believe in the power of a date, but when I worked in the public service the mentally unbalanced people really did seem to be affected by full moons, there were a lot more incidents during those two or three days. I guess if the moon cycle can affect something as big as the ocean, with tides, why not the human brain?

So, anyway, nothing terrible has happened to me today but I just feel down and everything is reminding me about the sadder side of life. I feel overwhelmed and tired. Hopefully better tomorrow.

Report card:
All poor.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Housework workout


I read an article in New Scientist today (from Australian issue no3010) about a big predictor of obesity being the mother's activity level during pregnancy.

"When pregnant women are physically active, the increased energy demands redirect nutrients to her muscles and away from her fetus. This competition between the mother's muscles and the developing fetus's fat cells produces leaner, healthier babies. Their genes and food intake are irrelevant to the process.
     This competition doesn't happen in inactive mothers. Without having to struggle for energy and nutrients, the fat cells in the fetus increase in both size and number..." (p32)

So it was all our mother's fault! But seriously, it says a lot about the importance of staying active and healthy during pregnancy. Giving up smoking and alcohol, and controlling gestational diabetes, are not enough any more. They now say that the health of the father's sperm (related to his age and health) are very important too.

I lay awake a long time last night thinking about all the changes that need to be made to my novel. I was buzzing with excitement and ideas. A little bit embarrassed about the all the (now obvious and glaring) faults in the version the critique group read. But eager to get started. When I finally got to sleep I did get some good dreamtime.

But this morning I couldn't work on my novel. In a "just in case" move, yesterday I arranged for a real estate agent to come to the house today to give us a valuation so that we would have an idea of how much money we had to spend on a new house. So I spent a solid three hours cleaning the house so that it was to a semi-decent level, enough that I could let someone in to see it. I didn't even attempt to clean the kids' rooms except for making the beds. But I did a lot of other stuff, I was literally dripping sweat and got a workout worthy of a trip to the gym. I am not much of a housekeeper, I like a clean house but it just isn't my top priority. But I could let the agent in at lunchtime and have the house merely looking like I hadn't had much time to tidy up, rather than its usual state of looking like a bomb went off during a tornado in a rubbish tip. He gave an estimate similar to what I had been expecting, and some advice about replacing the carpet and repainting and whether to auction etc.

We have decided to look at "the castle" in person. And I have lined up an interview with the loan officer at my bank to talk about the loan we'd need if we bought a house before selling this one. Just in case. We have 100% equity here now so I think that would be ok. And Tim is looking for a way to make the work thing happen.

I don't have my heart totally set on this house I haven't even seen "in the flesh" as it were, but if we do all love it, we're as ready as we can be to outbid the competition. And we do all like the look of it, and we're all keen to move to that city and that area. So you never know.

I was really tired in the afternoon after all that housework and had an energy slump and turned to food. My afternoon snack turned into a 500 calorie meal! Including three chocolate biscuits, leftover from what I took to the critique supper last night (and resisted then!). I had a light lunch and small dinner so I am still ok for calories but I don't like that out of control element. Yet again it was due to tiredness rather than hunger. I think there was a lack of mental focus too, I'm so distracted by having my novel critiqued and the thought of moving house in a hurry that I'm finding it hard to think about healthy living, and I'm not yet in autopilot on the food and exercise. I have to concentrate to make it happen!

Report card:
Diet: Ok. Good for most of the day except mid-afternoon.
Exercise: Good.
Water: Good. Finally!
Sleep: Good, once I eventually got to sleep.
Mental health: A bit overstimulated.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Novel critique


I had a really good sleep last night, I'm getting used to the CPAP again.

After doing some office work, I went to the gym. Listened to Queen and hiked through 54 minutes of the USA (started in Yosemite but I think I teleported all over the place. Sierra Nevada? California? Are those all in different areas?). I didn't sprint but I felt pretty good. Solid sweaty workout.

Then almost immediately afterwards, walking down the stairs, I started to feel really trembly, shaky in the legs, and weird. This happens occasionally. I don't seem to have good control of my blood sugar levels sometimes, and this dates from well before I became pre-diabetic. Strenuous exercise and/or poor food management can bring on a little episode. At least I think it's caused by low blood sugar. Maybe it's low blood pressure. Or something else entirely? But eating seems to help.

Anyway I didn't have any food with me, I should take a banana to the gym just in case. I bought a packet of Doritos for quick carbs. Chocolate can be good too except the high fat means it takes longer to absorb. Fruit is better, if available, for an instant sugar hit. Came home and had a proper balanced lunch. Still feel pretty wobbly and sick for an hour after finishing my workout. I didn't even have a shower for a couple of hours, I didn't trust myself to stand up for so long on a potentially slippery floor. But eventually I was ok.

Then after taking Jasmine to dance class it was time for my novel critique group! I'd been through a similar process a couple of times for short stories but this was my novel, my magnum opus, my baby! It went well. The group said some very nice things but also pointed out plenty of areas that needed work. They were mostly in agreement with each other, which was helpful, and I nearly always agreed with them too. They were either things that had worried me all along or else things I accepted as soon as they were pointed out. So useful to have input from people a bit less emotionally involved than I am.

There were a couple of times I felt the reader had missed my point, or where different readers had different opinions, but overall it was great. I never felt personally attacked or got defensive, and I am now fizzing with ideas of things to work on. My writing guild has a lot of experience and many published and awarded authors, one of my readers is moderately famous (Russell Kirkpatrick, who has his own Wikipedia page). You'd normally have to pay a lot of money to get this kind of advice, all I have to do is read and critique their work in exchange.

Only problem there is little chance it will be ready in a month, which is when I am going to a social event full of people in the publishing industry. I was hoping to be able to have it polished and ready just in case someone said, "oh sure, email it to me" and I could bypass the swampy mire of the "slush pile" of unsolicited manuscripts. Well, you never know.

Report card:
Diet: Ok. I'm giving myself an ok despite the Doritos and a handful of hot chips (and no vegetables) with dinner. I ate healthy the rest of the day, including only a couple of grapes for supper at the critique even though the table was covered in yummy things.
Exercise: Great. Session at the gym and a total of 9,650 steps.
Water: Terrible. Worst day for ages. 4 glasses. Just got too stressed and busy in the afternoon and evening.
Sleep: Great. Lovely sleep.
Mental health: Great. Nervous and excited all day, but not distressed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Castle


I got to the gym this morning and did 45 minutes on the elliptical. Did the grocery shopping. Went to a friend's house after school, reaching 10,000 steps on the way home. A few miscellaneous tasks, but no writing today. Tomorrow I get feedback from my writing group about my novel! Scary and exciting.

We've been thinking about moving to Sydney for years, it's where both Tim and I grew up and where most of our extended families still live. We travel back and forth a lot. I particularly wanted to be near mum when she got sick, obviously that ship has sailed but there are still reasons to move back there. The problem has been that Tim has a job that is fairly specific to our nation's capital; finding anything reasonably equivalent elsewhere is almost impossible so moving would probably mean a pay cut. But his job is very stressful so maybe taking a step back wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Well he hasn't found a new job in Sydney yet but he is far enough along in his thinking that he was looking for houses online the other day. And we found one that I kind of fell in love with. We haven't seen it in person and there is not a comprehensive group of pictures online, only six - and three of those are outside! But the more I look at it the more I want it, enough to try to arrange to go see it. The inside has everything we want. The real estate agent responded by saying they have had an offer, that we are welcome to top, and that they can't arrange a viewing at times convenient to us. Tricky that we live nearly four hours away. And Tim doesn't have a new job yet. Should probably wait and see what is available when we are ready.


I want it.

Oh well, probably for the best. It has its faults, and probably a lot more that we don't even know about yet.

The thing is, it looks like a castle. It's on a small steep block, three stories tall and very square with actual crenulations around the top like a castle wall. Not everyone's cup of tea. But very definitely our cup of tea - a whole pot of tea!

Oh well. Maybe we can build our own castle.

Report card:
Diet: Great. Another afternoon tea visit where I ignored the unhealthy stuff and just had grapes. I'm looking forward to a bit of chocolate later this evening.
Exercise: Great. Sweaty hiking through virtual California, and 10,000 steps.
Water: Poor. Damn it! Can't ignore my water like that.
Sleep: Ok.
Mental health: Good.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Canberra Day


It was a public holiday here today, Canberra Day. Just local to my city. Nice to have the day to recover from the weekend. I decided the gym would be too crowded. I did an hour of Fantasia then took my daughter clothes shopping. My husband helped a friend move house. In the afternoon I listened to a meditation and had a short nap. Good combination of rest and getting things done.

Report card:
Diet: Great. Back to unprocessed healthy food.
Exercise: Great. An hour. Ending the day around 9000 steps.
Water: Poor.
Sleep: Good.
Mental health: Good.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Home again


Aah, home again. I love home.

We all liked the hotel we stayed at last night, but none of us got a good night sleep. Tired. We had a nice buffet breakfast - not too much, I was still full from the night before - then went to see my brother-in-law. My father-in-law came over too, and as usual I had to leave the room for a while when the shouting over politics started! The kids and I hid out in the spare room while the boys had fun disagreeing. Actually, they still get very loud and excited even when they are agreeing with each other! Some Italian blood there, a few generations back.

Pizza for lunch. Cola on the long drive home so I could stay awake to share the driving. Not ideal. But I'm home now, back to real food. The Coke did keep me awake, but I felt so bad when it wore off! So tired it's like a virus, I'm ready for an early night.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Saturday (written Sunday morning):

I knew yesterday was going to be challenging but it turned out ok. We went to mum's house to go through some of mum's stuff with my brother. I felt it was my duty. The difficulty was that my brother is a hoarder. He didn't want to throw out anything. I basically had to pretend I wanted all of mum's clothes for myself. I filled up the car with bags of clothes that are all going to charity the moment I pass one of those donation bins. Couldn't fit any more in the car. So I left bags of old shoes, expired medication and old makeup, paperwork like "phone bills 1992-1999" - Darren may or may not get rid of them. He said he'll go through them, but a lot of times he was resisting throwing out stuff because he thought he would find a use for it someday. Typical hoarder. I've done what I could, on one trip at least. At least he was willing for me to take things if he thought I actually wanted it myself.

The really good part was that Darren seems to be doing much better than I expected. The house was clean and didn't smell at all, so maybe he's got some control over the food hoarding part. No more rotting food all over the kitchen! He says he's been having dinner at our Popa's house regularly too. He's still enjoying his part time barista work. So that is all really good. With his issues, I was expecting much worse.

Food yesterday wasn't great. There isn't much choice on the long drive, no towns, just fast food next to petrol stations. We had KFC for a change instead of McDonalds. I only had one piece, it was so greasy and horrible. Dinner was so much nicer. We went to the restaurant in our hotel but we were so hungry we had all three courses, very unusual for us. Really nice food. And a cocktail. I shared my dessert, but my stomach was really uncomfortable by the time we got back to our room. Like it was going to burst. Not a good feeling.

Bad night sleep in a hard hotel bed with a wriggly child.

Friday, March 6, 2015



I made my dietbet. This involved eating almost no carbs yesterday, 1200 calories, drinking all my water. Close this morning, but not there yet. No breakfast, just a cup of tea (tea is a diuretic). Waited until, ahem, nature took its course; took off fitbit and hair clip and extraneous clothing and got husband to hold the phone. And I made the weight! Under by 0.1 kg. Even getting on and off a few times so it wasn't a false reading. I weigh 80.4 kg. So skinny.

Very happy about this. Now I need to not put it all back on, I have another 3% to lose this month. Today is a free day with food, will talk about that tonight. Going to be a tough day emotionally, so it's great I have this positive start.

Shake it off


Another pretty good night with the CPAP. It's been a bit cooler which really helps - I'm sitting here with jeans on instead of shorts! With the CPAP, temperature really matters. I still do the thing with the tissue padding around the nose pillows. My nose is more used to the apparatus and was only mildly sore after wearing it all night.

And my throat is much better although I feel a bit tired and unwell now, in the evening. My husband was sneezing and nose-blowing a lot this morning, so it might be a virus.

I've dropped yesterday's weight gain and a little bit extra so suddenly I am hopeful again for my weigh-out tomorrow. I'll try to accept it with grace either way, and just use it as motivation.

I didn't go to the gym today. I had other things to do, and I knew I would be walking with my son in the afternoon. But mainly I was worried about the ravenous hunger. Last night, after posting my blog, I ate even more. Today, not really hungry at all. I know I'll get used to the extra exercise. I ate low carb and not too many calories today. Turned out I didn't go for a walk after all, feeling a bit sick by then. Hopefully another good night sleep and I'll shake it off.

Report card:
Diet: Great. Stuck to the plan. No ravenous hunger or cravings.
Exercise: Poor. 5,700 steps.
Water: Great.
Sleep: Good.
Mental health: Good.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015



Oh, the ups and downs.

I had a much better sleep last night. I was able to keep the CPAP on for longer, didn't need to use the bathroom until 6am, slept much more soundly. So that was great.

Unfortunately the reason I had to take the CPAP off was a bad sore throat (air blowing in makes it worse). Still sore all day today. And I was all crampy and achy from the time of the month. Basically felt ill and yucky despite the good sleep.

Then I was dreading getting on the scale. I have to lose significant weight every single day until Saturday to win this first month of dietbet. Is that so important, I hear you ask? Well, yes. Not the $12.50 that is the stake for this month, but the fact of achieving or failing. I won my first dietbet, then lost my second one when my mum died and I stopped prioritising losing weight which I think was a perfectly reasonable decision. But I no longer have that excuse. This month I slacked off my efforts in the middle weeks and then I'm hampered by water retention in this final week. The hormonal fluctuations will happen every month and I need to take that into account! I can't expect to lose all the weight in a couple of days at the end of each round. I need to be consistent all month.

And this morning my weight was up a bit. Up, not down. Too much salt yesterday? (Vegemite is 120% salt, approximately.) Too many calories? Sudden increase in exercise confusing my body? I don't know. But the goal is further away, almost impossible, and that is really depressing. I don't want to fail. I really don't want to fail two in a row.

I wanted to crawl back in bed and stay there. And order pizza and eat it in bed. But I decided that wouldn't help.

So I went to the gym. The parking meter wouldn't accept my pass, it recognised me and my face came up on the screen (which was a bit off-putting, actually) but I was denied access. I could have taken the easy way out, taken it as a message that I wasn't meant to go to the gym today. But no, I trudged in there and got it sorted. Got a parking slip, put in in the car. Back into the gym. Got onto an elliptical and hiked through Arizona. I committed to 30 mins and ended up doing 36, to finish the section. No sprinting, just slogging on through. I guess I should be proud of at least doing something. I've got to 6000 steps, not stellar.

When I got home I was ravenous. Before even taking a shower, I ate my lunch. A small serve of leftover pork casserole and a big salad of raw undressed vegetables. An apple. I felt I needed some fat so a piece of cheese. And a cup of tea. Finally satisfied. 447 calories which is ok, it was all good healthy food, but a huge volume. I'm not sure where I fitted it all.

My big news of the day is that we paid off our mortgage! Some of the money from my mum's estate came through, enough for us to pay it out. We'd previously made payments with money from both our grandparents, so we were ahead. I still have to fill in some official paperwork, but the money is paid and the house belongs to us. It's kind of amazing to think we have no debt now. None. I've probably been continuously in debt since I bought my first car twenty years ago.

Yet money can't buy everything. It couldn't stop mum dying from breast cancer. It can't make me thin and healthy (I suppose a lot of surgery and personal training would help, but I'd still have to go through the process and a lot of work). It can't make me a critically acclaimed writer (not without a lot more money than I have!).

Still, it is nice to have for the things it can do.

Late afternoon I got hungry again. And ate a nectarine and two cups of vegetable broth. And some sultanas and dried apricots. And cheese. And more cheese. And chocolate.

Is this the time of the month or the exercise or what? I can't seem to control my hunger. I haven't even worked out how many calories that was yet.

I had most of my dinner. Still a bit full from my binge. Which worries me that I will be hungry later. I am trying to fill up on healthy foods, but they are just not doing the job.

Report Card:
Diet: Poor. I assume I'm way over with calories. Have probably killed whatever tiny chance I had of winning this round of dietbet.
Exercise: Good. I'm trying to be proud of myself for an honest attempt.
Water: Ok. Poor. Still a couple of glasses to go.
Sleep: Better. Good.
Mental health: Up and down all day. Mostly down. My throat is still sore and I'm worried I'm getting sick. Sad about failing dietbet. And each round is cumulative so I still have to lose this month's goal as well as next month's!

It has been a difficult day.

Lots of movement


Another poor sleep but overall feeling much better. I started the day by walking the kids to their school swimming carnival, we went out of our way to collect a school friend so it ended up being a 30 min round trip for me. After a short break at home (reading emails and blogs) I went to the gym. All much the same as it was there a couple of months ago.

I hiked through New Zealand on the elliptical. I did the whole program, 51 minutes, on level 8 which means up to level 12 on the steep hills. Lots of walking pace, a bit of jogging and some sprints. Had my music going and the first half was very enjoyable before I started to get tired. Pretty scenery.

My original plan was to do a bit of biking through France afterwards, but I was too exhausted after 51 minutes on the elliptical! So I just came home. Made myself a healthy lunch, put on the casserole for dinner because we are home late on Wednesdays (even though it is really much too hot for a casserole) and did a bit of writing.

Aiden and I have been going for walks two days a week when Jasmine has her dance classes. Today we were both really tired (my legs were aching from the elliptical) and it was another really hot day... But we still went for a walk. Just a shorter one than usual. Finishing the day on 14,000 steps.

Here is a snapshot of what I am eating at the moment.
Breakfast: four cruskits with cream cheese and tomato, cup of tea with splash of milk and half a tsp sugar. 199 cals
Morning snack after gym: grapes and epicure (sharp) cheese. 207 cals
Lunch: 100 grams cold rotisserie chicken breast with skin, 100 grams roast potato, whole cucumber, one carrot, half tomato, cup of tea. 385 cals
Afternoon snack: large pear. 121 cals
Unplanned extra afternoon snack: cruskits with butter and Vegemite (hungry today after all that exercise!) 223 cals
Dinner: pork casserole (with carrot, celery and onion). 421 cals
Total: 1556 calories. A little bit more than I was aiming for, my body isn't used to hard exercise yet and asked for extra fuel.

Update: and 2 squares of dark chocolate, another 100 cals

Report card:
Diet: Good. A few too many calories, but it was hunger not boredom. I burned more than I ate. I had some carb cravings.
Exercise: Excellent. My poor legs are aching.
Water: Great.
Sleep: Poor.
Mental health: Mixed. Got a bit upset when driving home tonight. When we brought flowers home from mum's funeral I didn't know who they were all from. Tonight Jasmine found a card in the back of the car that had fallen out of one arrangement and I hadn't seen it. It was from an old friend of mum's from my childhood that I hadn't been able to contact and I didn't know if she'd got the message about mum's death. Obviously she did. Which is a good thing, but still a bit upsetting thinking about it all. These moments creep up on me unexpectedly.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Not my favourite day of the month


Welcome to PMS world, where my life sucks and I hate everybody.

Here is a random picture of Australia at the end of summer, from my walk yesterday. That crispy brown stuff is supposed to be grass. Desolate and parched, like my life.

Terrible sleep, very restless all night and up four times to go to the bathroom.

At least the result of all that peeing was weight loss of more than a kilogram overnight! I retain a lot of water when I eat carbs and lose it quickly when I don't. But the problem is that the weight that is left is now "real" weight not water weight and I still only have a few days to lose that. Not feeling very hopeful today. I tell myself it is the hormones and I'll feel better in a day or two. If only I could bottle how I felt yesterday and use that when I need it!

I did the grocery shopping and then forced myself to do half an hour of Fantasia. I chose not to start my gym season in today's mood, but didn't let myself off exercise altogether. I also walked to and from my friend's house after school instead of driving so that added a gentle 20 mins. That is basically all I achieved today. But I did pretty well on both those things. I was out at the shops, surrounded by temptation, and didn't give in to anything. I stuck to my healthy food plan. I exercised a bit when I could have just sat around and then driven the few blocks. And I didn't eat anything except fruit at my friend's house, when there were chocolate chip cookies and pretzels right there in front of me. I didn't kill anyone today, or even smack anyone or yell at them.

I didn't get any writing done and my house looks like a cyclone went through it. Oh, you think I am kidding?

Nevertheless, I only had three pieces of chocolate. And I know I will probably maybe feel better tomorrow.

Report Card:
Diet: Great. Very surprising. I allowed myself the chocolate because I'd eaten lean protein and plants all day and was still under 1,000 calories (cucumber doesn't have many calories).
Exercise: Ok. Pretty good for someone who someone who just wanted to lie somewhere with a pillow over her head.
Water: Great. Eight glasses and some vegetable broth (no salt) which I also count.
Sleep: Poor. Can't have everything, I guess.
Mental Health: You looking at me, punk?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Strong day


I only have a few days left of this first month of my six-month dietbet; I think my last possible weigh-in moment, considering the time zone difference, is first thing Saturday morning. And I will need every second before then to lose this weight. Unfortunately after the weekend my weight jumped up by a scary amount. Yes I had some bad food yesterday, but I also took 10,000 steps and I don't think I had enough to account for the gain. I believe a lot of this extra weight is due to it being nearly that time of the month and I am retaining a lot of water. Nothing I can do about the timing, I can only hope that the water-retaining will be over by the end of the week. No more salty pizza!

The parts I can do something about are my food intake and my exercise output. And I am doing my very best there. My plan is for a super-clean-eating week with very few starchy carbs, and lots of exercise. This morning I walked to the library (carrying a backpack full of books there, different books home again), a 6km round trip which meant that I then hit 10,000 steps shortly after lunch - which was a big salad with some lean lamb. And then I re-joined my gym for another 3 months, finding a good deal online for my preferred gym. It will take me through the whole of autumn. I will be pushing myself on the elliptical (hiking through New Zealand and California), the bikes (riding through France) and maybe the rowing machines (staring at whatever is on the TV on the wall or with my eyes closed, no fancy rowing machines unfortunately. I would love to row down the rivers of Europe or something!). I might do some classes, like BodyPump. I will still be walking with my son during my daughter's dance classes, and using the Kinect games at home on days I can't get to the gym or if I have the energy to do a little more. Burning off as many calories as I can.

In the afternoon I did 20 minutes of Fantasia. My feet were a bit sore from all the walking and I decided that was enough.

Update on my sleep. The night before, that is Saturday night, I couldn't get to sleep with my sweaty CPAP and gave up after about an hour and a half. But then last night I went to sleep no trouble with it on (exhausted after walking around the Show all day maybe?) and pulled it off around 4 am because I had a bit of a dry throat tickle, then went back to sleep. This morning I looked at my Fitbit stats and that whole period I had it on, a bit over 5 hours, I slept solidly and didn't move a muscle! My sleep graph never looks like that! It really shows, what I wasn't sure of, that a lot of my restlessness at night is due to my sleep apnoea. Ok, I am convinced. And today I have plenty of energy and also mental strength to stick to healthy food, which is just lovely. I hate wearing my CPAP, but I am nevertheless so grateful that I have it. And it is autumn now, cooler nights will make it much easier to wear.

Report card:
Diet: Excellent.
Exercise: Excellent.
Water: Good, still one to go.
Sleep: Great!
Mental Health: Good, feeling very strong.

I just need a few more days like today. Going to make that happen.