Monday, February 29, 2016

Still trying


I didn't manage to stick to any kind of diet plan last week and didn't do any exercise, haven't been drinking enough water or meditating or getting any decent sleep, so it is perhaps a little surprising that my weight went down a little, to 81.4 which is back to where I was 4 weeks ago when I started my February dietbet (or rather that was 81.3, close enough). I think my highest was 82.3 kg in between so not really much change. On the good side, that means that my "bad" eating is maintenance at this weight, and the weight I lost in January was "real" weight (not just water loss). On the down side, I haven't made any progress this month.

I am really struggling at the moment with this peri-menopause thing. I've had intermittent symptoms for a couple of years now, but it has suddenly accelerated. Night sweats most nights, often more than once. Hot flushes during the day a couple of times, which I never had before. Itchy palms and wrists (I didn't even realise that was a menopause thing, but apparently it is). Mood swings, generally down into depression. Many days I struggle to find motivation to do anything at all, even things I enjoy. I don't want to go on hormone replacement because I'm worried about the potential health risks, but today I bought some over-the-counter stuff which I'll try. The pharmacist suggested it could be up to a month before I see results, which isn't great, but I'll still be here in a month either way so I might as well start now!

They taste horrible, and are huge. Very hard to swallow.

Also, a minor but very annoying thing, that wart on the sole of my foot came back within a couple of days so I guess I didn't kill it all. I'm still treating it but in the meantime it is uncomfortable to walk on. And gross.

However, I felt mostly well and motivated today and ate well, apart from a mid-afternoon meal-sized snack. Still here. Still trying.

Friday, February 26, 2016

When maybe means no


I was foolish again today, by not clearly saying I wasn't interested in something and therefore extending the whole pointless exchange. Last time I was that gym I didn't like, I didn't want to say that I wasn't going back so the guy rang me twice to chat about it. I could have avoided that by just saying "I've decided no" straight away. I had to say it eventually, and just added extra hassle to the process!

Today it was at the bank. I went in and got that account set up and had a nice chat with the bank lady about our kids and stuff. She asked if we were transferring all our banking to them (no) and started pushing me to (in a nice way), saying they could negotiate various things to get our business. Now I knew straight away I wasn't going to for reasons I didn't divulge to her, and could have avoided a lot of time wasting by saying no thanks clearly. But I was all polite and wishy washy and "I'll think about it" and "I'll talk to my husband" so now she is going to call me in a week or so to see what I've decided! My extreme confrontation avoidance just means delaying the inevitable.

It's not a big deal but I do this too often. It's just silly.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016



Tim had to leave ridiculously early this morning to catch a flight. And, as is my habit, I woke even stupidly earlier than that, lay awake waiting for his alarm to go off, then couldn't get back to sleep until after he'd gone. So by the time it was actually time to get up, I was feeling awful and assumed I was still sick as a dog (as they say, but are dogs so very sick? Australians also say "drunk as a skunk" even though we don't have skunks here, and as far as I know they don't get drunk, but at least that rhymes. Rhyming slang is quite big in some parts of Australia (and England I think), like American = Yank = Septic Tank. Charming isn't it.)

Anyway, as I was saying.

Thought I was still sick, but after being up for a while and having breakfast turns out I'm fine, I was just feeling yuck from the sleep disruption. So that is nice.

I spent the entire day investigating banks. Our current bank doesn't have any branches near our new location. I do most of my banking online these days, but occasionally you want a local branch that you can visit in person, especially if you need a bank cheque (which I unexpectedly needed when we bought our car last year). So I was in the market for new bank. And I don't much like any of the big ones, that is why we went for a small local last time. So many fees and charges!

But I had to choose a bank. So I did, after much research, and proceeded to fill out an online application, which apparently should have been easy and fun! Yay! Except they wouldn't accept my ID. They give you four options, I put in two (accepted but not enough), tried to add my passport but it kept saying my document number was wrong (??!!) so I switched to my birth certificate but it wouldn't accept that because my birth name (maiden name) doesn't match my current name (married name). Does this issue not come up often enough for them to find a way to deal with it?? Surely they have the occasional woman who changed her name when she got married wanting to open an account. Sigh. Such a waste of my time. So I'll have to go in to the branch after all.

But not today! Heatwave conditions. Hot hot hot. I stayed safe inside with my air conditioning on.

Except when I took the kids to Acrogym in the afternoon to an uncooled indoor gym. We forgot last week so I didn't want to miss another class. I sat with sweat running down my back (and I wasn't even the one exercising!) and tried to imagine I was in a sauna for pleasure. Not being tortured.

So nice to be back home in the cool!

Snuggling down


Aiden started feeling sick last night and was home from school today. I started feeling ill in the morning. (No vomiting, just feeling horrible.) The nicest part of today was when Aiden and I were snuggled down in bed together. When he was in his own bed I was really worried about hearing him if he needed me and called. But with him right next to me, I could relax and doze off. We had a very quiet day together, sleep and TV, and I ordered Thai home delivery for dinner. As usual I ordered far too much for sick appetites! Oh well, nice leftovers.

Aiden is much better this evening so I'm hopeful I'll be better by morning.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Content vs striving


I got hooked in to a documentary last night, when I should have been in bed, about how people in the UK allocate their spending money. Like whether private school was worth the money, or clothes with designer labels. They interviewed people from all different backgrounds and income levels and it was fascinating. But the two people at opposite ends of the scale were the most interesting (and a little sad) to me. One man, a Romney gypsy who grew up poor in a caravan, was very rich with over 100 million UK pounds worth in assets. He had several enormous houses, very expensive vintage cars, artwork. But when the interviewer asked him if he liked the artwork he said no, he had no attachment to any of it. He bought things for investments, then sold them when they had increased in value. He bought houses fully furnished without regard to his own taste. He was only interested in making more money. But what for? He didn't spend it on his son, who he wanted to grow up with a good work ethic like he had. Not even private school (he himself left school at 12). His wife cleaned the enormous mansions herself - no household staff! He gave no explanation of what he wanted all this money for, he didn't use it for anything except to make more money. Maybe the process itself made him happy, who am I to say?

At the other end of the scale was a family of six struggling to make ends meet. The wife seemed content to buy her clothes at op shops, getting food on sale and bulking meals out with cheap beans because meat is so expensive. Until the show sent her to visit a wealthier family for a few days. Not rich, but comfortable. She saw the children with the latest electronic devices, photos of holidays overseas, food with price labels that shocked her. And you could see her getting more and more dissatisfied with her own life. She surely knew that there were other people who lived like that, but I guess it's different having it laid out right in front of you. She got very sad as she talked about her endless financial struggles with no expectation of it ever getting any better. I think the documentary did her a real disservice. Her circumstances didn't change at all over the course of the filming. Only her attitude to it did.

It's so easy, isn't it, to look at what other people have and be envious. Whether that is material possessions, relationships, weight loss, other achievements. Facebook posts of their exciting holiday or the cool jazz cellar they went to or the amount of times they went to the gym this week. Maybe you feel like you're doing well, then you see someone doing so much better and your life suddenly seems worthless in comparison. And you think if you had what they had, life would be better.

Yet on that show, the poor wife wanted what the wealthy family had - but the wealthy family weren't content, they wanted more money so they could afford to send their children to private school (without sacrificing other things in their lifestyle). And the guy who had millions and millions, seemingly enough to buy anything in the world he wanted? He was forever making more, not content with what he had either!

But should we just sit where we are, being happy with what we have? Does being content mean stagnation? I think that as humans we need to find a balance between appreciating what we already have - and who we already are - and striving for more and better. You can be grateful for what you have while still working to get more... and then appreciate the new all the more because you had to earn it. You can love yourself and still want to improve. Indeed, "they" say you have to love yourself first, before you can progress.



Everyone has their own reasons why life can be hard sometimes, we just have to keep trudging on through the bad days and enjoying the good days. I felt a lot better today. I know that predicts nothing about tomorrow, but that is no reason not to enjoy it while I can!

I did slip up with food a bit. I had all healthy meals, but a few extras too. But I got in a long walk with Aiden while Jas was at dance. In fact it was rather longer than I'd planned and we got back late. We walked all the way to the block of land that we'd considered buying last year, and then Tim's cousin actually bought. We'd only seen it online before. Some steep hills to get to it! It was very hot today, but not too bad late in the day when we were walking.

I read in New Scientist today a mention that the highest recorded temperature in the UK, in Kent in 2003, was 38.5C (101.3F). Can that be right? We're expecting that this Thursday! Yes, an unpleasantly hot summer day, but it gets a lot hotter than that here quite often. It seems very low for a "highest ever". The poor Pommies, not used to it, must have been fainting from heat exhaustion in droves that day.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

From the outside


From the outside, today would have looked pretty good. I exercised in the morning, I ate mostly good food with some extras, we went to the beach for lunch (not actually onto the sand or swimming), practiced guitar, played World of Warcraft, had family over for dinner. Nothing bad there.

But the whole day I was on the verge of tears.

I wanted to cry when I was ready to exercise and then other people were using the space and I had to wait and try to keep my enthusiasm up. I felt fat and clumsy while dancing. I did actually cry in the shower after dance because exercise often makes my mood plummet (do some people feel good after exercise?). I didn't enjoy lunch at the beach because it was so hot and humid. I cried again when I was trying to practice guitar and I couldn't get the chords. I didn't want family to come over for dinner, I wanted to go to bed and pull the sheets over my head.

I don't think these mood swings have anything to do with what I eat or don't eat, whether I'm restricting food or not, whether I'm exercising on not. No matter how much I plan or analyse, I'm not in control here. And that sucks.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Mental health day


Continuing to feel much better today. I woke early as usual, several times, but managed to get back to sleep and snoozed until nearly 9 which was wonderful. And for the first time in ages I had a dream where I was in control instead of helpless and frustrated. (I turned into a bull and trampled and gored my attackers.)

It could be unpredictable fluctuations in hormones, but the other thing that is different is that a couple of days ago I gave up on my diet and started to eat whatever I wanted. I don't think it's a huge change physically as I was failing on my diet anyway and eating plenty of treat foods all along - but it is a huge change mentally. I am no longer putting all my energy into resisting the lure of food, fighting temptation, exhausting myself trying to stick to my diet and feeling bad about failing.

The strange upshot of which is that after a couple of days of complete food freedom I'm feeling refreshed and ready to try again! Because I can't just eat whatever I like forever. That is what got me to sleep apnoea and pre-diabetes and diverticulitis etc. I have to find a plan that I can live with for the rest of my long healthy life. And I'm ready to think about that again. After only a couple of days, which surprises me. Normally I take weeks or months between healthy living attempts.

I'm considering continuing my healthy Mediterranean diet plan, which was as good as any I have tried (and was recently rated most easy to stick to, I read), but with a regular weekly "cheat day" but I hate the word "cheat". So a regular "indulgence day". Usually these days off are promoted by diet-inventors as a physical thing, to keep your body guessing. But for me it would be a mental health day, when I can relax and by eating whatever I want, ironically not have to think about food all the time. Enjoying dessert (without guilt) when the extended family gets together for dinner. Not stressing if Tim and the kids make muffins. Going to a cafĂ© for brunch. Sounds like a lovely mental health day to me.

I am still deciding between a sort of "all you can eat" free day when I actively plan treat meals for the whole day, or alternatively a relaxed weekend when I still prepare normal healthy Mediterranean-diet-style meals but also allow some treats on both days (like a cheese platter with guests, ice cream at the beach, not trying to avoid every carb on the menu at a restaurant). Either way, I would be eating clean during the week.

And I'm going to dance my booty off. Literally.



I've been feeling really depressed all week. Or longer, on and off. Tired, sad, unable to do productive work. Unable to commit to or care about looking after myself by eating nourishing food or exercising. Today I felt much better, which was a relief. But I don't know how long it will last. Since there is nothing bad going on in my life to cause depression, I'm assuming it's purely hormonal from the whole menopause thing, which can go on for years. I looked into hormone replacement therapy, but that seems to put you at higher risk for things I'm already at high risk for, so it doesn't seem like the best choice.

It was very nice to feel normal again today.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016



More night sweats and bad dreams. Last night it was running around an almost-empty shopping complex (on late Sunday afternoon with all the shops closing) trying to find the entrance to the parking lot where I'd left my car. I spent time on a bus going in the wrong direction, I met up with a friend who assured me she knew where it was, I asked at an information desk... so frustrating! I am having so many bad dreams like this, not full-on nightmares but stressful. And I wake all clammy and stinking of sweat and unable to get back to sleep. Don't you just love peri-menopause?

In spite of that I had a very productive day with writing. It's mainly a matter of sticking with staring at the screen long enough to get immersed, then I'm fine. I also practiced guitar and went for a walk, and made a phone call I was dreading a bit. Before Christmas we had a chest of drawers delivered for Aiden, it was flatpacked but part of the deal was that the guy put it together for us, which he did. Except one drawer base was missing. Two months and several phone calls later and it still hadn't been resolved, the best I'd got was "It's on our system, we'll get back to you." I hate confrontation so I wasn't hassling them as much as I should have. But yesterday I took a deep breath and rang again and got cranky. And finally got an answer that they had the missing part in stock now and a promise it would be fixed next week. It hasn't actually been done yet, but this is the furthest I've got so far!

Diet not so good. This is the last week of my eight week diet thing, but I'm having more bad days than good now and I can't really claim to be sticking to it at all. I've put a bit of weight back on and I'm very scared that it won't be long before I'm back to where I started. But I feel so tired and lost that I don't know how to change. Am I sabotaging myself because I'm scared to be thin, or convinced in my own head that I'm incapable of losing weight? Is my husband unconsciously sabotaging me by giving me more than half a kilogram of chocolate for Valentine's? He wants me to be healthy but thinks I obsess about food too much. For him, it's all about exercising more, not restricting food.

Poor Jasmine is sick with a nasty headcold. She doesn't get sick very often. I hope it doesn't spread to the whole household. But how likely is that?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Nothing to say


I didn't blog yesterday because I couldn't think of anything interesting to say. I do much the same things every day. I can (and have in the past) give you a calorie by calorie breakdown of what I ate and what I did for exercise, how much water I drank, whether or not I meditated, whether I got a good night's sleep, but really all that gets old after... what... five and a half years of blogging? I'm not stopping blogging! But maybe some days if I truly don't have anything to say, then I won't say anything.

Because I work from home I don't have a lot of interaction with other people apart from family (and I don't say a lot about them because they have a right to privacy). Today at least I met the neighbours we'd never seen! I was out checking the mail when the mother and one girl walked past and stopped to say hi. They seemed nice. We'd met the elderly couple with the Labrador dog on the other side a few times (always when I was looking unkempt!) but had only heard these people splashing joyously in their pool, never seen them. They have three girls, I think similar to my kids' ages, so it would be nice for Jasmine in particular to meet up some time. Now that I have at least spoken to the mother and she doesn't seem like a crazed drug addict or anything, I should suggest an after-school play date.

I'm finding it really hard to settle in to write at home. Maybe I'm just not used to it after such a long break, maybe it's my desk being covered in various papers (still haven't found the key to the filing cabinet, and there is another stack I haven't even looked through, and a whole box of stuff beside the desk) and it feels very cluttered. I might try taking my laptop up to the library to avoid distractions.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day


Valentine's Day for us (and I think most of Australia) means giving your partner chocolates and/or flowers, maybe going out for dinner if you book a restaurant far enough in advance. Not a big deal. Any traditions from other parts of the world?

I specifically gave Tim permission to give me chocolates, I wasn't quite expecting this (photo after some were eaten - I shared of course!):
That is a lot of Lindor balls! It came wrapped like it was one huge Lindor ball.

He also gave me flowers. I gave him a smaller box of the same kind of chocolates.

Exercise was a bit less strenuous than yesterday - a lot of my muscles were quite sore! All up and down my back. Makes me feel like I did something yesterday! Also (not so good) my knees hurt when I tried to jump today. So today I just did half an hour of dance.

We spent a quiet day together, including doing some colouring-in all sitting around the kitchen table. Family over for Sunday dinner.

My favourite part of Valentine's Day wasn't very romantic. I've had this yucky wart on the sole of my foot for weeks, it was uncomfortable with every step I took which was very inconvenient. I've been treating it with caustic stuff for a week or so and today it finally came off! Gross, but now I can walk without pain which is so nice.

Happy Valentine's.

Saturday, February 13, 2016



My original exercise plan for 2016 was to walk regularly to build up my fitness a bit then go to the gym. Well I'm not walking regularly, not getting any fitter, and the one time I visited the local gym after the move I didn't like it. So, new plan!

Taking inspiration from the fact I get so much pleasure from my guitar lesson app - as well as being inherently fun to make music, the app gives you instant feedback and gives you goals to strive for - I decided to go back to my Xbox Kinect games. So what if I'm humiliatingly unfit? I'll just do what I can.

We have quite a lot of active games, mainly dance, and in many of them I already have 5 stars (or the equivalent) in every challenge. So now I have the choice of redoing my favourites with the slight downside that I've already achieved everything, or revisiting games I didn't like as much like the newest dance editions, or go back to games I didn't finish because they were too hard. I don't like the new dance editions, btw, because I don't know or like most of the songs and also the interface sucks. In Just Dance 2016 you have to go through seven screens to move on to the next dance each time! And every one of those seven screens you have to get it to register that you are holding your hand on exactly the right spot in space. It's very frustrating.

Today I started with 15 minutes on one of the newer dance games (Dance Central 4), unpleasant hip hop music that I've never heard and one fun Katy Perry song. I was pretty tired after 15 minutes, that is a lot more energetic than walking! Then I switched to Kinect Adventures, which I completed long ago, it has a variety of games and I did the hardest of all, River Rush. This is extremely intense (for me, anyway!) with lots of jumping as high as you can. After each 90 second burst I was literally reeling around the lounge room trying to catch my breath. I did 15 minutes somehow, with sweat pouring off my face. 45 minutes later after a cool shower I was still bright red in the face.

I felt like I actually did some exercise today!

Also ate ice cream.

Friday, February 12, 2016



Third day of extra tiredness and muscle aches, so maybe I have a virus. Or maybe I'm just old and fat.  Either way I didn't do well today. Bought some bad stuff when grocery shopping. Ate it. No exercise.

The only thing I did well in today was being consistent with guitar practice. It's fun and it gives me gold stars when I play a song perfectly. I really need to somehow apply the lure of that to exercise. I used to get it from Xbox games but lost it somehow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016



So tired this morning. I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep last night then woke at 4am with night sweats and couldn't get back to sleep for a long time. When I did, I had uneasy nightmares; being caught in a tidal wave with the kids, Jasmine's head covered in warts and most of her hair falling out, being part of a resistance unit in a war but the rest of my youthful team ignoring me, annoying neighbours letting a basket of puppies into my house leading to a carpet covered in dog poop.

I wonder what life would be like, fully rested? Lack of sleep affects so many things. I have such a nice life, but it is hard to enjoy it properly when I am so tired all the time. Losing weight should help the sleep apnoea, but I've had sleep issues since I was a slender child so I don't think that is the only problem. I do have naps during the day sometimes but they rarely last more than 20 mins, that seems to be when I'm timed to wake up even when I'd love to sleep for hours.

Anyway, I know that excuses don't burn calories but that was my reason for no exercise today. I struggled though. My back is aching today, not usual for me. Mostly good food, plus a doughnut. It wasn't very nice.

Hoping for better sleep tonight.

Same same


Pretty normal day. I did the things I usually do.

My walk this morning was to the library. I took a couple of photos of a "scribbly gum".

This is a type of Australian eucalyptus tree that gets marked by beetle larvae and looks like it's been scribbled all over by a child. As far as I know it doesn't do any major damage to the tree, and looks quite pretty. Beetle graffiti!

I saw a teaser for an upcoming news show (which I didn't watch) that seemed to be saying the Australian nutritional guidelines are being changed to reflect that "low fat" isn't the most healthy diet. Yay! Finally the government is catching up to what studies have been showing for many years.

Although I do wonder what research in ten years will tell us. Too much bacon, not enough bacon...

Breakfast, coincidentally, was crispy bacon and salad.

Lunch was half a steak and a huge pile of mushrooms and onions, snow peas, and cucumber. No skimping on vegetables today! And I had no need for an afternoon snack, no hunger except as mealtimes approached.

Dinner was lemon roast chicken and diced vegetables. And a bit of potato. And went back for a bit more chicken. I wasn't especially hungry, but I am a good cook! So tasty.

In the evening Jasmine had some Nutella on toast and went I walked in the kitchen I saw the jar still on the counter and had a yummy spoonful. Hmmm, not exactly on plan. But choco-licious.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016



I walked Aiden up to his school today because he had a few extra things to carry, he rode his bike in circles around me while I carried the extra bag. Then I walked home again VERY fast, because as usual I desperately needed to pee. Is my bladder especially tiny or is this normal? At least I got a brisk walk in.

Yesterday I had a perfect food day with around 7 serves of vegetables plus one fruit, but I still didn't make my fibre goal (22.5 grams, by far the closest I've come to the recommended 25-30 grams, most days I'm around 15). Is it possible to hit fibre goals without eating lots of starchy foods? This morning I added a fibre supplement to my water, but had to laugh when I recorded it: it added 1.5 grams of fibre. The raspberries on my yoghurt added 7.6! I think I'll stick to real food. Maybe more fruit.

I had a useful writing session, I've finished rewriting the opening to my novel (the first draft, at least) and I'm up to where that merges with what I had already written. Now I just have to go through the whole thing and make all the changes I've planned. "Just." Ha. Lots of work to do. Guitar was also good today. I really feel like I'm making progress.

Breakfast was yoghurt with fresh raspberries, a grating of dark chocolate, and a cup of tea.

By mid-morning I was starving! I delayed until rather early lunch, then served myself chicken, cheese, cucumber and sauerkraut. And a cup of tea. I've been wanting to try kimchi (Korean picked vegetables) for a while but couldn't find any, so thought I'd try sauerkraut which is Polish pickled cabbage. Actually according to the jar, the ingredients are just cabbage and salt. Hmm? Anyway I had a taste and it was ok, very low calorie, and a vegetable, so I served myself out a big helping. I only ate a few mouthfuls of this! Maybe it's supposed to be eaten with something, as a condiment? On meat maybe? I have no idea. Anyway, it didn't seem to be something you eat big forkfuls of by itself.

Apologies to all the Poles who are recoiling in horror at my treatment of sauerkraut, it is not a big ethnic group in Australia so I haven't come across this food before.

By early afternoon I was starving again! So hungry. Yet yesterday I got through the day comfortably with only three meals. I thought about that this afternoon. Of course hunger can vary due to many things, but one thing I realised is that yesterday I had big helpings of filling vegetables at every meal. Not today. I will attend to this in future.

I tried to stave off the hunger pangs with a pear.
Still hungry. Had some cheese and cashews. Finally not ravenous! But I would have been better with lots of low calorie vegetables with my meals.

I didn't make that mistake with dinner. I had a pork steak with mushrooms in a garlic cream sauce (not too much sauce) with asparagus, broccoli, tomato, cucumber and carrot. Very full after dinner.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Another Monday


Monday morning and I'm all fresh and new, ready to recommit. I don't know why I gave myself permission to eat all that extra stuff yesterday, but I did, and the scale shows it. After a pretty dodgy week, I'm up 1.1 kg since my lowest point just over a week ago. The horror! But I can lose it again. Can, and will.

I have two weeks left of this blood-sugar stabilising diet. I can do it for two weeks. Then after that I continue to eat the good food, just without such tight calorie restriction. The Mediterranean diet (lots of vegetables, moderate protein and fat including nuts, olive oil and full fat dairy, and fruit, almost no processed food) is a "lifestyle" rather than a restrictive "diet" in the modern sense, but because I have insulin resistance I'm trying (with varying success) to do the eight week low calorie introduction that is suppose to help with my blood sugar levels. Since I haven't stuck to it that well, I'm not sure what to do at the end of the eight weeks - continue a bit longer? Have a glucose tolerance test to see if my blood sugars have improved? I might keep going until I have lost 10% of my starting weight - I got halfway there before this little regain. Then have the GTT. My goal, of course, is to get out of the pre-diabetic range and back to normal. I was dangerously close to a diagnosis of diabetes at my last GTT. My health is worth a little calorie restriction!

On an evening walk on Saturday with the family we saw two rabbits in someone's front yard. They seemed fairly tame, although we couldn't get right up to them, and didn't look like wild rabbits. But if I had pet bunnies I wouldn't let them wander around at dusk with cats hunting!

I walked for 40 minutes this morning. It was a bit hot, and I got very tired by the end, but those hills must be good for me! I saw a cluster of very weird mushrooms. Some had flies on them, so they might be a kind that smells like carrion. I didn't put my nose up close! I've never seen them before.

After the walk and a shower, I did my Headspace meditation. I had quite a bit I wanted to do today and it seemed a ironic that I was getting stressed about the time taken to de-stress! But I hadn't done it for quite a few days and it's important. I really concentrated on the breathing and all that instead of letting myself go to sleep. Then shopping, lunch, social media, guitar, ferried Jasmine to and from dance classes, dinner. No writing today. And my guitar playing sucked! Went backwards.

Breakfast today was chicken and salad and tea.

Lunch was roast beef and vegetables, broccoli (I only ate half) and strawberries. I felt uncomfortably full for over an hour afterwards. Too many strawberries? The calories were fine, but I shouldn't be eating until my stomach feels distended.

A cup of tea in the afternoon, then dinner was bolognaise on a big bowl zoodles.

My calories were perfect today, and all healthy food. I wasn't hungry, if fact the only thing I'd change if I wasn't restricting calories would be a bit more cheese on my bolognaise! I did my exercise and my meditation. Good day.

Sunday, February 7, 2016



We had some visitors today. We were expecting one family for morning tea at 10:30 so had some muffins and watermelon ready. They called to move it back to 11:00. Then to 11:45. They arrived after 12. I cleared away the morning tea and sent Tim out to buy a couple of rotisserie chickens! We had a nice lunch chatting with friends. It was a bit frustrating waiting around all morning though. Oh well, it was great to see them.

Then family dinner here. It no longer seems at all stressful to cook for a few extra people. You get used to it. You just cook larger quantities of what you were going to have anyway, and add a dessert!

I ate very badly today. I acted like I didn't care about consequences. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I really do.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Holding steady


I seem to be eating the amount of calories that keeps me at this weight. I gained 0.5 kg (about 1 pound) at the start of the week then have held steady since then. Looking at the graph I've been keeping since Christmas, the same thing happened this time last month. So I'm not really worried, I should start to lose again.

The thing is, I can't blame lack of weight loss on a "plateau" or water retention. It is quite clearly due to the fact I've been eating more that I should if I want to lose weight. I am eating at a maintenance level. Today I had great meals; cheese and a pear for breakfast, pulled pork and salad for lunch, chicken and vegetables for dinner. But I ALSO had some sultanas and cashews at morning tea time, and cheese and crackers and little banana muffin at afternoon tea time. A few hundred calories extra, that keep me at this weight. Not a disaster by any means, no problem if it was just now and then, but it's been nearly every day this week. Am I still blaming this behaviour on PMS?

On one hand, I consider maintenance at this lower-than-I-was-six-weeks-ago weight a win. But I can do better. I will do better.

Thursday, February 4, 2016



Is another week over already?

After grocery shopping and guitar practice, I cooked and ate my lunch while watching the Biggest Loser finale. Turns out it was the one with the huge controversy because the winner lost too much weight. All three finalists lost over half their body weight, but the two men looked healthy. Rachel looked skeletal. I admit I was a bit shocked. I looked around online and apparently she put on 20 pounds right after the finale and is now at her happy weight, so I guess she just went to extremes to win the $250,000. She was certainly the determined type.

Of course I've heard lots of bad things about the show. Extremely restricted food, overexercise even with injury. And misleading the viewers, like the "week" is really more like 10 days so it's even more unrealistic for a viewer to think they should lose huge amounts in 7 days like the contestants do. Maybe I shouldn't watch the show. But I love seeing the transformations. Most of the contestants are so unhealthy and miserable at the start that I assume they think it is worth going through everything. I think the show has got worse over the years, to be more dramatic and keep the ratings up.

I was determined to do some writing today. It was a bit scary because I had to rewrite most of the first chapter, coming up with a new opening. So this wasn't editing, fixing up what was already there, it felt like starting from scratch! I sat and stared at the screen for ages but I did finally write about 1000 words which is a pretty decent session for me. Then a big afternoon tea, a whole meal worth of calories. Hmm. Then some more guitar.

So it was a good day from a shopping/writing/guitar practise point of view, but not so good from a dieting/exercising point of view. Can't have everything I guess. Working on it.

I forgot to take food photos most of today.

Pulled pork and cucumber for breakfast, rainbow chicken stir fry for lunch, cheese sandwich and cashews and chocolate in the afternoon, steak and salad for dinner. Oh, and two cups of tea. With sugar.

I'm having a really hard time this week due to hormones. Hope it is over soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cranky day


I don't know where my energy from yesterday went. Gone again today. I had a bad sleep with night sweats, which I get quite often. Maybe peri-menopause, but if so it's taking years. Very tired today. I struggled with food again, but not as bad as Tuesday. There may have been some bacon and chocolate involved - not together, although I've heard that is a "thing". I didn't fully give in to cravings though, I didn't go out and get takeaway, and this afternoon I passed a rack of chips and chocolate bars and did not stop to buy any although invisible hands were reaching out desperately! The kids kept walking, and so did I.

This morning I went to put away some paperwork that has been building up on my desk since we moved, only to find that the filing cabinet is locked and I have no idea where the key is! Inconvenient. We locked the drawers to stop them flying open in the move. I've checked the few places I could think of that I would put a key. Bugger.

I read something today that really annoyed me. Someone was saying the rule in their house is that coffee is black or don't bother drinking it, something like that. So judgemental. So what if people want to put in sugar, or milk, or cream, or vanilla extract or whatever. They are suddenly not worth speaking to? I don't drink coffee, but if I did I would drink it however I bloody well liked and not care what these people thought. It's like some cooking shows that say food has to be cooked a certain way. I happen to like my steak quite rare (very fashionable), but on the other hand I don't like scallops to be half-raw or duck to be too pink (so my palate is "wrong" there). I like it the way I like it. Why change your taste to align with some random food critic? Who made up the rules anyway?

I let my breakfast tea go cold this morning and didn't drink it, but I had a cup of tea this afternoon. After two weeks nearly (? I think) I still don't like it without sugar. Don't enjoy it at all. I've been forcing myself to drink it to try to get used to it (as I've tried many times in the past) with no success. Doesn't taste like anything I want to drink. I've completely lost the relaxing ritual of a cup of tea that I loved so much. So, do I just give it up entirely? Do I go back to having my tiny bit of sugar - less than a teaspoon - usually the only processed sugar I have all day? Do I stick to the no-sugar rule for the remaining two and half weeks of this strict blood-sugar balancing diet? Ha! As if I didn't have chocolate today!

I nearly forgot the kids were starting Acrogym today - a cross between gymnastics and acrobatics? It looked fun, learning to do cartwheels and stuff. I stayed and watched today but it's only a couple of blocks from home so I'll probably leave them next time, and come home. Or maybe go for a walk. No exercise today.

Sorry for tired crankiness. Hopefully everything will be easier tomorrow. At least I got my guitar practice in.

I'm back


I'm feeling much better today, and wondering what the hell I was thinking yesterday. It's weird when your hormones just take over like that and you become almost a different person for a little while. I still have a lot of physical discomfort today, but my head is back in the right place. Desiring healthy food and movement instead of big lumps of fat and slothfulness. No damage to the scales, in fact I was down a tiny bit after previously going up three days in a row.

During the morning I walked up to the library, stopping to take a few photos on the way:

Then I did some work on my novel for the first time this year (principally making notes of all the things that need to be changed, which I thought through on my walk, including cutting or merging a lot of unnecessary characters and scenes, which means I'm going to need to add more content later).

Then time for a bit of guitar practice before lunch. All things I couldn't even contemplate yesterday! And I guess sometimes you need a break because those chords I was struggling with came easy today.

At lunchtime I really wanted to watch Biggest Loser (turns out it is the US 2014 series). I mean, it was makeover week! But two hours of TV? So I made a deal with myself, that I could watch it as long as I spent every ad break on my feet, doing something else. I prepared my lunch and ate it, then after that every ad break I got up and did some housework. I took out several loads of recycling to the bin, I wrapped leftover pizza and hid it in the freezer, I collected dirty clothes from around the house and started the washing machine, I sorted mail, I wiped down the kids' bathroom sink. I got a lot done! And I got to enjoy my show in between without feeling guilty. There is only one week left in the BL house before finale, and with the accelerated way they are showing it I'm guessing it will be over by the weekend.

I had time for some social media and another guitar session before the kids got home. Worked on my finger picking and was very pleased to find I wasn't always looking at my hands, sometimes I just trusted my fingers to find the right fret. Sometimes!

Breakfast was Greek yoghurt with a nectarine, and a cup of tea.

Steak and fried mushrooms with "salad" for lunch.

Tea and grapes for afternoon tea.

Then dinner was lemon roast chicken with roast vegetables. These pictures aren't really representative. I didn't eat the broccoli it wasn't nice today, but those diced veges are awesome. As is usual now, the kids stole some, even though I gave them some of their own. And I had a bit extra chicken. So yummy!

I did well today.

I'm back, baby, yeah!

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's not over


Did I think yesterday was hard? Yesterday was easy.

The garbage truck woke me at 5:30. I got back to sleep and dreamed I was riding a bicycle over a bridge over a deep gorge, a terrifyingly narrow bridge with a railing only on one side. And I'm scared of heights at the best of times, let alone in an actual life or death situation. And then I knew Jasmine was going to be riding over in a minute. Horrible.

I woke feeling awful. PMS with all the physical and emotional discomfort that sometimes comes with this time of the month. I'd slept very late, and it was barely 10 minutes before Jas and Tim left for school and work, but I still had an hour with Aiden. I managed to make his lunch, the rest of the time we sat in front of the TV with him on my lap. Got him off to school.

I decided I was having a sick day. Not worry about what I should be doing, just let it go like I would if this was a virus instead of hormones.

I didn't want my planned breakfast. Slimy yoghurt? Yuck. I had cheese and grapes. Then I watched TV all morning, feeling miserable.

I started thinking about food. Chips. Cheesy flavour - like cheezles or Doritos. Crunchy, salty. I tried hard to resist. I prepared my lunch early, 11:30, but after a couple of bites I didn't want it. Not what I was craving. I brushed my teeth. Then I remembered KFC. It was only two blocks away, and even had drive through. Fatty and salty. Exactly what I wanted. So I went and got some.

It was lucky I got drive through instead of eating there because I inhaled my three pieces, usually my limit of grease, and if there had been more I would have eaten more. If I was still in the restaurant I would have bought another three. I still want more right now. It was delicious and exactly what I was craving. Of course it was also about a million unhealthy calories.

If I achieved anything today, and that is precious little, it was not going back and getting more.

I couldn't face cooking, and ordered pizza for dinner. And had my first liquid of the day then. One glass of water by the end of dinner.

My pants are suddenly too tight.

I am not making light of this slip or excusing it due to PMS. PMS makes it harder, it doesn't make healthy choices impossible. I always still have a choice, every time.

This diet is not over. I don't care how many times I stumble. Each time, I'll just pick myself up again and keep going. But today was not a day to be proud of.



I got up and weighed myself with plenty of time to then go for a walk. But my weight was up! Way up! I crawled back into bed and sulked. I felt fat and horrible. Was it delayed reaction from bad party food? Can't have been what I ate yesterday. Then I realised it was just about that time of the month when I retain water - and also that time of the month when it is harder to cope when the scale turns evil! My mood was not good. But at least I had a reason for half a kilogram of weight gain.

I had things planned for the day but I just wanted to stay in bed and wait until it was all over. Distracting myself was probably the better idea, but without getting too worried if I didn't get everything I wanted done.

Saw a redback spider in the garage. Highly venomous. Now I have that to be paranoid about. Sydney, with its hot wet climate, is a home of many kinds of "nopes". So called because you see one then turn around and walk in the other direction saying "nope, nope, nope." Then you get a flamethrower and burn the house to the ground. I sprayed, but don't know if I got it.

There were still some elusive things the kids needed for school that didn't seem to be available in shops I visited locally. So I drove to an Officeworks store, only 15 mins away but on the wrong side of a busy main road so it took a bit of navigating. And they still didn't have everything I needed! But at least I found the specific calculator on Jasmine's list. Then the grocery shopping. It was raining when I left the supermarket, which made me feel guilty because I'd convinced Jasmine not to take a bulky jumper to school in her already overcrowded backpack, I still think it was pretty warm but she might disagree.

While having my lunch I watched US Biggest Loser (an old one I think, but I haven't seen it before). I know a lot of people don't like the show but I love it. Anyway, the episode finished then another one came on! Two in a row. And I watched it. Which is going to be a problem if that is every day. I don't need to be sitting watching TV two hours every afternoon. Quite the opposite. But "record it and watch it later" doesn't work, I watch TV every night from about 7:30, and as-of tonight all my favourite shows are starting up again after the summer holiday break. I'm really going to need to manage my time and my TV allowance. It is a pleasant relaxation, but hours spent in front of the TV are hours not doing something else.

I did 45 minutes guitar practice. I am progressing well with finger picking (one note at a time) but terrible with chords. However at the end of today's session I finally got E and Am, changing back and forth, and passed the skill challenge to progress. Yay! But when I tried it again I was all over the place. My fingers were tired by then, time to stop and do it again tomorrow. Definite progress today.

No writing today, because of the whole morning out shopping then the afternoon TV and guitar until the kids got home. I will work harder tomorrow, first priority. Writing this book is my job at the moment, I need to make time for it and get it done.

Breakfast was bacon, tomato and a nectarine. The fridge was almost empty until I went shopping. No cucumbers!

Lunch was tomato soup and some sharp Epicure cheese.

I was rather proud of my shopping, considering, not buying any junk, even though there was a little voice saying "you know you always give in this time of the month so you might as well just give in now", but that doesn't mean the house was a safe junk-free zone. Veronica insisted on leaving some of that s'mores brownie here on Saturday night. When I objected she said Jasmine would like it and how could I argue with that? Jas had some yesterday and I was fine, not interested. But when the kids got home today Jasmine had another piece. She sat eating it near me. I made the firm decision "no" and that was the end of it. Except it wasn't. And I got myself a piece. A big piece. Aiden asked if he could have the marshmallow topping so I just had the brownie part, but it was still a big slice of rich fudgy sugar. And I ate it all, even after I started to quickly feel a bit sick.

So, that was a fail. I am not going to beat myself up about it, but I am very aware that I have certain scripts in my head that I need to combat. Like "you cannot resist chips" and "you cannot resist chocolate when you have PMS". There is a difference between knowing myself and my vulnerabilities, and letting my evil twin convince me there is going to be an automatic collapse of willpower. I am also working on "you always fail at losing weight". I am not at home to self-sabotage!

Jasmine had her first dance classes here at her new dance school tonight. Both classes are on the same day, I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing. First tap dancing, which she is new to, and then jazz, which she has been doing for several years. She didn't want to continue ballet, which I am quite glad about. It seems to be bad for your feet and also promotes extreme skinniness. She had a good time at her classes, but she's very shy and still lurking up the back of the room as much as possible.

Dinner was satay chicken and lots of vegetables. I was going to have quinoa with it, but cut that due to the afternoon snack. I had it on a bed of lettuce. I'm the only one who likes quinoa, everyone else has rice. I plan to try some other new things like lentils that I don't usually eat, once I can find recipes to make then palatable.

I didn't like the "after" photo but here are the vegetables for the satay.
It was a mixed day, but overall I did pretty well. And I've thrown out the last bit of that brownie!