Saturday, 31 March 2012

Saturday Chit Chat

Well I was a bit absent until Thursday this week. I wasn't well but I am now feeling 100 x better. So you can all rest easy and go about your business now that weight has been lifted off your minds!

Today we are off to visit my sister with all 3 children in tow. Her new house has been newly decorated and we are set to trash it within about 5 mins of our arrival.  She has been warned.  My sister doesn't have kids nor does spend much time with little people so it could be interesting.
Exercise has been majorly shite this week i.e none because of my flu like, sore throat etc and dieting has been moderate.  I've had yogurt for breakfast this morning (no bacon has featured) and I have set myself a dieting deadline.  To lose a stone by the end of April. My husband just laughed and said "right you're going to lose 1lb every 2 days are you?" He thinks its unrealistic and to just get back into losing weight every week like I was a few months back.  He said "it'll all come good in the end".

With that thought I shall bid you all a relaxing and enjoyable weekend!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Want a festering friendship cake?

No? Really? Why not? Yes I'd never heard of 'Herman the friendship cake' before. Now I first heard of Herman a week ago whilst visiting my friend in hospital. Her first round of Chemo had left her without any white blood cells which resulted in a 4 day stay in hospital.

Whilst chatting (I was wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of germs) she pipes up "not another bloody email about this cake - that's the fourth one I've had so far!" "Have you had one about Herman the Friendship cake?" No I hadn't - cue much groaning, expletives and sighing from me. I hate shit like this you see. I got a text recently on International Women's day saying we were all 'amazing','brilliant' women. Why? Because we give birth, something that has been going on since the beginning of time. Why do women feel the need to constantly pat themselves on the back for just being a woman? If blokes did it there would be uproar. Can you imagine - Its International Men Day - we are amazing, we work our nuts off all our lives, without a break and die shortly after.  Enough! 

I told her in no uncertain terms to "email back and say you're 38 not 8 for fucks sake!" She promptly told me off and said that would be rude (point taken) and to stop upsetting her friends on twitter. They might not get my sense of humour.  I had tweeted back to one of her friends who innocently asked the question "what's the name of the company that delivers food ingredients to your door?" I instantly tweeted back "bend over?" Now I thought this was very funny and assumed the person who I don't know at all would know what I meant.  You get it don't you? Please say you do or exit The 1970's diet blog at great haste. I meant, of course, hands up billy, take your money, are we really that lazy but I had to explain myself. I had my very own tumbleweed moment.

Anyway, onto Herman. There's lots about him on the Internet but I've saved you the trouble, as ever!  This is Herman.  So basically a 'friend' gives you an unfinished festering type dough cake. You have to add stuff to the mixture, let set for a few days, then bake him and share amongst your friends.  As if you haven't got enough to be doing - book bags, school stuff, running a home, working that your 'friends' want to pop round with this because its a nice thing to do. No it isn't. We are grown women with busy lives this is the sort of shit I would have done when I was 12! Grow up (see previous post on that one).
If you want to be a friend do half my ironing or preferably all of it. Bake me cakes and leave them fully completed. Herman has got to be put in the same category as one of those I'd rather slit my wrists than go to a Jamie Oliver, Pampered Chef, Candlelite, Chocoholics or any other type of party. Parties are fun - buying shit I don't need to fund peoples rainy day fund is not.

I mean this is like some sick twisted chain letter. What happens if you just let Herman find its way into the bin. Does a baker somewhere die? So please if you really are my friend don't ever, ever give me a Herman!


Monday, 26 March 2012

Monday Weigh In

-2lbs. Not been that well this week and had a sleep today from 1-3pm (hubster off today).  Normal business will resume hopefully by Wednesday as I can't be doing with feeling ill!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Saturday Chit Chat

This is me August 2009 - weighing 12 stone 10lbs

I'm very happy here. I am wearing (although you can't see size 14 white (!) Capri trousers and my Tour de France top that I got in Paris.  We went there on honeymoon in July 2009.  I've put this up to remind myself what I look like with less weight on me.

This has been another less than satisfactory week - not so much on the food front but on the exercise front. I've slept with buddy (not his real name) 4 times this week. Last night was particularly bad as he was just awake on and off for 3 bloody hours! This is far worse, in my view, than if they're crying with teething pain or hungry. He was also good to go and up and about at 6.30 am.  He hadn't slept in the day and rarely does - in fact its all been a bit hit and miss since November.  So cue sore throat, cough, cold and my eyes are sore again.  I know its just from lack of sleep and feeling run down but its so frustrating as I'm rarely unwell.  It stops me from exercising and it pisses me off!!

I have so much more weight to lose. I need to train properly for the Race for Life. The Biggest Loser 60 minute workout I did the other day was excellent and if I could only manage to do that 3 x a week it would be falling off me so to speak. And I mean the real falling off me not like the way its meant to whilst "running around after a baby". Who runs around after a baby? They don't do anything.  That and breastfeeding - no it doesn't fall off you, if anything it makes you bigger because you're hungry all the time and sitting on your arse feeding your baby!

Anyway, as you can tell I am not in the best of spirits.  Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.

Friday, 23 March 2012

The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout

Okay I just had to share this with you for the weekend. I found a good You Tube clip of the workout I try and do 3 x a week - lack of sleep, mood and health permitting.  The person in this clip isn't me but its so nice to see he is getting just as knackered as I do during the programme! In particularly the burpee section -the guy is still on the floor panting when the next exercise begins!

I also use Bob as my personal trainer but will switch to Gillian once the 12 week fat burning programme has finished. I changed it to 60 mins this week and I nearly threw up. I have had the return of this irritating head cold/cough so didn't do my Wii dance today but hope to do the The Biggest Loser tomorrow.  Its bugging me now as I do love my exercise. 

You will see at the bottom of the screen there is a little green figure - it is so realistic. I can see myself all wobbly and life like working out.  You get scanned when you first start the game and then can re-scan yourself at anytime. The game is exactly like the programme with a weekly weigh in and a weekly challenge. You get to pick your fat character who also works out with you and the trainer.

I don't work for X-box Kinnect but if you have one (I think this game is also on Wii) I would so recommend it.

I will update my food diary and temptation corner later.  I have been a bit slack on the updating front the last couple of days.  I think I'm just going to stick with the photo temptation corner and go back to writing what I eat as the novelty has worn off. I would recommend it just for a week to anyone who really wants to see how big their portions are. 

So the sun is shining, my friend gets released from hospital today - if you get a chance have a look at her blog Oh Marvellous a funny and interesting read about her Breast Cancer journey. 

Have a great weekend people!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Act your age not your shoe size

Sang Tom Jones (and Prince I believe). We used to say this as school children in a nah nah nah nah nah type of way.  I'm not suggesting that the phrase should make a comeback but I most certainly am suggesting people start acting their bloody age! 

Asides from the obsession with looking younger than you are, people are also obsessed with not becoming old.  We're lead to believe that 50 is the new 30. I read a feature in a newspaper a while back showing pictures of minor celebrities who were 50. The title was something along the lines of  "we look better now than we did when we were 20".  No they didn't. We're lead to believe that having kids, because biological it is possible, in your mid to late 40's is fine and from my own mother's mouth (who is 64 this year) 70 isn't old. Everything has got seriously messed up don't you think?

Now I've touched on this before in my post Life's too short?. It was always deemed that a good life expectancy was 3 score plus 10. That's 70 in case you were born post 1980 and haven't a clue what I'm talking about. Yes, if you reached 70 you'd had a good innings. If I read in the paper that a 70 year old man died I wouldn't be thinking "oh how sad they were so young".  Would you? 

Yes it is perfectly likely that people can live well into their 80's and beyond. But many don't. I would say more people die in their 70's than those in their late 80's. The Queen Mother is a good example of how the seriously wealthy always have a grand chance of living a longer than average life. Us mere mortals aren't as fortunate to have a charmed life.  I doubt The Queen Mother's body had the same sort of wear and tear, toil and trouble on her body as a result of the daily grind.

Based on my calculations 35 is middle aged. Not 40. Not 45 and most certainly not 55.  Women of my generation are leaving it much longer to have kids. About a quarter end up childless which I suspect for the vast majority of them, didn't feature in their life plan when they left school. People ask me if I'll have another child (4th) and I always reply I'm too old. They say "you're not old you're only 38". Let me tell you there is a world of difference between being pregnant in your late twenties to being pregnant in your late 30's. Physically you are far better equipped and are meant to have kids when you are younger.  I should have started early/mid twenties if I wanted 4 not started at 29. 

Just because society says so it doesn't make it physically right. Physically. Now I'm not talking about how you feel in yourself. Most say "I don't feel my age mentally"  "I'm 18 in my head". That's very good for someone to have a positive outlook. Studies have shown that you are less likely to become ill if you remain active and can avoid certain conditions if you have this frame of mind.  But physically 70 is old.  There is no argument against this. I'm sorry.  If you were in a doctors surgery about some ailment and he sees that you are 40,50,60,70 - you are in the old bracket.  Fact. 

Someone said (I can't remember who) when you are young if you've got an injury there's a reason behind it. When you're old you've just got an injury.

People just don't want to accept it. They want to go back-packing in Thailand in their 50's (read this the other day). Is there nothing the young can do on their own these days without their ageing parents wanting to tag along to? Dress sense, clubbing, typical student type holidays, rock concerts. Christ the amount of middle aged and beyond mum types that were at Glastonbury saying "look I've still got it". No you haven't. You look a twat. Go home, put the kettle on and act your age. Youth culture is meant to be for the young.

Why can't people accept that their glory days are well and truly behind them?  Embrace old age and all that it offers.  No one is saying give up the ghost but stop lamenting for your youth - its gone and its not coming back!

Personally, I can't wait to get myself on a Saga cruise let me tell you. I'm sure the thirty something whingy "I want my life back" women (see my previous post Whinging Women)  would have a far better outlook on motherhood if they just accepted they were old now. You're meant to sit in and watch 'You've Been Framed' with a take-away and a glass of wine on a Saturday night.  You had plenty of time to do the young stuff when you were young. Let us leave youth culture to the young shall we.

Another blogger friend of mine aptly named Midlifesinglemum has also written a post at the same time as me (it wasn't accidental we did agree to do this). Please check it out - I haven't read it as yet but I'm pretty certain it will be different to mine!

Right where's that Saga brochure.......

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Riding the crest of my Nigella wave... I am.  I can't believe I forgot to mention that Nigella (yes she needs no surname) direct messaged me on Twitter the other night!  Now I'm not normally taken by celebs in any way shape or form. I don't buy the heat type magazines on a regular basis - maybe a couple of times a year. I don't watch X-factor or Britain's Got Talent and I certainly don't like the fake Amanda Holden.  How on earth does she manage to get so much press coverage? Answer me that.

I recently went to a wedding where Jeff Brazier (who writes a column in the Daily Mirror and had 2 children with Jade Goody) was present. He seemed like a very nice, well turned out chap but I had no desire to be photographed with him or felt star struck in anyway.  The same cannot be said for some of the people I was with!

I once went to The Ivy restaurant years back and I have to admit I did hope to see a few major celebrity faces as it was the haunt at the time. I was thinking perhaps one of my favourite film actors like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro or Leonardo DiCaprio - that kind of league. Who was in there? Roger Moore.  Looking very tanned and wrinkly going over the bill with a fine tooth comb. A tad disappointing don't you think.

I once saw Rod Stewart go pass our house in an open topped car - I could see this mad mop of hair and I thought that looks like....then when I saw the number plate (something highly original like ROD 1) my suspicions were confirmed.  The only time when a telly figure caught me well and truly off guard and open mouthed was when I came face to face with Trevor McDonald whilst stepping into the work lift. I think it was the sheer randomness and surprise factor involved. He said "Good Afternoon" in his news like voice.  I must admit I did exit the lift on my floor saying "I've just been in the lift with Trevor McDonald!" whilst doing a merry jig. So all and all then I've had no real brushes with anyone that decent off the telly or big screen.

Enter Nigella. Now I love Nigella. I loved the Nigella Bites series and the one where she was rustling up numbers in her seaside house.  I liked her little television show she did where she got her friends to discuss this and that. I like her rainy day biscuits and the fact she collects biscuit cutters.  I love her Italian trifle recipe and I admire her descriptive speaking and writing. I have about 4 of her books in total. 

I also remember watching her late husband's documentary on his throat cancer which was so very sad.  She has lost a husband and sister to cancer. I think Nigella whilst born into a wealthy family and will never really know financial hardship, has had to deal with plenty of emotional hardship.  I think she totally gets it - the perspective on life that everyone speaks of when something bad happens.  She looks fantastic too - curvy or slimmer it doesn't matter.  I felt quite angry when the papers slated her for the outfit she wore in Australia. She quite rightly said "what am I supposed to look like in my 50's?"  To be honest most of us would kill to look like her. I'm 38 and if I look anywhere half as decent as she does than I'd be a happy women. She's a man's women and women's women.

So I did get a little excited about my DM I have to admit. I sent her an @nigella message after reading her husband's interview. It was very frank and refreshing to hear.  This is her reply - in case you don't believe me!

The Nigella DM!

I did message her back to flog my blog and to say I was a sane fan as opposed to a crazy one. Funnily enough she hasn't replied!  

Turning to dieting matters I had a brain wave last night - this week I'm going to do a photo diary of the food that I haven't eaten. The food that I've turned down. Its going to be called Temptation Corner and it will be interesting to see the amount of calories I've said no to. Starting with my husband's baked cheesecake I have lovingly made for him today.  

Until next time...

Monday, 19 March 2012

Monday Weigh In

Hello people. I'm sitting here a bit sweaty as just done my Wii dance with wrist weights - do I need to keep adding that? Well just in case you're not a regular reader I always dance with these now. I've put on 2lbs. Yes 2lbs. No surprises if you have seen my photo food diary which took a turn for the worse from Thursday onwards.  See my post on Saturday to explain the downfall.  I am much better today so its all systems go again. I will never give up!  Now 2lbs when you lose it doesn't sound a lot does it? But when you put it on, crikey, it is a lot. The moral of the story is NEVER EVER (in the voice of Jim Belushi from the film About Last Night) moan that you've only lost 2lbs. It is a lot of weight and you sure know about it when you put it on. 

Last week I had a 'sod it' attitude about me.  Now I have come to the conclusion that you can't have a 'sod it' attitude at any point whilst you are overweight.  Its quite liberating at the time but quickly loses its appeal when you hit the scales. Ultimately you do care otherwise you wouldn't be dieting in the first place. 

Another nugget of wisdom I have for you today is to totally ignore anyone else who is losing weight more rapidly than yourself or talks of people starting diets.  Its irrelevant. Only your weight loss matters.  Furthermore upon reaching goal weight it has to be maintained - far more tricky (not that I'd know at this stage of the game) than losing it.

I have 2 weeks before Easter Hols. I found out today the school is on strike (welcome to the 1970's and don't get me started on Muppet Cameron and his cronies looking to privatise the roads) so I'm planning a trip to the farm that day.  Meaning fitting in as much exercise is crucial but not as crucial as getting the food right.  I have been given the thumbs up to run in the Race for Life - my friend said that's okay she'll walk with her mum and co.  We have also decided to have our holiday in the Vendee region of France in August so lots and lots to aim for.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em

Oooohh Betty!  Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.  Its Mother Day, its The 1970's Diet so I just had to mention Michael Crawford in the classic 1970's sitcom Some Mother's do 'Ave' Em.  It was a regular television staple in our house and was watched by millions back in the day where we were limited to 3 (yes you heard right) television stations.  The mad cap antics of Frank Spencer were very funny especially the stunts at the end - which he did all himself.  Here's a clip to refresh your memory - probably the most popular one "rollerskating".  I love the bit on the bus where he says in his famously effeminate voice "I haven't got no change!"

So to Mother's Day. I'm partial to a bit of Mother's Day it has to be said.  Its right up there in birthday territory - the kids get so excited about it which is lovely.  I love all the little crafty bits they make which I always keep. Today they brought me breakfast in bed - 1 x slice of wholemeal with marmalade, 1 yogurt and 2 chocolate Cadbury Roses. The cards and little gifts they made were lovely and I also had 3 beautiful bouquets waiting for me downstairs. Although my daughter did give the game away when she said "you take your time eating your breakfast and then afterwards come and see your flowers!"

Cupcake Flower bouquet - I mean what's not to like!!

Speaking of which how about this fabulous creation that my friend makes at  Cakes by Fairies.   What's not to like about this work of art?  Flowers are so last season darling! Hit the 'like' button on her Facebook page if you think her creations are stunning. Or not - that's fine too.  They taste as good as they look - so many people churn out novelty cupcakes of equal visual standard but most, much like French car manufacturing, are style over substance. 

We have been for a walk in the woods and now, fingers crossed, I will be able to read the Sunday papers in peace. Wish me luck on that one.  I will phone my own mother too - I purchased some skin cream products by Neal's Yard Remedies for her. They are all organic and I love the packaging - I'm a sucker for packaging.  Okay I'm beginning to sound like one of those blogs reviewing stuff - I don't do that nor do I intend to honest guv!

I'm not close to my own mother.  We don't chat on the phone regularly, do lunch or any of those typical mother/daughter type things that I hope me and my own daughter will do when she's older. She prides herself on not doing stuff like that and actively seeks to be different. I often joke with her that she's a rebel without a cause as her set up is very conventional.  Married at 19, 3 kids at 23 and still married to my dad.

Today I suspect she is watching Chelsea on the telly or at the Bridge. Football comes before everything. We have little in common and I'm sure she will be the first to admit that she is not at all maternal. She found the whole having 3 children a bit of drudge whereas I find it a joy.  I think it makes me a better mother in any event - so I can thank her for that!
Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Saturday Chit Chat

Well this week hasn't been great.  On Monday evening me and the little fella developed conjunctivitis - I've only had it about 3 times in my life and its horrible. My eye was disgusting and looked like I was permanently crying.  So on the Tuesday I popped into the local chemist and told them I was currently using ointment called 'Golden Eye'.  The chemist laughed and said "where did you get that from its been discontinued"  "Erm at the back of a drawer" I replied sheepishly. So having purchased eye drops that are actually still in production our eyes did improve that day and the next.  By Thursday my daughter had the start of it so I kept her off school and got another lot of eye drops.  By this time I'm starting to feel very flu like but I reasoned an Olympic athlete (there are no similarities between us whatsoever) would not rain off training just because he/she had a bit of a cold. So whilst tough and more sweaty than usual, I felt triumphant that I had managed to do my exercise that day. 

Yesterday I was thinking perhaps that wasn't the best idea I'd had in a long while.  They always say exercising whilst not feeling well has no real benefit and 'they' may well be right.  I felt rotten - I had been up my usual once in the night and by 7.30 am I was transfixed to the settee.  My husband said and I quote "why don't you keep all the kids off - it won't hurt for them to miss one day of school".  You might need to re-read that again if it hasn't quite sunk in.  Now I'm not one for the battle of the sexes type shit that goes on a lot these days but really, really?? Only a man could say that. Or a person who doesn't look after kids AT ALL!!

In his defence he was thinking of me doing the school run - more like the school crawl to my untimely death.  He just hadn't thought it through. The school run takes about 5 mins to walk there - we're normally early. Yes even with 3 in tow I can still manage it - a lot can't and I've moaned about them before.  The head has recently put the lateness in the newsletter which has had all of zero impact.  As the school is on a hill and there is a side entrance I, personally, would make the fuckers walk back up and around and come through the main entrance. I would go so far as to have a little barrier emblazoned with LATE NOT THROUGH THE GATE or something like that. A bit of inconvenience is what is required like the inconvenience they inflict on everyone else.

I digress as ever.  So all in all the walk there, the chat and the blanking by pit bull, takes less then 30 mins. Now you don't have to be a mathematical genius to work out that that's less than an hour out of an 11 hour day until the husband comes home.  Or I could, like the husband said, be ill for 11 hours with all 3 children. My eldest are totally winding each other up at the moment and the thought of telling them off at regular intervals with food breaks and being ill had no appeal whatsoever. My response was "are you insane?". I relayed this to the mums in the playground - oh how they roared with laughter - "what...(between snorts) he said keep them all off if you're ill"?!

So today I feel slightly better, well a lot better than I did yesterday even though I've been up since 5 am on and off.  But diet wise I'm rubbish when I'm ill.  Unless food is physically incapable of passing down my throat I'll be eating thank you. Yesterday I had a 'sod it' attitude and only got up from the sofa to feed myself.  I also had a lovely 30 min snooze with the little fella in our bed - so it was worth being ill for that - toddler cuddles you can't beat it.  I have documented my binge in the Photo Food Diary and having looked at it, it does look remarkably similar to what I ate when I gained about 6 stone whilst pregnant. 

I have put a disclaimer on it. I would not try this at home if you want to lose weight. I have giving myself a mental beating and its not part of my normal 1970's diet. I only hope that I can redeem myself before Monday's weigh in. What do you think?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Just A Quickie

To let you know that I'm going to do a separate page for the photo food diary - I think it takes up too much room on the main blog page. So if you want to see what I've been eating check under 'Photo Food Diary' on the right hand side of the blog!

I was only doing it for this week in any event but may do it for a bit longer - who knows!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Photo Food Diary

Went wild this morning and ate raisins too!

Scrummy lunch tried out these new pittas which have seeds and oats (150cal) with king prawns 175g, roquet leaves and buddy's bread sticks a teaspoon of light mayo and dash of ketchup - love it!

Before it went wrong....

Would I lie to you guys - no sorry! My friend who makes delicious cakes and cake pops turns up at the playgroup thrusting these into my hand! Now the kids all had one each which mean there were 2 left - I had the 2 blue ones, please note the yellow and pink one is slightly bigger - I reckon they're 100 cals a pop - hence no pudding.

Its swimming lessons on a Wednesday so tea is even more uninspiring - pasta with 2 x teaspoons of green pesto and some olives - I've also had some grapes during the day too. Good job I did a workout.

Garden Centre Nazi!

Do you live with one of these? Or are garden centres a no go zone for you? This spring time weather will no doubt mean, at some point, you'll be popping to one near you soon.  Now I was a bit unsure as to whether or not to use the word 'Nazi' in my blog.  I don't want to cause offence to anyone for obvious reasons but its the only way I can describe my husband when we go to one of these places.

As kids if we were describing someone who was a right old control-freak we would often refer to them as a Nazi.  I doubt very much the generations of young people following up behind me 1) use it and 2) even know what it means. Although I did find a reference to a 'Grammar Nazi' in the Urban Dictionary so maybe I'm wrong about that one:-

...2. a – A person who believes proper grammar (and spelling) should be used by everyone whenever possible. b – One who attempts to persuade or force others to use proper grammar and spelling....

Garden centres really took hold in the 1970's and have now developed into vast retail outlets. I mean you can have your lunch there and everything! People starting going abroad for their holidays in the 60's and 70's - what with the rise of affordable package holidays to Spain and other cheapo destinations.  People came back from these places and wanted to re-create (good luck with that one) a bit of sunshine back in blighty.

All of a sudden the garden was a place to entertain - enter the BBQ. Everybody was having a BBQ back in the day - cue food poisoning but hey, who cares, we're eating outside in the freezing cold. Following on from that came all the accessories required for entertaining in the garden - tables, chairs, hammocks etc.  The idea of a hammock is lovely isn't it. Great in the Bahamas (not that I'd know) but doesn't quite have the same effect in South London with the kids pestering you every 5 minutes whilst trying to topple you over.

The garden centres generate millions of pounds in sales and (I am guessing here) vital to the British economy.  Us Brits love our gardens. Fact.

Now why the slur on my husbands good character? Well let me tell you - hard and soft landscaping is his game so he's in the know on all garden type matters.  He knows the names of plants, flowers, bedding, shrubs, hedging, trees and a whole lot more. He likes pottering around garden centres - it floats his boat, gets him going. I do not. I don't know the different names (why can't they be shorter than 30 letters for starters) and nor do I care to.  I have desperately tried to get into gardening but for the life of me I just can't.

Ornamental Cabbage - What's wrong with these bad boys?!

We normally go en masse and get one of those funny looking trolley's to load up 'our' choosen bounty. The kids and I are told to get whatever we fancy.  Trouble is everything I return with is not suitable.  He takes one look at the plant and says things like - no good in our soil,  wrong time of year, needs to be by water or even worse "really"? I like the ornamental cabbage plant. I mean what's not to like? It looks like an edible vegetable but is masquerading as a flower. Genius as far as I'm concerned but I'm not allowed it.  He says all my choices are normally less than 12 inches high like pansies (scoffs) and generally can be found outside most municipal buildings!

So, dejected, I put all my little choices back and get persuaded to pick up things that will grow, suit our garden (according to the garden Nazi's taste) and not be found outside a town hall somewhere.  Whilst I do like the spring and summer, I most certainly don't like the frequent trips to the garden centre with my very own Garden Centre Nazi!

Town Hall special?

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Photo Food Diary

Breakfast tinned peaches

Matron! A big banana after doing the weekly shop and feeling mighty rough today with gunky eye

Snacking whilst putting the shopping away

Scrummy lunch of wholemeal pitta with 130 g of prawns and 130g of salmon, tomato and a bread stick from buddy - how thoroughly middle class of me as the hubster would say

Low fat yogurt - not intentionally though as studies have shown having the low fat and sweetener stuff is actually bad for you - it makes you crave sugar that's why I don't drink diet drinks anymore. I need to swap the yogurts to proper ones

Its shopping day what can I say!

Rice couple of tablespoons, broccoli, 1 chicken breaded piece pinched from kids, 1/4 steak and mushroom pie

And finally...

Monday, 12 March 2012

Photo Food Diary

Breakfast with coffee

Lunch with coffee - wholemeal pitta 2 x corned beef  + salad leaves teaspoon butter

Afters or pudding - tinned fruit cocktail juice drained

Dinner - 5 x meatballs, runner beans (I know but didn't want to waste them! - new potatoes in oven, red onion and sauce is just tinned tomatoes with red onion

Rest of tin plus some tinned pineapple

Monday Weigh In

-1lb.  To be honest it could have been anything this week gain or loss and I would have been okay with it. This is because I feel like I've started my diet again.  The sun is out, spring is just about here and I'm all geared up to get back to basics. The last couple of months I've slacked a bit on the food front which can be seen in my results.  I now have a fitness goal which I spoke of in yesterday's post and I feel the momentum has returned. Like most diets when your clothes start to feel looser and you feel better about yourself, you can slip back into old habits.

I figure the one thing you can truly control in life is what food you put in your mouth - the rest you don't have much control over. 

To get me kick started I have decided to take a picture of everything I eat this week and I'll post them next week.  I remember reading about a bloke who did this for a whole year all in the name of art.  I have no expectations that my pics will be displayed at the Tate Modern or anything like that but it'll certainly make me stop and think and all comments will be very much welcomed on my food intake.

Until next weigh in.... Happy Monday people!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Officially in Training

Yes I am.  I am 'running' or it could well be plodding the Race for Life on May 23rd with my best friend who is currently undergoing Chemo treatment for Breast Cancer. Its only 3 miles and I may well be walking it if my friend isn't up to running.  In any event, I've decided I need to up the anti with the exercise - I do work out pretty much every week (see exercise log) but as I'm getting fitter its getting easier. That's why I use wrist weights when I do the Wii dance 3.  When I started the Biggest Loser X-Box game it bloody killed me! I used to watch the giant fatties on the American version of the show - bawling their eyes out whilst working out and think come on get a grip. However, having done the workout (on intense until I switched it to hard) I, too, was also crying.  That is why I could only manage 30 mins max - I would look at the little countdown box at the top of the screen willing the programme to end.  But now, although it is a hard work out, I should increase it to 60 mins rather than the 30 mins so that is what I'll do.

Another one of my favourite fat programmes which isn't on at the moment is X-Weighted.  Its a Canadian programme and the fitness trainer pulls no punches.  He goes to the person's home examines the contents of their fridge/cupboards and promptly dumps it all in the bin.  On one show this woman is arguing the toss (huge 20 stone plus) about her 'low fat yogurts' and he turns to her and says "how's that working out for you?"  My kind of guy!  So basically the programme is taped over 6 months and its diet and exercise.  Nothing radical just plain old hard work.  I'm going off on a slight tangent but in the programme they always have a fitness goal to aim for like a 10km run etc so whilst I've never been on the show (I did apply after my second child but don't think 1) I was large enough 2) there was the small matter of them not filming in the UK) I now have an X-weighted fitness goal.

I don't know what weigh in will be like tomorrow - I had fish and chips at the quiz night and there were various munches on the table that I helped myself too. It was such good fun, however, you know you're in trouble when half the team don't know who Che Guevara is.  Although I am always in control of the pen, I am not in control of the team who regularly make me cross out the right answer for the wrong one.  Having said that this is the woman that piped up the QE2 was the first ship to get hit in the Falklands!  My husband was like "please tell me you didn't put that, please!" My sisters did a sterling job of being quiz masters and we raised more funds for the school - a post about the PTA and the internal wranglings will be coming up soon.

Last night we were out at a 60th - a riotous affair with various old men dancing on chairs, trying to whip off their trousers and the birthday boy having to sit down for about 2 hours to recover. He is a short overweight guy who has had heart problems so probably wasn't the best idea. Still if you can't have a heart attack whilst having fun on you 60th when can you?

I had quite a few vodka and tonics but wasn't drunk by any stretch of the imagination.  I ate before we got there and when I did pop over to the buffet table it looked like something Gillian McKeith lays out on the show "you are what you eat". It looked so unappealing - manky sandwiches, grey chicken legs, sausage rolls, frazzles (yes i didn't touch any). If like me, you struggle with a buffet (see my post The Buffet Girl), I highly recommend going over to it once the masses have tucked in.  It looks so uninviting once half of its gone and spilling out all over the place. So no extra calories there.

I squeezed and I mean squeezed into these soft chocolate brown trousers with a brown sequin top (yes I know I said goodbye to them but it did go) and leopard print shoes. The leather jacket my husband got for me last year which fitted like a straight jacket actually fitted nicely last night.

So today I feel mighty positive that everything is moving in the right direction mentally and physically.  On that note I wish you a lazy Sunday afternoon and see you tomorrow for my weigh in!

Out with my brown sequin top!

Tight Trousers alert!! These wouldn't get near my thighs last year though - you'll have to excuse the charming background shot.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Could you? Would you?

Diet in the style of Charles Atlas? Never heard of him? Me neither until my husband said he aspired to look like him in the 1970's when he was a chubby billy bunter type at age 15.  This was the one and only time he was overweight.

Charles Atlas in one of the magazines my husband read
You see the story goes that my husband's dad was having an affair, so the hubster was packed off to an Aunt after school. Not a real Aunt just one of those friends of the family that get called Auntie. I'm not quite sure why this was necessary (my husband has 4 other siblings in this very dysfunctional family) but in any event, whilst Auntie and her husband were very lovely, they fed him up on sweets, cakes and other such fattening yummy treats.  Now by today's standards he would have been called large or on the chubby side but back then he was fat. 

So one day he decided he didn't want to be fat anymore.  His fat days were over. He just wanted to "shit it out" but realised that this would be impossible.  Whilst flicking through his boys magazine he had subscribed to (no not the adult ones - not just yet) such as Commando (!) there, behold, was Mr Atlas calling out to him. The hubster decided he wanted to look like him so he duly collected the tokens to get the workout and diet booklet - Charles Atlas style.

Basically he ate very, very little and exercised everyday.  He cut out everything remotely tasty - cakes, biscuits, bread and potatoes. He had some weetabix for breakfast, 2 x dried ryvita for his lunch and meat and veg for dinner. He would do sit ups every night and go running. He even took cold showers because Charles Atlas told him to. He bought a contraption that had a stretchy rope type thing (you know the one I mean). This was used for exercising various parts of his body and he did this in his bedroom every night. His dedication to the fat busting cause knew no bounds.

My husband lost loads of weight and continued running throughout his teens.  Even when he started his first job he would turn up with his little ryvita and all the big manual labourer types would poke fun at him. He says it took a long, long time to re-introduce certain food groups back into this diet.

So could you lose weight Charles Atlas style? I don't think I could - maybe back in the day when you had no other distractions and you could just focus purely on yourself. Or maybe that's a cop out - maybe everyone could do it we just chose not to. I remember me and my friend used to go running, cycling and work out by dancing when we were 14. Can you imagine 14 year olds going out running together now?  Its unheard of isn't it? Maybe they might go to some street dance class or something for 30 mins an hour but I don't reckon many work out together.

I admire my husband's determination and maybe he did take it a bit too far (he was really skinny in his late teens/twenties) but I like a man's attitude to dieting (see my previous post diet like a man). I need to get me some of that going on and maybe, just maybe, a touch of Charles Atlas!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Gina, Gina, Gina

Yes I think we can even use her first name now (much like Nigella but without the love and home cooking) - what have you gone and said now? Judging by the raging tweets I've seen this morning, the vast majority of women are very angry at her latest bit of advice.  I haven't read the article - see I don't read a lot that spouts from Gina's mouth but, in summary, she's saying jump back into the sack 4 weeks after giving birth.  I am also assuming she's saying once you've been given the physical green light.

Now I personally think this woman is a genius. Wait for it before you start pelting eggs at me - not about anything she has written but come on ladies anyone that comes up with the title "The contented little baby book" was always going to be raking it in. I mean the pages might as well be blank and still first time mums the country over would be snapping it up. What? A manual that makes a newborn sleep through the night?  So hats off to her for the title. Genius.

Having said this I don't like Gina.  I have never quite forgiven her for scaring the shit out of me whilst I was pregnant with my first. I read through her book - it read like some fucking drill Sargent's timetable but only he had a baby to look after during boot camp.  I looked up from the book and wailed to my now husband "our life is over"!  On one page it talked about not giving the baby eye contact (even now, as a joke, we say "don't look at him!") and the worse bit was "now you can have your dinner" which was by the 8pm schedule slot.  Oh and the small matter that she's considered to be some guru but has not actually given birth. But then who are the Muppet's here? Gina or the women that still line her pockets.  Maybe this is another way to re-ignite book sales.

Let me spell this out very clearly so I don't get a barrage of abuse - if you have been given the green light for sex i.e you are not sore, you are ready physically and the doctor said you're good to go, then why not take the plunge and have sex with your partner?  So on this rare occasion I actually agree.   Yes you may not feel like it but get back in the saddle that's what I say.  By the end you'll be glad you did and feel much closer to your partner at a time when you can both feel very isolated.

No one is saying do something you don't want to but by the same token I think you have to look at the bigger picture. I know of so many women who say they rarely have sex with their husbands post children. I think its tragic. There are numerous health benefits both mentally and physically and I believe the most important is the closeness you feel to your partner.  I think some men have a right to feel aggrieved that his lady was all up for it pre kids but as soon as they came along his services were no longer required (only if she wanted another one). They may even have a case for mis-selling don't you think?  If you are not having sex with your partner - its just a friendship with child care is it not?

You may feel tired but sex is worth putting in some effort. Its really not that hard (excuse the pun) and, wait for it, is actually pleasurable (unless he's crap then it won't be). If you're not too tired for facebook, twitter and reading on the laptop then you're not too tired to have sex. I don't want to start sounding like some poncey sexpert but it doesn't have to happen at night - they do nap in the day.

Dive straight in because before you know it 4 weeks could turn into 4 years of very infrequent sex and that, my friends, is quite frankly pants!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Monday Weigh In

A big fat zero for my weight loss.  I worked out 6 x last week but it just goes to show that exercise really does only account for 30% of your weight loss.  Losing weight is a simple equasion you have to burn more calories than you consume. That is all.  I have clearly taken in and burned the same amount. By all accounts you have to burn 3,500 calories for every 1 lb of weight loss.

I know exactly how this happened. We had friends around on Saturday and whilst I went for the dry Indian dish (chicken shaslick) I also topped that off with rose wine, onion bhaji, a bit of peshwari naan and the rice etc.  It was a great evening and we hadn't seen our friends for a long while so I'm not going to lose (weight yes I know!) any sleep over it.

I started my March Momentum funnily enough on 1 March by upping my exercise which I will continue to do.  I am confident of a loss next week as sometimes it takes 2 weeks for my body to realise oh she's actually taking this seriously again! I will never give up. No sorry.  The dresses I spoke of last week in my post  Dressgate, as suspected, did not fit.  They are winging their way back to the shop.

I do have a night out Friday and Saturday - Saturday is a buffet but I'm going to eat before we go so I know I'll be okay there. Friday is a quiz night with fish and chips for tea.  I will make sure my calorie count can allow for this during the week and the day itself.

In other musings, yesterday my husband dropped off some trellis he had constructed along with wooden flowers and things (free of charge) for a project at school. The school sits on a hill and is surrounded by a field.  He decided to drive down the field in his new truck to drop off said items.  On the way back up he got stuck (it rained all day yesterday). In hindsight, actually I'd go so far as to say you didn't need hindsight, he realised that this wasn't the best idea he'd had in a long time.  In fact, its something that would be in my locker not his!  So after reversing, a lot of tooing, froing and messing up the field he had to call out a recovery chappie - £120.00 later the truck is released from the school field.

Now no one was more annoyed with themselves than my husband. I emailed the head last night to explain that when he arrived in the morning the school may look a bit abused.  On the way to school I could see all the muddy track marks and tried to tip toe my way in.  Oh the shame of it! Never mind chain saw massacre it was tyre track muddy massacre. I also had to sort out quiz night monies at the office so was able to speak to the head.  I apologised and said how "it looks horrendous" - he said he hadn't seen it. Whilst he scurried away to inspect the damage I could here the caretaker mutter something like "tyre tracks".

Anyway I think my horrendous comment did the trick as he obviously thought it was worse than it was. He told me not to worry that he'd seen far worse. Phew. On my way out I told another mum the whole sorry saga and she said "oh I thought some kids had got in and had been joy riding on quad bikes or something"!

The moral of this story is never ever drive down a school field in forward drive truck in the pissing rain. That is all.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Farewell sequins

Today is a sad day.  Today is the day I have come to the conclusion that at 38 I can no longer pull off sequins. Bejewelled (yes I believe that is the correct terminology) footwear and tops - I think there are a few more years to be had but sadly no sequins.  Although having said that I do have a brown top for next week which has a few scattered on it and a London, Paris, Moscow (I liked the fact NewYork had been replaced by Mosow - that's just how I roll) grey sweatshirt number which might just pass - actually no the sequins have had their day. 

Inappropriate wear for a 38 year old?
 This is the offending item that has brought about this sad day. I am currently wearing my flower sweatshirt -its very soft and cosy and I do like it. When I proudly came downstairs, having teamed it with the shoe horned size 14 jeans, my hubster took one look laughed and said "have you met my teen wife!" "Too young?" I enquired "no, no..." cue coughing and laughing. The final test was when I asked my step-daughter aged 14 "it is a tad young" followed by "I don't really wear sequins"

What do you reckon?

Friday, 2 March 2012

Whinging Women

When did women get so bloody whingey about anything and everything? At what point did we all become a bunch of moaning minnies? Can anyone recall a time when women actually enjoyed motherhood and didn't bleat on constantly about "getting my life back", "its tough", "I don't have time for myself" "I don't know who I am", "I need something else other than being a mother" and my most hated of all sayings "ME TIME"! 

Notice a common denominator in amongst that lot? Yes a lot of Me's and a lot of I's.  Women have become a selfish bunch of moaning minnies. Firstly if your life was so brilliant prior to having children I would have to beg the question why you had them in the first place.  It can be tough but so can going to the pit for hours on end or walking 7 miles to fetch water for your starving children. I know suffering is relative but really? Get a grip. Your ancestors raised large families through severe hardship where infant mortality was rife. You really are doing them a disservice.

No you don't get much time to yourself - accept it, get over it, move on.  Right you don't know who you are? You are a woman that chose to have kids that's who. As for me time, well, where do I start? Everything that is wrong with society summed up in those two little words. Its all about me. Like the person who has a basket of 20 items in the 'no more than 5 items' queue. They don't give a fuck they're holding everyone up - its all about their needs. The irony being they are probably a Daily Mail reader who regularly complains about the state of the country. 

It is just so in vogue to moan about the mechanics of having children that anyone who actually embraces it  (and there are many believe me) keep quiet as its not the done thing.  The problem is that everyone is so self-absorbed that the notion of giving yourself over to someone else and putting their needs before your own is a now a bizarre concept. To become selfless is nigh on impossible.  Its all too much effort - cue whinging and moaning.

I can't log on to baby website forums these days for that reason. The most popular ones are "Am I being unreasonable?" the answer is generally always a resounding YES! And "What's your opinion on?" cue lots of arguments and lengthy answers by feminist women - who give the green light to moaning about things because you need me time, you need something else and it is tough.  Anyone who disagrees is considered inferior.

Now you  have probably guessed by now that I am no feminist.  I don't have a problem with feminists and I respect their opinions.  Now in my teens I would have opened you up and rammed my socialist views down you throat. You'll be pleased to know I am now a grown up and I do not physically assault people.

I just don't happen to subscribe to what is perceived as the intellectual train of thought.  On the contrary I think the opposite so maybe I'm the one that's stupid not everyone else? Much like the election was won on the notion that everyone was scrounging benefits.  The working/middle classes then started pointing the finger at each other and voila enter a Tory knob running the country.

The same can be said of women.  The modern day woman has swallowed the propaganda pill for many years now.  Much like the people did in Hitler's Germany and look how that panned out.  If you say anything that makes women question why, for example, they are leaving babies in nurseries for 8 hours a day to go to work to pay for that very childcare - you are accused of attacking the sisterhood.  This is deemed perfectly acceptable.  Its good for the child don't you know. Don't make us feel guilty.  Its all about the mother not the child how stupid of me.  Its her needs, her wants, her desires all of the above.  But where did that spring from - oh yes, that propaganda again. I digress.

Women need to quit complaining.  Stop. Ask not what others can do for you but what you can do for others. Put others first. Grow up. If you had children in your 30's you had a whole lot of time prior to that for ME TIME.

I appreciate my thoughts are in the minority at the moment and I don't write this blog to offend people. Its just something I come across all too often and my readership has probably been cut by 50% in one post!

So what will become of the moaning mothers? Like all things that are currently in fashion it will soon become unfashionable and they will be consigned to the vintage pile.