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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Another week of menu plans

31st May 2011

There are moments when we say "yes" to others and in fact we are saying "no" to ourselves. Paulo Coelho

Well that’s the weekend gone, isn’t it marvellous, Sunday/Monday when I could’ve stayed in bed I couldn’t sleep, this morning I didn’t want to get out of bed ;D I have a lovely head cold to keep me going through the week, but I feel much better now after my morning walk with Alfie, it’s a gorgeous morning out there, let’s hope the rain has passed for now.

Mission complete, my house is so tidy I feel like I’m in a holiday cottage. It’s wonderful and I hope I can keep it this way, I just need to sort my office and I mean a proper sort not just re-piling everything up somewhere else! I’ll do that this weekend coming, I reckon it’ll take the best part of a day!

Yesterday I also did week two of the menu plans including the shopping list; http://www.happyowls.co.uk/MealPlanWk2.html and I also found this delicious recipe in one of the Sunday magazines which I’ll be making sometime soon;

Roasted mushrooms with Prosciutto
Serves 4 - 5pp each

8 large Portobello mushrooms
12 midi tomatoes on the vine
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
A few rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
WW oil spray (2pp)
4 slices Prosciutto (3pp)

Preheat oven to 180oC/gas4. Sit the mushrooms and tomatoes in a small roasting tray and scatter over the garlic and herbs. Drizzle over the oil and season well. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Tear the prosciutto slices in half and place on top of each mushroom. Roast for a further 10 minutes until the prosciutto is crisp and the mushrooms and tomatoes are beginning to brown (they should be cooked through and juicy). Serve immediately with a crusty roll (4pp) to mop up all the delicious juices.

I think that sounds delicious.

It’s the start of week 4 of the 8 week challenge, I’m hoping for a loss this morning to bring me up to date, it’ll have to be a really good one to get me back on track, but I’ll be pleased with anything. I’ve not had a bad week at all even with eating out twice.

So however your Bank Holiday went, refocus this morning and fresh clean slate. Like to eat out? Get tips and ideas on eating out and losing weight in this weeks meeting.

See you at the scales…


Monday, 30 May 2011

Dear Body ....

30th May 2011

"Smile more often! Give someone a hug! Praise someone for doing a job well done! These are the little things that can make a big difference in a person's life. Do you notice that they are all free? They are free to give and free to receive. This just gives you another reason to SMILE, hug and praise more!"- Mary Shaw

What a morning, that rains coming down heavy, glad the only plans I have include tidying the living room sorting some stuff. I managed to get the kitchen done yesterday so who know I may even make it as far as my office by lunchtime!

So I went out for lunch, we ended up at Chiquto’s after all and I was very impressed with myself, we shared Sloppy Jose nacho’s for starter, then I ordered bbq and only ate about 1/3 of the ribs because I was full, I left the coleslaw too. Then for dessert they had these little puddings you could order up to 5, I had 3 and left 1 ½ so using my eating out guide I worked it all out and I ended the week with a 13 activity ProPoints in the bank. I normally get weighed this morning but it will have to wait till tomorrow morning now because I’ve got a day off.

I was talking to a friend last night about the power of writing letters, even if they’re never sent. Over the years I’ve done lots of self development workshops and this is one of the exercises that crop up regularly, in the past I’ve written a letter to my father then burned it because once someone is dead the postman can’t deliver. It helps to get all those thoughts out of your head and onto paper, a kind of therapy almost. Another time I wrote a letter to my body! That was very interesting, so why don’t you have a go, if you have the day off you should have a bit of time, especially as its raining.

Letter to your body

Write a letter to your body, which starts: “Dear Body,” this is an opportunity to write a letter to your body telling it whatever you wants to. There is no right way to do this, just say whatever comes to mind.
Once you’ve done that, let your body reply using her non-dominant hand. If you are left-handed this means using your right and vice versa – if you are right handed use her left.

Start the letter… “Dear X,” (X = your name)

The reason for using your non-dominant hand is that this engages a different part of your brain.

When you’ve finished both letters you can look through what you’ve written and think about what the experience was like. Think about the following;

Was there anything that surprised you?
How did you feel?
What was the tone of your letter to your body?
What was the tone of the reply?

We can become extremely disconnected from our bodies. We see it almost as an object to shape the way we want it, to live up to an ideal that we are sold by the culture we live in.
If you were to describe ‘slim’ women with one-word adjectives, what kind of words would you use? (it can be helpful to write these down).

Below are some examples to start off with.

In some many women’s eyes, being slim means being…
in control

Some questions you can ask yourself are:

Have you ever be thinner than you are now?
Have you ever been slim?
Could you tick all those boxes?
However slim you were, was it ever good enough?
Were you ever slim enough?
Toned enough?
Beautiful enough?
How many women do you know who don't have the perfect figure and yet tick many of those boxes?
And how many slim women do you know who don't?

I’m not suggesting that you should stop wanting to lose weight - you don’t have to like your body as it is now. In fact it’s absolutely fine to not like it at all. What I am saying is that confidence and happiness does not come from a body size or from looking any particular way, so beginning to acknowledge that this IS your body is the best place from which to lose weight.

How can we change something that we do not own?

Beginning to connect and own the body we have, to see it for what it is, appreciate it for what it gives us and does for us is one step towards feeling more confident and comfortable in our bodies.

If real confidence came from the size of our bodies, then slim women would all be happy! The truth is that the ‘ideal’ is ever changing and so we have to keep working hard to keep up, not just to be slim but for our bodies to meet the current trend at any given moment.
The size of our bodies can provide us with social acceptance which can make it easier to be out there in the world, but it is not the foundation for true self worth. Losing weight is fine – there is nothing wrong with wanting a slimmer body but it’s helpful to acknowledge the limitations of what it can provide you.
Now there’s some food for thought for a Monday.
I’m off to tidy my house now I’ve done my mind ;)


Sunday, 29 May 2011

Spick and Span!

29th May 2011

Elbow grease is the best polish. English Proverb

How appropriate is that proverb, it was the first quote I came across this morning when I turned my pc on, very apt as I had a super day of cleaning yesterday, started at 8am and finished at 4pm stopped only to drive to Cannock with some bags of clothes and long enough to cook and eat a WW wrap and pizza for mom. I earned 11pp (29,000 steps) doing housework and I’ve only done upstairs so far, (didn’t do my office, that’s another world altogether which will need an entire day of its own). Bank holiday Monday will be the downstairs turn. I’ve really had a major sort out, throwing stuff away and washing down woodwork which of course is making me now think, ooo could do with decorating ;D but that will have to wait until I’ve saved up some money.

One good thing about keeping so busy all day was food wasn’t an issue at all, I did however celebrate a clean bathroom when I’d finished with a glass of fizz whilst taking a soak with a good book, more than earned in my opinion.

I’m out for lunch today, and I do think I’m going to go for the carvery or gammon and chips we’ll see where my mate fancies going, I’ll taking my eating out guide with me and do my best I still have 34pp of activity banked so I should be okay, and of course I can add any on that I manage to do today.

I seriously feel like I’ve done a workout, so if you think you don’t do any exercise but you do housework regularly (obviously it wouldn’t be to the intensity I did yesterday – or maybe it is!) then you are still active, all that dusting, cleaning windows, bending and stretching, it all helps to keep you active.

I’m generally a messy person so it was wonderful to know exactly where I’d left my clothes last night when I went to bed and not be walking round the house searching for where I threw them! Let’s see how long I can keep it up.

Change of any kind is hard as we all know because we attempt it as we’re losing weight, nothing worth having comes easy. But I do believe a leopard can change its spots but only if it truly wants to, a superficial and fickle approach to change will only be short term. It takes effort and whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re usually right. So remember NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP! Because you’re worth the effort.

I treated myself this week to Jessie J’s album and on it she sings a song called, “Stand Up” the lyrics are excellent and I’m gonna share them with you;

If you surround yourself with negative people
You'll never feel settled in or become equal - no.
They'll suppress you of your spirit and rinse you dry of smiles.
So reach deep and release your inner child. Yeah Yeah!

So Stand Up! For the Love, Love, Love
So Stand Up! For the Love, Love, Love
So Stand Up! For the Love, Love, Love
So Stand Up! For the Love, Love
Cuz' you're as old as you feel you are
And if you don't reach for the moon you can't fall on the stars
So I live my life like every day is the last, last, last
Stand up
If you let a frown become your normality
You don't set an example for the youth of our humanity
If you spend everyday wishing for the next to come
Aged and lifeless is what (Yes!) you'll become. Yeah Yeah!

So Stand Up! For the Love, Love, Love
So Stand Up! For the Love, Love, Love
So Stand Up! For the Love, Love, Love
So Stand Up! For the Love, Love
Cuz' you're as old as you feel you are
And if you don't reach for the moon you can't fall on the stars
So I live my life like every day is the last, last, last

How true is all that! Well me and Alfie have already been out for our walk, bless him, he’s a tired boy this morning, lying down on the grass for a rest. I’m gonna have a couple of hours tidying before I get ready for my lunch. So I’ll catch ya tomorrow.

Enjoy your Sunday, day of rest apparently!


Saturday, 28 May 2011

Pub Grub!!!! A walk in the park - NOT!

28th May 2011

A SMILE is a facelift that's in everyone's price range! ~ Ziggy

Just got back from a 90min walk with Alfie this morning, he’s played lovely with a huge Alsatian on the park, and we had a second walk yesterday when I met my mate for a natter, he loved wandering round Beacon Park in Lichfield and was a very good lad, he didn’t wander off or bother all the other dogs which was a huge relief. Our intention was to walk the dogs and have our natter instead of lunch but we only went and found a pub that allowed dogs!! So we ended up having lunch and all my weekly allowance is now gone – good job I’ve earned plenty of activity ProPoints and that I have a busy weekend planned so no time to get bored and eat. This is the meal I ordered;

Didn’t realise it was going to come with trimmings, I ordered steak and chips, there wasn’t much choice, it was fish, chicken or steak and chips, or lasagne. I posted the photo on fb and asked “how many ProPoints?” the answers varied from 8 to 50, what’s your guess. I’m not telling you what I wrote down because mine was a guess too and I don’t want to influence others. I can tell you I didn’t eat the onion rings nor black pudding and I shared my steak with Alfie, so I did try to limit the damage.

Yesterday when I found myself in that position I kept reminding myself of “WHY” I want to lose weight and asking if eating that lunch was worth not getting that lose and the answer was no of course which is why I didn’t eat it all and also why I was careful the rest of the day. I had Pastrami wraps for tea with plenty of salad and cool mustard. Pastrami is 100g for 3pp which is the whole packet so you feel like you’re getting loads, and Weight Watcher wraps are 2 for 5pp and they were really filling.

I’m still positive and on track and I’m sure when I get weighed that I will have lost the 3lb from last week and I’m hoping an extra 1/2lb too which will mean I’m still on course for my 8lb in 8wks challenge, I’ve got to catch up with my members who are all doing well on it.

Today is Day 1 of the big clean up! Yes I’m having a massive sort out and clean from top to bottom, I’m starting in the bathroom and working my way down, thank goodness I’ve got till Monday! That should earn me some Activity PP’s too, I’ve already done 8,300 steps this morning and earned my first ProPoint, it’s only just gone 7am! YAY.

Right I’m off, lots to do whilst I have the energy. Hope you’ve got a good day planned.


Friday, 27 May 2011

More scrummy food

27th May 2011

Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.

Friday morning – YAY, welcome to the weekend, I have lots of busy plans this weekend to spring clean my house from top to bottom, won’t start till tomorrow though as today is full of other things like paperwork, walking and a massage to finish before a night of rest ready for the big event ;D

Another good day yesterday dietwise and every other way actually as I have the best job in the world, Thursday is my busiest day of the week and of course my last working day so when I get home at 8pm, I’m ravenous and mentally shattered, which is a combination that makes me want to eat a lot. Last night I resisted, I even anticipated that it would happen and took 30 minutes on the afternoon to cook corned beef hash, which meant there was a portion left for my tea when I got in, leaving me no excuse. I also went to bed instead of sitting there ‘wanting to eat’ and I slept.

Having a list of meals planned is really helping me because it means I have those choices, although the hash wasn’t one the plan, it didn’t matter because I still have the others for back up, and hash will be on the next meal plan, here’s the recipe I put together yesterday, slightly amended the original.

Corned beef hash (9pp) serves 4,

Takes 10m to make, 25m to cook.
WW Spray oil
1 large red onion, sliced
6pp any margarine such as flora
120g tin sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
400g waxy potatoes cut into 2cm chunks
2 tsp dried thyme or 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh
300g tin Asda corned beef, cut into chunks

Parboil potatoes for about 6-8 minutes. At the same time, add WW spray oil to a large frying pan and gently fry the onion over a low heat for 6 minutes to soften add a bit of water if necessary. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add margarine to the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and fry the potatoes for 10 minutes until beginning to crisp and turn golden. Stir in the thyme, fry for another minute or so, then add the corned beef & continue frying the stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until starting to crisp. Stir in the sweetcorn and return the cooked onion to the pan. Cook for a couple more minutes to warm through. Serve with vegetables.

Yesterday I was asked if I wanted a 12 week old male shih tzu, how tempted was I! Then reality kicked in and I declined, Alfie would love a playmate but I couldn’t handle it I don’t think and I’m sure mom couldn’t.

I have one Warbuton Square wrap left which is on its best before date so I’m going to use that in my savoury bread pudding recipe today, it’ll also use the eggs up, I reckon that’ll be really nice and it’s quick to do. And then I’m thinking oven fish and chips for tea mmm.

Just got back from walking Alfie, it’s chilly out there and the wind is still fierce, I hope it brightens up so everyone can enjoy the bank holiday this weekend, I might be scrubbing floors but hopefully everyone else is doing something more fun.

So I better get my paperwork done, here’s to a fabulous Friday. xx

Thursday, 26 May 2011

The new workout taking Zhumba's place (in my house anyway!)

26th May 2011

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. Maya Angelou

Well I may have gained 3lb on Monday but I know it will be gone by next Monday; I’m on course to shift it and I’m really enjoying everything I’m eating using my menu planner, although yesterday, I had souffl├ęd egg on toast instead (recipe page 18 Simply Enjoy – if you don’t have it already there are two tokens in June & July’s Weight Watchers Magazine to get you £2 off) and it was delicious, then for my dinner I had cheesy beans and potato waffles which was very satisfying.

Today I’m going to make Corned Beef hash (recipe available here http://www.happyowls.co.uk/hash1.html ) as I have some potatoes that need using and I’m thinking wraps for my other meal, planning what I’m having is really helping because I look forward to that meal instead of thinking about all different things I’d like to eat!

I started on my big clean yesterday, this bank holiday is going to involve me going through my house and cleaning it thoroughly from top to bottom and getting rid of things I’m never ever going to wear or use. Started yesterday with a big drawer in my bedroom that was full of jewellery, toiletries and bits and bobs, it isn’t anymore, it’s all been sorted ;D I’ve got a long way to go but I’m gonna get there. I’m thinking “tidy house, tidy mind”, if I can get some order in my house I’ll feel better because at the moment it’s winding me up! Plus it’ll keep me busy with the long weekend and earn me Activity ProPoints for a glass of wine after a hard days work.
Yeah, who needs Zhumba when you can get a tidy home doing “The Housework Workout”! If your too busy cleaning house to do Zhumba? Relax - you can get in a workout even as you do your everyday housework. We already know it's recommended we do 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week to maintain good health. But did you know that any kind of physical activity counts, including housework?

Believe it or not, dusting, sweeping, mopping, making beds and carrying laundry all add up to a lot of 'incidental activity' — the type some health experts view as potentially more beneficial than 'official' workouts, such as calisthenics.

The reasoning: You are more likely to stick with moderate-intensity as opposed to high-intensity activity over a lifetime. And it's physical activity over the long term that helps maintain a healthy weight.

Depending on your weight and how hard you work, you can burn up to 250 calories an hour doing housework, and even more when gardening.

Another benefit of housework is that it exercises all the major muscle groups. Just consider the wide range of movements — walking, stretching, bending, lifting — involved in activities like making beds, vacuuming, washing windows, putting away dishes and taking out the rubbish.

Of course, the more movement you do, the better. Now mom’s not getting any younger I’m going to have to start doing more around the house, so housework is going to be my new workout, if I view it that way, it’ll make it less painful!

Plus I already walk the dog everyday, which means I get an hour of activity before I start my working day so this is one of the reasons I’ve decided to sell my Wii Fit, the console and all the games etc, so if you’re interested, get in touch.

Talking of dogs, it’s that time, so I better go, I’m already thinking about corned beef hash mmmmmm.


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Scrumptious food & the scaryness of a carvery!

25th May 2011

You never fail at anything; just see it as a prelude to success!

Yesterday I put the finishing touches to my first week’s menu planner, this is obviously personalised to my tastes but if it helps you can see it here http://www.happyowls.co.uk/MealPlanWk1.html, I’ve even included a shopping list. I’m going to try and put together a month of plans this weekend to keep me focused. I’ve also been printing my favourite recipes out onto index cards and I’ve now got a ‘recipe box’ in my kitchen, how organised am I. I can build the contents of the box up over time and even stick magazine recipes straight to a card. NOW I just have to follow them and stick to the plan.

The beauty of the menu plan I’ve done is that I don’t have to eat a particular meal on any set day, I can mix and match because I have all the food in, so if I don’t fancy something I can have something else.

This week we’re looking at BBQ’s and how many ProPoints you can use up at one, and yesterday I was looking through the eating out guide as I was supposed to be having a carvery on Sunday, but after realising my usual choices on the plate would total around 47pp, I’ve decided gammon, egg and chips is a better option for 30pp. I was also supposed to be having lunch Friday and instead we’ve decided to take the dogs for a walk together, so that’s saved me a few ProPoints, who knows if I have my 49 weeklies intact come Sunday, I may go for the carvery. But instead of playing ignorant, I’m thinking about what may happen and planning, so that’s progress.

Had a lovely lunch yesterday, Princes stewed steak, potatoes and veggies for 11pp, delicious, and for dinner I had Potato Waffle Tuna Melts, OMG, delicious, for 14pp, which means I had 4pp left and I’d earned 5pp so I had myself a sneaky glass of red because I’d had fruit for breakfast at zero ProPoints.

Was pleased with myself last night, I wanted another glass of red because the first one had been so nice, but I resisted and held out until I went to bed, I know if I can get through a couple of weeks sticking to the plan, I’ll be okay, it’s just those first two weeks that make it difficult especially when you’ve gotten used to being a bit lapse with your food decisions. Having good food in the house has really helped me. What’s also helped me is thinking about what I can eat, coming up with ideas for different meals, as I know if I’m looking forward to eating my meal, I won’t have the desire to snack on junk food.

My next week’s plan has to have corned beef hash on it, I just loved that the last time I made it, and also Pork lasagne the recipe for that is in Seriously Satisfying and on page 18 of Simply Enjoy is Souffled cheese on toast which looks lush and only takes 15 minutes, I might have that today actually, it’s not on my meal list but I have the ingredients and instead of bread I’ll use up the warburtons sandwich thins which will go out of date if I don’t use them soon. Then there’s crispy potato and meatball pan fry on page 62 – WOW that looks scrumptious.

See this is why I need a plan because there’s so much choice in the world and I want to try it all, I even found a recipe for Ham and Egg cobbler in this weeks Aldi leaflet that I need to ProPoint up to see if I can have that because it looks yummy, I’ll sure it’ll be within reach and I promise to share the recipe with you.

Anyway before I start eating my own desk! I better get the dog out on his walk, lots to do this morning before my meeting.

Have a delicious day ;D xx

If you’re reading this blog and would like it emailed to your inbox daily, just send me a message info@happyowls.co.uk and I’ll add you to the distribution list.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

24th May 2011

Don’t Worry – Be Happy! Do you remember the things you were worrying about a year ago? How did they work out? Didn't you waste a lot of fruitless energy on account of most of them? Didn't most of them turn out all right after all?

GUTTED! Yep that’s how I felt yesterday morning when I got weighed, 3lb on! ;( What happened you cry, you’re on an 8wk, 8lb challenge and you lost 2.5lb last week. I know, I know and I knew I wasn’t going to lose but I truly didn’t expect to gain 3lb, I’m hoping some of it was down to other reasons other than what I ate, but in truth I ate too much and as I often say, Weight Watchers only works if you stick to your ProPoints, and I didn’t.

So after my meeting I went to Asda and bought foods I knew would help me, I ProPointed with my calculator as I walked round and now I have a fridge, freezer and cupboards full of food I enjoy and that will help me stay on track. I find it so easy when I make the effort and cook the foods I enjoy. I’m going to attempt to find the time today to do a menu plan, but even if I don’t get round to it, I’m recording every meal I eat as I eat it, so that will become a future menu plan.

I also saved some money on my shopping by ProPoint checking the foods on offer, there are lots in the freezers for £1, I bought Birds Eye Potato Waffles which are in the 3 for £3 offer, and they work out at 3pp each. I’m going to make tuna melts on waffles instead of bread, mmm

I also found pizza in Asda, it’s in the cooler and the ‘chosen for you’ range, the cheese and ham is only 7pp and the cheese and tomato 8pp and only 55p to buy, obviously they’re not huge but neither are the Weight Watcher ones that are 6 ProPoints. Both are great served with a huge side salad.

Yes I’m going to enjoy my eating week because my fridge is full of good stuff I like. I bought Weight Watcher wraps because they were only 3pp each and you can have two for 5pp, so they will be great with either the Piperade recipe on page 24 of the new Simply Enjoy cookbook or some pastrami (Asda 100g for 3pp) or thinly sliced beef (Asda 100g for 3pp) and again more salad.

Another idea, couscous stuffed peppers as the Ainsley Harriot ones are on offer 4 for £2. I also plan to make my savoury bread pudding this week sometime as I love that;

Savoury bread pudding
Prep 5mins, ready in 30 minutes, Serves 1, 9pp

100ml skimmed milk
1 egg
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs such as parsley, chives or coriander
35g grated cheese
Slice of bread

Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Whisk together milk, 1 egg, mustard and herbs. Break bread into 1cm chunks and stir it into the milk mixture, along with cheese. Spoon into an individual sized ovenproof dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crunchy on the top.

Last but not least they had some Dolmio, tomato and cheese sauce sachets on offer for £1, each sachet is 2pp and would be ideal with some pasta as a quick lunch.

So that’s me signing off for this morning, I have paperwork to do, a dog to walk and some meals to plan.

As my mom used to say, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say”, I think those are wise words from my behaviour last week as I made every classic Weight Watcher error ;D So this week I’m moving forward and smiling and losing.


Monday, 23 May 2011

23rd May 2011 - Who's your biggest critic?

It's ok to look like me, cos that's who I was made to be!

Another Monday morning rolls around and although I was weighed by my boss on Friday night, this morning is the day I weigh myself on my 8wk 8lb challenge, today’s the start of week 3, and I have a gut feeling after my 2.5lb loss last Monday, today won’t be so pretty! I’ve found the last week really difficult for a number of reasons, some of which I didn’t realise immediately. Firstly I just didn’t find it as easy to stick within budget as I had the week before and I’m not sure why, secondly I got hungrier as the week went on. Friday night I went for a balti which would have been fine if I’d saved my 49 weekly allowance but I’d used them already! I also went to my friends house Saturday for lunch and she served pizza, garlic bread, salad, Dorritos and dips – followed by scones with chantilly cream and jam! Finally yesterday I was drained and couldn’t be bothered so grazed all day long on stuff. Now a couple of other things I think contributed to my not brill week was firstly I wasn’t having as much to drink (water not wine), I wasn’t eating my fruit and veg like the week before and because I was try to save a few pennies I was finding the choice of my meals limiting.

Despite all this, and whatever the scales say this morning, I’m back on it from this morning and am going to have a much better week! I’m going to have fruit for my breakfast, tuna melt or scrambled eggs for lunch and a square wrap pizza for tea, didn’t have it yesterday too much hassle as it would have meant moving from my chair and not being able to return within the minute!!! Plus I hadn’t got any tomato puree.

Hopefully you handled last week better than me and are ready to start week 3, knowing the scales are going to give you a lose. If you haven’t don’t beat yourself up or criticise your lack of willpower, give yourself a break and acknowledge we’re human. If you’re telling yourself, “I'm a loser. I haven’t lost weight, and I'll never be able to again.” Then this is your inner critic taking over and winning by the sound of it!

Sound familiar? Lots of people are plagued by a harsh Inner critic and if you’re not careful fierce unrelenting self-criticism can bring you down. Your diet will suffer if your constantly fixated on your failures rather than your successes, yes I haven’t had the best week, but I did make some good decisions this week of which I’m proud of.

How Self-Critical are you? Here’s a short questionnaire to help you realise;

For each of the following statements, indicate the number that best describes how you feel most of the time.

1 – Totally disagree; 2 – Disagree very much; 3 – Disagree slightly; 4 – Neutral; 5 – Agree slightly; 6 – Agree very much; 7 – Totally

1. It is difficult to be happy unless one is good-looking, intelligent, rich and creative.
2. People will probably thing less of me if I make a mistake.
3. If I do not do well all the time, people will not respect me.
4. If a person asks for help, it is a sign of weakness.
5. If I do not do as well as other people, it means I am a weak person.
6. If I fail at my work, then I am a failure as a person.
7. If you cannot do something well, there is little point in doing it at all.
8. If someone disagrees with me, it probably indicates he does not like me.
9. If I fail partly, it is as bad as being a complete failure.
10. If other people know what you are really like, they will think less of you.
11. If I don’t set the highest standards for myself, I am likely to end up a second-rate person.
12. If I am to be a worthwhile person, I must be the best in at least one way.
13. People who have good ideas are better than those who do not.
14. I should be upset if I make a mistake.
15. If I ask a question, it makes me look stupid.

A total score of 54 and above indicates a high level of self-criticism and perfectionism, 39 is average and 24 or less represents a low level.

Source: Dysfunctional Attitude Scale by Weissman, A. N. & Beck, A. T., 1978; Imber, et al., 1990

If you think you may have a Inner Critic causing you problems, get yourself a journal and start to monitor your thoughts. Jot down your self-critical judgments -- I'm a loser, I'm stupid, I'm ugly as this is the first step to mastering them: That process alone may decrease the intensity and frequency. Also note the situations in which these feelings occur and see if you can spot patterns. Question your thoughts, are they true, if you think you’re a "bad person," are you a bad person all the time? Are there times when you are good?

When keeping your journal, challenge negative thoughts with hard facts. Keep a list of your achievements and pull it out when your self-criticism threatens to overwhelm you.

Breaking the habit of self-criticism can pay big dividends in mental and physical health. The way you see yourself can be challenged and changed, and as your thinking improves, apparently so does your immune system, your digestion is better, you don't compensate by overeating or drinking, and your anxiety levels go down. You might even find you have mental and emotional energy left over for many other things -- including helping other people feel better about themselves!

So that’s me for today, I’m off to walk Alfie xx

Sunday, 22 May 2011

22nd May 2011 - a message from Chunky ;D

 You don’t need photography to turn a negative into a positive, just a decision!

In the words of Bruno Mars, “Today I don’t feel like doing anything”, and then changing his next line slightly, so I’m gonna sit in my chair” yep for the rest of the day I plan to do as little as possible, there’s a couple of things that have to be done but that me finished then and a whole lotta tv to be viewed, thank heavens for SKY+, I’ve already started by watching this wonderful youtube clip, http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/love-sex/%E2%80%98greatest-marriage-proposal-ever%E2%80%99-becomes-a-viral-hit-blog-87-yahoo-lifestyles.html who says romance is dead.

I had a wonderful day yesterday, we drove a 240 mile round trip to visit my best friend Chantel and her partner in the new home which is obviously too far away ;D. The weather was gorgeous and we sat in the garden chatting and yes indulging in a couple of slices of pizza and a cream scone but hey I don’t see her that often so we made the most of it. Plus we were under the impression the world was going to end at 6pm last night so we wanted to go out on a high! If you made the same mistake you’ll need to behave yourself today like I plan too.

I realised yesterday that I really am a “Happy Owl” (Happy Over Weight Lady), it’s definitely not something I pretend to be, I truly am happy in my skin and love my body regardless of what it weighs, of course I wouldn’t turn down a half stone weight loss and I’m hoping to accomplish that over the next 6 weeks but regardless I’m comfortable with who I am and happy in my skin. How did I realise it, well let me share and make you smile, yesterday I was described by a man as “Chunky” and “got a bit of meat on ya”, followed by” your members wouldn’t wanna look at a skinny bird”! Bless him, it’s a good job I’m not a sensitive soul or touchy about my curves ;D It just goes to show that men truly are not tactful when it comes to choice of words, he wasn’t insulting me at all we were having a pleasant conversation. Do you think men will ever learn that the word “Chunky” possible has a different meaning in a woman’s eyes to a mans lol, I’m thinking “KitKats” lol xx

It seems my Warburton square wrap pizza has caught on, look at this one Julia made yesterday, it looks lush and only 7pp, I mean you could eat 2 of them which would totally stuff you for less than one or two slices of most pizzas! The lowest pizza base I’ve ever found in a supermarket is 13pp. I think that’s my lunch sorted, it’ll fit well with my day of doing nothing.

Alfie had to drag me out of bed at 6 and managed to make me walk for 45 minutes so yep I’ve definitely took a “wanna chill” pill this morning, I’m even struggling to think of anything to type, so I’m going to stop now, and go turn the telly on.

Whatever you’re up too, I hope you enjoy it. Xx

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Mmm breakfast pizza - 21st May 2011

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Laugh. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Choose with no regret. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. Mary Ann Radmacher

Isn’t it scary being weighed by someone else, my boss weighed me last night, and of course being a Friday night, I weighed heavier than I do when I’m weighed in my meeting on a Monday morning ;( So I’ve promised myself I will definitely weigh less every time she weighs me from now on until I’m back at my goal. I have 2 or 3 weeks before the next time I have to face my bosses scales, so I’m going to get through the weekend without too much indulging. I’ve also got my own weigh card now too which I haven’t had for a long time, I usually write it in my diary, so now I feel like it’s all official and I don’t want gains on it, I want loses!

I’m made my diet decision for today this morning, this is a commitment to myself and that is, “even though I’m driving down to visit my best mate for lunch, I will not use it as an excuse to go wild and overindulge. I’m going to have fruit for breakfast and take Alfie for a long walk first and if I do get hungry when I get home tonight, I’ll have a salad. And Sunday I will stick within my 29pp daily allowance” so that’s mine, what’s yours, how do you plan to cope with the weekend?

Alfies giving me the dog stare because it’s 5.50am and he’s whining so I better start typing quickly as it soon becomes an annoying yap to go out.

Yesterday had two delicious meals, the first was a Warburtons square wrap pizza for 6pp, next time I make it I will grill it rather than put in oven so the top cooks but not the base. Then for lunch I had a sweet chilli chicken salad, the chicken was 4pp a packet from Morissons and it had a real kick, I added baby broccoli which I’d tossed in soy sauce to it and it was delicious, I do love salad leaves, the meal cost £3 which isn’t the cheapest but it was so nice.

This week we talked about planning and yesterday I started putting together an index box of my favourite recipes, I managed to print them onto the cards from my computer as most of them have been typed up for my members at some time. On Sunday I’m also going to find any from old mags etc and cut them out and stick them to index cards too, so that all my recipes are in one place. The next step after that might be to print off daily plan ideas so I can mix and match menu plans for myself. Ooo I do like a good project, it keeps me busy and I enjoy it, I love the process of a project, the planning, the putting it all together and seeing the end result, that’s why I’ve always tried to make weight loss a project so that I’ll enjoy the process.

It’s important in life to pursue your passion, think about it, if you had all the time and money you needed, what would you do for fun (not what you think you should find fun, or what other people find fun) what would you like to do? It’s important to make time and space in your life for having fun. So ask yourself what that fun could be and how you can make room for it in your life. I’ve already mentioned I love projects which is one of the reasons my hobbies change so often, over the last 5 or 6 years I discovered a bear named Winnie the Pooh, I’ve always known about him but never read the stories, now I love reading them, so what if I’m 41. When you’re a kid you don’t really appreciate the stories as much as you do now because now I read more into them and understand the morals behind the stories, I might read Peter Rabbit next.

On that note, Alfies almost crying so I better get off and walk him ;D

Have the most amazing weekend and start to ponder on what interests you, what could you do for fun, if you’re struggling try and remember what you used to do when you were about 10 or 11 for fun and I bet it’s not much different now ;D Find a grown up version of that enjoyment, so if you used to enjoy rolling around in muddy puddles, maybe something like skirmish or paintball is for you! xx

Friday, 20 May 2011

You gotta love food - 20th May 2011

The best exercise for the heart is lifting someone up.

Now I don’t know about you, but me – I love food and eating and drinking, it’s one of the reasons I have a weight problem. So in my quest to still be able to enjoy as much tasty food as possible I look for new ideas and different foods all the time. For example yesterday I found out that my childhood favourites – SNAPS – were only 3pp and unlike most things the packet has actually gotten bigger. How did I find out, I used my calculator! I’m constantly staggered by the amount of members that don’t have or use their calculator (and if you don’t have the electronic one, the cardboard one will do). There’s so much more choice out there if only we put a little effort in and work out the ProPoints. When I go shopping, I tend to take a marker pen and my calculator with me and I spend that little bit longer working out the ProPoints in things. It usually means I end up with a better selection of foods and it also enables me to take advantage of the bargains in-store.

Speaking of bargains, I finally went shopping last night, I’m still working through the cupboards and freezer but I needed and wanted some green stuff and some of those warbuton square wraps (4pp) ideal for using as a pizza base and sandwich thins (3pp) which are just delicious and are lovely toasted, so I had to go to Morrisons as it’s the only place I know that sells them at the moment. I noticed that the Fray Bentos pies are on offer 3 for a fiver and I know their maximum 20pp each and they easily serve two (I didn’t buy – I already have 3 in cupboard from last time they were on offer!)

So the thought for today is anything that’s worth having (i.e. weight loss) usually involves some effort, so are you prepared to put in that effort?

A major part of that effort involves self control with takes a kind mental energy and of course it gets depleted like other kind of energy. So it’s important to remember that when you’re using energy to try to fight your long established habits and stay in control, you need to account for that by boosting your energy in some way.

And the easiest way to ensure you have plenty of energy is simply making sure you get enough sleep or by finding other ways to boost your energy so that you are offsetting the energy you are using for your self regulation and self control. We talked about activity last week in meetings and it’s proven that being more active gives you more energy, you may think moving more would wear you out but it doesn’t it actually energises you. If you don’t believe me go try it out, have a brisk walk round the block, get some fresh air in your lungs and see how you feel.

Back to food and I had my first ‘tuna melt’ yesterday mmm it was delicious and thank you to Jason for suggesting it in the meeting Tuesday night, I’ve found a new favourite meal. Now the one I made was quite high in ProPoints because of the bread I used and also because of the fact I used enough tuna stuff to cover twice the amount I did! But what I’m going to do next time is spread it further and have it on Warbutons Sandwich Thins, so it will be;

1 tin tuna (3)
1tbsp sweetcorn (1pp)
1 ½ tbsp Hellmanns light Mayo (2pp)
4 sandwich thins (12pp)
40g cheddar (4pp)
Serves 2 at 12pp, serve with huge side salad.

Mix tuna, sweetcorn and mayo together. Toast one side of thins then turn over, spread tuna mix between each thin and toast with cheese then toast.
I’m thinking I could add diced pepper and spring onion or mushroom too to bulk it out even more. Or instead of the sandwich thin use the square wraps and make a huge tuna melt.

Anyway I’ve gotta take Alfie for his walk, he’s whining!

Have a fabulous Friday, the weekend is almost here. xx

Thursday, 19 May 2011

My less than perfect tracker! 19th May 2011

Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen. Peter Marshall

WOW I struggled yesterday, ended the day on 51pp, so glad for my pedometer Activity ProPoints and those weeklies as I’m out of a balti Friday night and driving down to see my friend for lunch on Saturday so need today and tomorrow to be more controlled, I’m going to have to go shopping for some salad, I’ve managed 3 whole days with spending any money! That’s brilliant for me as I like to food shop as often as possible.

The other thing I’m pleased about was I tracked everything, as I had it so I wouldn’t forget or pretend I didn’t have it this morning, this is what my day looked like and why I think I ended up overindulging;

Breakfast – NOTHING! I forgot and I’m sure this is what led to me over indulging later on.

Snack about 11.30, Banana

Lunch – leftovers from yesterday 7pp, bit of a odd mix but edible, was probably physically satisfied but not emotionally as it was just food. ;(

Afternoon snack about 2.30ish - 3 ryvita (3pp), red pepper houmous (2), BBQ Bakes (2), pickled egg! What can I say I was still emotionally and I think physically hungry, I wanted something I was going to enjoy but couldn’t find it, so this had to do!

Dinner – handful of oven chips – 5pp & a Weight Watcher Beef Hotpot (6pp) and a chunk of cheese 5pp (This was actually nice, I ate the cheese because it was there, but the WW meal was better than I’d expected and would have been brilliant if I’d filled the plate with extra veggies)

In the hour before I went to bed I consumed;

2 dime bars (8pp) and 2 glasses wine (12pp)

OUCH – 51pp total and I’d earned 8pp on my pedometer, so not the best day of food choices I think you’ll agree. So glad I’m using a food tracker as it’s not just recorded the PP I’ve eaten but also given me some insight into where I’m going wrong. There’s not enough fruit and vegetables, I also didn’t drink enough fluid yesterday which is more important than people realise.

So that was my day, hope yours was better and I know I’m going to have a much better day today because I’m going to the shop to buy supplies.

Back to fluid, did you realise the body is made up of mostly water so if you don’t drink enough fluid you don’t function properly. I mostly drink boiled water, sounds odd I know but I actually enjoy it and I’ve got used to it, although I do love a cup of tea and since I drink it less often I enjoy it even more. Occasionally I’ll have the odd can of diet fizzy pop, but only now and then and as for the full fat stuff, the last time I drank that I was in Kenya about 8 years ago because I was exhausted and needed a sugar fix. Did you know that one 330ml can of regular fizzy drink contain approximately 9 teaspoons of sugar, in the form of high-fructose corn syrup? And one bottle of the popular sports drinks contains more than 20 teaspoons? So instead of loading up on the sugar, I’d rather drink clear, pure water and occasionally I’ll flavour it with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime – posh ay! To help remind me to drink water I have bottle of the stuff all over the house (I’m a little untidy so they’re unnoticeable!) and when I’m passing and notice one I’ll have a swig.

Why not put a reminder on your computer or in your phone to tell you to go get a drink and notice the different you will feel if you drink plenty and get hydrated.

Have a lovely day and do your best on the plan. xx

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Mom's diaries - 18th May 2011

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. Sam Keen

Was hungry last night, ended my day on 38pp, thank goodness for the weekly allowance, I didn’t eat junk though I opened a packet of ham and ate it with a couple of slices of nimble bread. Was I genuinely hungry or was it emotional eating, I’m not really sure, sometimes it’s difficult to tell isn’t it. By emotional eating, I don’t mean that you have to have had a bad day or problems in your life, emotional eating can be caused by tiredness, boredom or even having a really good day, anytime you eat and your not physically hungry has an emotional reason behind it. So I’m not too sure because I had eaten my tea, but I don’t think I was completely satisfied hence the sandwich.

Trying to lose weight really is an emotional journey for many of us and it really upsets some people when they aren’t getting the results, it angers others and it makes some think, ‘sod it, if it’s not working I may as well eat’, any or all of them sound familiar?

Over the last 20+ years I’ve had my share of moods controlled by my weight but over the last couple of years I’ve made the decision not to let my weight influence my mood, I’m a “Happy Owl” (Over Weight Lady), which is how I got my website name. I will continue to love myself and my body whatever it weighs because it’s doing it’s best. Punishing yourself and beating yourself up over your weight or your diet failures is counter-productive and I know because I’ve done it.

I’m going to share something with you that I was reading yesterday, mom let me have a look at her old diaries, so I found out 2003 which was the year before I joined Weight Watchers for the last time and eventually became a leader. These are just some of the things I read about myself and was reminded of, on April 3rd 2003 I got to goal with Weight Watchers for probably the 4th or 5th time, whenever I rejoined a meeting, I always pretended I hadn’t done it before, my goal weight was 9st 7lb which is two and a half stone lighter than I am today. I remember feeling amazing at first. According to mom’s diary by the 13th May, I was trying to get my hands on some Slimming World books! I’m assuming that was because I was struggling to maintain my new goal weight and had stopped attending my Weight Watcher meeting. By May 26th I was reading up and about to dabble with the Atkins diet!! That’s three diets in two months because I was trying to get my body to be a weight it didn’t want to be and couldn’t maintain.

Further on in mom’s diary, August 19th to be precise, I thought I read, “Bev looks huge now!” and I nodded because I remember gaining, but having read it again, she’s talking about my room because I’ve tidied it ;D, it say’s “Bev’s” not “Bev”, PHEW! Anyway not much else is said about diet club so I know we stopped going, but lots is said about how I’m bringing home treats and takeaways every night, how hard I’m working, how ill I seem to be all the time, how stressed out I am, etc etc. I do remember being stuck in a job I didn’t enjoy and feeling out of my depth, I was also struggling with a part time degree at university and it was all just too much.

By April 2004, a year later, I’d gained four stone! Yep, that was the day I joined Weight Watchers for the last time and realised I needed to do it for the last time and I did, my goal weight now is 10st 6lb which is much more realistic and maintainable.

Not only did I change my goal weight, I changed my life too. I decided the degree wasn’t that important to my life, I was trying to prove a point that I wasn’t thick, so instead of finishing it, I walked about with an HND, I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone, I know I’m smart! I also walked away from the job, yes it was very highly paid for someone with not formal qualifications and a great opportunity for future career advancement, plus it had a company pension, but guess what I didn’t enjoy it, so I walked away, a little terrified at first! But I realised my sanity was worth more than any amount of money.

I’ll have been at my goal (give or take the odd ½ stone blip) for 7 years this August and I’ve never been happier. I have a job I love and a life that’s perfect for me.

So wherever you are on your weight loss journey, give yourself a break, better still give yourself a hug and decide to love you right now, the journey will suddenly become easier and sweeter.

If there are things in your life you don’t like, change them. No it’s not easy, but wow it’s worth it.

Have a absolutely brilliant day, I know I will xx

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

17th May 2011

Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah. The Savior's Manual

YAY, I lost 2.5lb, chuffed to bits, my mission is 8lb in 8wks so this takes the pressure off a little as I do have a weekend away in the middle of those 8 weeks! I’ve really enjoyed being back on track and focused. I’m enjoying the challenge of my ‘Skint Stint’, trying to make up meals from the content of my cupboards is leading to some interesting combinations, today I’m having liver and onions, I’ve also got an idea of making fish cakes with tinned tuna and smash ;-/, I’ll let you know if it works out.

Yesterday I made a fabulous concoction from some of the contents of my cupboards, here’s the recipe;

Peppadew Pepper and Butter Bean houmous
1pp per 50g serving. (Regular houmous is 4pp, reduced fat houmous is 3pp for 50g)
100g Peppadew Peppers in brine, drained (buy in jars)
50 g Kraft Philadelphia Light with Garlic & Herbs
1 large can Butter Beans in Water (drained)
Salt & pepper (I used garlic salt)
Put the all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. (or use a hand-held stick bender). Use as you would houmous, would be nice in a pitta with salad or on ryvita or as a dip for crudites (carrot, celery & cucumber sticks)

I’ve made time for me this week, which has meant I’ve ignored the odd phone call (returned them later), or not responded to my email quite so promptly and it’s helped me, being constantly on call means you get distracted. Yesterday, Joyce who helps me weigh on a Monday told me she wasn’t going to be able to help me anymore because she was so busy, to which I said, no problem at all, you’ve got to take care of you. She then went on to tell me that she cuts hair on a Monday, although she wished she didn’t because she’s not getting a day off at all, to which I responded then stop cutting hair too. She explained that she doesn’t like to let people down, which I totally understand but my reply was, “But it’s okay to let yourself down”! We can be TOO NICE! Too helpful, when it’s causing you to be rushed, tired, overworked, then you need to stop and say NO! Taking care of yourself is more than just losing weight, it’s emotionally too – it’s okay to put yourself first – it’s not selfish, it’s selfcare. If you know you need to add some activity to your life but you can’t find the time, something’s gotta give. I know this isn’t easy, but there’s always a solution, you just need to work it out for yourself. I’m too tired to exercise at night, so I made the decision to get up an hour earlier every day, no it’s not easy and some mornings I’d love to lie in, but once I’m out and moving, I’m okay and the more I do it, the easier it gets.

Interesting fact;

Appetite is one of the strongest survival forces, with it the human species would have disappeared long ago. It is only when there are excess calories available all the time and people do not have to work physically, that the natural appetite causes problems. The mismatch only needs to be very small – a 1% error will accumulate 10,000 kcal a year, which is the equivalent to a weight gain of 1-2kg a year!

This fact should make you feel better about the times you overindulge, your body is programmed to encourage you to eat, so every day you resist and stink to your plan, you are amazing, you’re showing such determination and willpower – you should be really proud of yourself. That 1% error is so easy to consume, you don’t have to be eating more, just making the wrong choices. You can get two products that are the exact same but made by different manufacturers and one will automatically have more ProPoints in than another, the quantity is the same, it’s the ingredients that differ. Some foods have more sugar, some more fat; it’s always worth doing the maths before consuming.

Here’s to another fabulous day xx

Monday, 16 May 2011

16th May 2011

Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution. David Joseph Schwartz

Well it’s weigh in day today, fingers crossed I’ve lost my pound, only 7 more weeks to go. I had a bit of a unplanned eating session yesterday afternoon, still ended the week with a few activity ProPoints left though so hopefully I should be okay. I was trying to work out what was at the root of the mini blow out and the only thing I could come up with was I was tired, and even though it was only 6ish I should have gone to bed because I’m sure I would’ve slept. Apparently tired people consume 200 calories more than those that get enough sleep!

I spent a few hours on my website yesterday too, put together some stuff on meal planning and also uploaded Bev’s Bites for you to download and print off. Just follow the links below;



A conversation with a friend yesterday turned up this statement, “If the only thing we're worrying about is losing weight and eating too much then we're doing ok!” How true is that, have you ever thought about it in that way? If your only real problem is our weight how lucky are we!

Not many people can follow a weight loss plan perfectly 100% of the time, so if you have a blip don’t beat yourself up, smile and admit your human and get straight back on the weight loss wagon. At the same time try to acknowledge what made you fall off it in the first place. That will be different for everyone and by identifying your reasons, you can hopefully adjust your behaviour to stop it happening again, or to stop it happening so frequently.

I’ve realised that if I’d gone to bed at 6ish when I got peckish, I would have slept possibly until this morning, I’ve also realised the reason I didn’t was because it would have meant leaving mom downstairs on her own or have her moan at me for going to bed and her going to! Don’t get me wrong I’m not blaming mom, it was my choice to avoid the possible confrontation but now I’ve realised it, next time I will just go to bed.

Many of us eat to avoid all sorts of things such as our feelings, emotions or confrontation with others, when really the eating only delays the inevitable or makes us feel worse after we’ve done it.

This week when you get the urge to eat something that you hadn’t planned on having or something in-between your meals when you know you’re not remotely hungry, try to identify ‘WHY’, are you avoiding something, are you trying not to feel something, is it just down to habit because it’s there, it might be as simple as you’ve just seen something you haven’t eaten in such a long time, but at least if you’re looking at your eating habits you can progress and make permanent changes to the way you eat.

Have a thoughtful day. xx

Sunday, 15 May 2011

15th May 2011

You don’t have the power to make life “fair,” but you do have the power to make life joyful. Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Here’s a Sunday morning smile for you, well it worked on me ;D

A man was walking his dog through the graveyard when he saw another man crouching behind a gravestone."Morning!" he said. The other man replies, "No, just having a poo."

So I had a brilliant day yesterday, I had my lovely walk, nipped to shops, baked bread then the door fell off my oven, which made me laugh but at least the bread was cooked and I didn’t’ get burnt on the very hot door, plus it’s insured so I’ll ring them Monday to get it fixed. Next I had an email from the National Lottery to say “We have some news about the ticket that you bought for the Friday 13 May draw.” Excitedly, I logged onto my account to find out I’d won, not a fiver, not a tenner even, oh no, I’d won a staggering £2.60, yes there is a decimal point there, it isn’t £260 no it’s £2.60, made me small and confirmed that the universe is playing with me this week, it’s teasing me because it knows I’m trying to save a little money in preparation for my 6wk skint stint. Anywho my bread was delicious, the recipe is in the new Simply Enjoy cookbook, there’s some delicious recipes in there and lots of them can be done in 20 minutes which is a bonus.

Just got back from today’s walk and admit I’m a bit shattered, yesterdays mammoth trek too it out of me, I’ve just laughed though as I realised I have a new obsession, Alfies walked me round the estate and I’ve become a bit of a porch perve, I keep looking at them all trying to decide which one I would have if I had a porch. Well as I’m looking you’ll never guess who I saw – ELVIS! Yes Elvis is alive and in a porch on Ashmore Park, well he’s not alive but there is a life size cardboard cut-out of him in one of the porches ;D

So today’s the last day of the first week on my 8wk, 8lb challenge and I’ve still got 5pp of my weekly allowance left and the 44pp I’ve earned on my pedometer, so I’m pretty pleased with myself this week. I’m feeling really positive and hope to lose my first 1lb tomorrow but even if I don’t I know I’ve stuck to the plan and I feel better, so the weight loss will come.

Diets DO work!

I've read so much over the years about diets, how to successfully lose weight forever, how diets don't work blah blah blah. To the point where I have almost convinced myself that diets don't work because that would be easier to believe than that they do and it’s me that doesn’t work!

After reading so much and analysing all the information, thinking about it all and bashing it out in my own mind over the years, I'm finally convinced YES they DO WORK. I love that members have now started saying, “I’m not on a diet, it’s a lifestyle change”, because that’s exactly what you need to do for the weight loss to last, diets don’t work if you treat them like a short term project.

I lost 50lb with Weight Watchers and reached my goal on 17th August 2004 and I still struggle with my weight because I like to overindulge but I never got much more than ½ stone over so I can live with that.

Weight Watchers helped to teach me balance, I used to have a “Life’s too short” attitude, but these days when that thought starts to get into my head too often, I remind myself that if I continue to overeat, drink and indulge too much the YES LIFE WILL BE TOO SHORT!

So what or who is your “Thinspiration”, this week mine is a wonderful lady named Becky, an member who became a friend, she lives in Stoke now so I haven’t seen her for a while but yesterday she emailed me and made me shed a tear. She sent me a message telling me that she was going shopping for her wedding dress with her mom and how excited she was. She told me that if this had been happening a few ago, her thoughts would have been very different and instead of excitement, she would have been feeling dread. She continued to say that sometimes it's easy to forget just how much losing weight has changed her life, but that days like this make her realise how much better her life is.

Of course, I’m proud of all my members, but Becky is one of my special successes, she lost over 10 stone and just knowing that’s she’s keeping it off and is so happy makes me so happy. She is proof that Weight Watchers works. I can’t wait to see her wedding photos, but that’s another year away as we all know how long they take to plan these days.

(Becky before and after, taken in 2008)

So it’s Sunday and the suns shining, hope you get to enjoy it. xx

Saturday, 14 May 2011

14th May 2011

A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. John C. Maxwell

What a beautiful morning, I’ve been out walking Alfie since 5.30am and we’ve had a fabulous time, plus I’ve already done my 10,000 steps and earned 2pp on my pedometer ;D

Had a lovely day yesterday, I was without car so walked to meet my mates for lunch, pub was 2 mile away, because I was walking I was able to partake in a glass or wine and we had a really good giggle. I then walked through the fields and went for a massage before walking home in the rain, which also wet was very refreshing, spent the rest of the day chilling out and my car passed it’s MOT which was a bonus.

Now I had beer battered fish and chips with peas for lunch and I uploaded it onto facebook asking how many ProPoints everyone thought and it just goes to show how much we differ because the guesses ranged from 13 to 38pp, so what do you think?

I saved a few ProPoints by not eating the batter and earned a few by walking there and back. I used 53pp yesterday and I’m pleased with that because not only did I eat out but I opened a bottle of wine later too although I didn’t finish the bottle like I normally would and I didn’t raid the cupboard either after drinking which proves when I do, I’m using the wine as an excuse to eat not because I “can’t help myself”

I’ve just been on the most gorgeous walk without even having to get in my car, there are some lovely paths between Blackhalve Lane and Bognop Road, we even passed a lovely lake and such a beautiful morning, the views were lovely.

This week we talked about walking in the meeting and I have to say its one of my very favourite pastimes, especially on a day like today. There’s nothing better than going for a good long walk in the countryside, stopping at a pub for lunch, having a long hot bath when you get home then settling down in front of a film with a bottle of wine. That is my idea of bliss! That truly is my perfect day, whether its walking on the chase or in the hills or up a mountain, I just love that pleasant exhausted feeling when you finally sit down. Plus a pub lunch never tastes as good unless your ravenous from the walking, ooo and a pint is delicious when you’re that thirsty. Thank goodness for the 49 weekly allowance and those activity ProPoints ;D

So most people haven’t even got up yet, it isn’t even 8am and I’ve been up 3 hours, I’ve got a busy morning, bit of work left to catch up on then later this afternoon I’m feeling a hot bath followed by a movie, not quite my perfect day due to the interruption of work but not far off and as I enjoy my job, it’s not so bad.

Not sure what I’m eating today, but might have egg, beans and tomatoes for lunch to use up the eggs, then I’ll look through the cupboards for other ideas as I’m staying away from the supermarkets remember. There’s easily a weeks worth of tins and packets in the cupboard, it’s just a case of thinking things through. Which proves even if you’re skint you can still stick to your ProPoints budget with a bit of thought, planning and portion control.

I want to cook from the new Simply Enjoy book but for now I might have to just look through and plan what to cook when I’ve emptied the cupboards, or I might do a demo in meetings.

Well I’m off to do some work, have a Sensational Saturday whatever you have planned, take a look at my photos from this morning:


They might inspire you to go for a walk and enjoy the day, even if it rains - you’ll soon dry out when you get home. Xx

13th May 2011

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start my friend, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end. Carl Bard
Oops running late this morning, just got back from walking the dog, and realised it’s Friday the 13th! Of course the scariest thing that can happen to me today would involve money because I’m a bit short at the minute and guess what happens when I walk in the door, mom declares the washing machines broken – lol, you gotta smile.

So it’s day 5 of the 8wk, 8lb challenge and I’m still on track, managed to get through Thursday night without going over my budget which I’m really pleased about because I normally cave and have an extra glass of wine which then drives me to the kitchen looking for food but I didn’t I ended the day on 29pp, so heading towards the weekend with my 43 of my weekly allowance and all my activity ProPoints.

I’m off out for lunch today but plan to choose wisely plus I’m walking there and back because the cars going in for its MOT and Service, everyone wish the car good luck :-D

I’m loving the new Simply Enjoy cookbook and can’t wait to try some of the recipes out, they all look fabulous. One thing I’ve noticed when I’m cooking is the tasting! Are you a kitchen nibbler?

While cooking, do you taste stuff or when your weighing your cheese do you pop that little bit in your mouth? Come on, it's okay. Lots of us do it. Remember when you were a kid and your mom was baking, it was a treat to "lick the spoon?"

Most of us take small tastes, sips, or nibbles of whatever we're preparing to see how it tastes (mmm whatever, sure, that's why we do it). Tasting a tiny bit from the corner of a spoon is one thing, but taking bites and thoughtlessly chewing away while cooking can add hundreds of calories a day without your realising it. All those nibbles and crumbs add up.

If you carefully weigh and measure your like I do with my Weight Watcher scales, you'll know that 10g of food is often not a very large bit. Ever seen 10g of cheese? It's tiny but still works out at 1pp, believe it or not. How easy is it to pop that in your mouth?

So next time you cook, notice if constant nibbling and tasting is something you do, and make an effort to break that habit. You can eat a piece of fruit before you start cooking so you won't be so hungry; chewing peppermint gum also helps, because it gives a peppermint taste which effectively ruins the flavours of many other things.

Treat the tasting habit like any other, and when you notice you're starting to do it, just put it back down. Sometimes it takes a bit of effort at first, and that's okay. Take a sip of water and a deep breath. Keep a notepad and write down a tally for everytime you start to eat a bit, and then stop yourself. You'll be shocked how often it happens at first. If you change from 20 nibbles down to two, you'll have made fabulous progress and maybe saved a ProPoint or two. I knew a leader once who knew she had this problem and also she was guilty of accepting the odd sweet or crisp of her kids. To counteract it she had a daily allowance she gave herself for what she called BLT’s – Bites, Likes & Treats! She’d allocate a fixed amount of ProPoints to cover them. She lost 8 stone!

Its things like this that can help you take off a few pounds without even trying.

Have a fabulous freaky Friday, here’s to the weekend xx

Thursday, 12 May 2011

12th May 2011

Just remember - when you think all is lost, the future remains. Robert H. Goddard

Over the halfway mark of the first week of the 8wk, 8lb challenge and feeling good, really enjoying the food too, made a smashing beef curry yesterday using 10pp worth of Pataks Balti Paste, 13pp stir fry beef, tin chopped tomatoes, onions, mushrooms (sorry not sure of weights as I used my scales and only recorded the ProPoints) it made 6 portions at 4pp each, I had planned on splitting it 4 ways but there was plenty, and I served it with 5pp rice, not a bad meal for 9pp at all. For lunch I had sardines in bbq sauce which I know aren’t everybody’s cup of tea but I love em and they remind me of my dad ;D

I ended yesterday having used 33pp, and I’m also still managing to enjoy my glass of wine, and I earned 9pp on my pedometer, I love my wineometer I do its just the easiest way to know exactly what I’ve done, almost like a personal trainer round my neck, it’s the first thing I put on in the morning before my bra and pants even, and if I’m half way to the bathroom when I realise I haven’t got it on – I go back! Every step counts! That goes for everything where weight loss is concerned every step counts, every decision matters, every choice makes a difference. If you make a bad choice at one meal, you can pull it back at the next meal.

I’m staying away from supermarkets because of the spending thing so I popped in the local fruit shop yesterday (more walking) and bought apples, pears, bananas and grapes so that’s my breakfast sorted for the next few days.

My belly is actually rumbling this morning not sure if that’s because it’s hungry or thirsty, so I’ll have a drink first before I walk the dog.

I was reminded of a poem yesterday which always makes me realise how important it is to enjoy life, every moment of it, even on the bad days remind yourself at least you’re still alive – it could be worse! So I’ll let you have a read;

The Dash Poem!

I read of a man who stood to speak,
At the funeral of a Friend.
He referred to the dates on this tombstone,
From beginning ….to the end.

He noted that first, came his date of birth,
And spoke the following tears.
But he said what mattered most of all,
Was the dash in between those years.

For the dash represents,
All the time he spent alive on earth.
And how only those who loved him,
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters most is how we live and love,
And how we spend our dash …
So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough,
To consider what is true and real.
And always try to understand,
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more,
And love the people in our lives,
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile …
Remembering that this special dash,
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read,
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
And how your spent your dash?

By Linda Ellis

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the dash.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

11th May 2011

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.--Dalai Lama

Nann Pizza mmm, and only 10pp, I used an Asda smart price naan (6pp) and topped it with tomato puree, 1pp worth of left over cooked chicken, onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and 3pp of mature cheddar cooked it for about ten minutes and served it with salad leaves for a delicious easy tea. That was my tea Monday night.
Tuesday lunchtime I had Fray Bentos meatballs in gravy, I haven’t had them for years and for 4pp for ½ can or 7pp for the whole can, I’ll definitely be having them again, delicious served with 100g mash which always looks more because I use a potato ricer and I served it with lots of vegetables. Last night I needed to use the potatoes up before they went green so I made a cheese and potato pie which made two portions. Using my Weight Watcher scales I weighed 11pp of potato, 8pp cheese, and 3pp low fat spread (to fry onion in), I also used cherry tomatoes on the top and it was delicious served it with ½ can Sainsbury’s basic spaghetti in tomato sauce for 3pp, a huge plate of food for 14pp. I even managed a huge glass of wine because I’d had fruit for my breakfast and a packet of WW BBQ bakes for a snack, total for day 31pp and earnt 8pp on my
pedometer. So that’s day 2 down, and day 3 just about to begin. Hope everyone else who’s joined my on my 8lb in 8 weeks is on track too.

The one thing that has just struck me as I was typing what I’ve been eating is that if you have a family, all those meals are suitable for them to eat, no fancy or diet meals, just good basic, cheap healthy grub.

It also helps to either totally plan your meals for the week so you aren’t stuck and grabbing at stuff or at least to have a good idea of what’s in your cupboards and fridge. Last night I took some beef out of the freezer and today I shall be making a curry with it I think. Not sure if I’ll use a recipe or jar, we’ll see, I’m on a budget at the minute and trying to use all the food in the cupboards and freezer so I think it may be a jar if there’s on in there. I’m guilty of buying food when its on offer or just buying too much so I have so much in the cupboards to go at and as long as I exercise portion control I can have any of them.

I did buy 5 pizzas from the Tesco garage Monday night because they were reduced from £2 to 90p each and pizza is my weakness, before I put them in my basket I used my calculator to ProPoint them and they were 9pp for ½ pizza, so as soon as I got home I cut them all in half before freezing them to stop me cooking the whole thing. They’ll be delicious with some salad leaves.

My Yogalosophy dvd has arrived too, I read about it in this months Weight Watchers magazine, so I plan to do my first session on Friday, I’m not going to pressure myself into fitting it in before then because I’m far too busy for additional exercise Monday-Thursday, so I reckon if I do 3 session Friday, Saturday and Sunday that’s a great start.

I’ve slept like a log too the last few days, not sure if that’s because I’m eating healthier or just that I had a late night on Saturday and still catching up ;D

Yesterday after writing my journal I realised that yes I do love me regardless of what I weigh, I try to get you all to feel that way. And yes if I remained at this weight for the rest of my life I’d be happy because I can be happy with any circumstances and also I look okay. But then I realised after deeper thinking that I’m happier when I’m at my goal, it’s not just an image thing, it’s because I feel more in control around food, I don’t want food to be a constant source of conflict in my life, I don’t want it to be my escape from the world when I’m having a bad day or a tough time. I want food to be a source of nutrition and a healthy source of pleasure, not an unhealthy source of distraction!

I’m getting there slowly, I have been for a number of years now, I’ve realised it took me almost 40 years to end up in this position so sorting it out isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s a constant thing, like peeling the layers of an onion. Nothing worth having comes easy, but with the help of others and the Weight Watchers ProPoints plan, I’m almost there I feel confident that I will get there too.

Have a great day, and track all the way. xx

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

10th May 2011

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important. Janet Lane

Yesterday I decided I’m going to lose 8lb in 8 weeks, and when I posted it on Facebook, lots of you agreed to join me which I just love. I treated myself to a new ‘Weight Watchers track journal” because although I do use the esource to track I like to have it in black and white in front of me so I can use it for ideas and to see exactly what I’ve had without having to be logged on, I can also let others see it too.

I had an amazing lunch, sea bass fillet with a caramelised ginger and lime butter, mashed potatoes and vegetables, for 12pp it was delicious and meant I only needed a light tea.

So do I believe I can do it, hell yes! I never start anything I don’t believe I can succeed it, that doesn’t mean I always do succeed but it means I give myself the best fighting chance.

Optimism is so important, having an optimistic approach always works wonders, in the short term it might mean simply changing a negative attitude to a more positive one but in the long term optimism builds the inner strength and resilience that keeps you hopeful and upbeat in the face of life’s challenges.

Optimism means taking the attitude that things will improve if you just put some effect in. apparently this attitude to life is widely regarded by psychologists as one of the most beneficial personality characteristics, hundreds of studies have demonstrated that optimists are not only higher achievers, both at work and on the playing field, but they also enjoy better physical health, faster recovery from illness, and suffer less anxiety and depression.

Now that sounds like enough reasons to start learning the optimistic habit if you haven’t already!

I’ve spent the last few months not really knowing what would happen with my job because Weight Watchers were having to make changes to how we worked for them, but I didn’t worry about it, I believe everything happens for a reasons, and I had no need to worry because as of July 3rd I will no longer be self employed, I’ll be a fully fledged Weight Watcher employee ;D

So lets get you ready for success now, sometimes an immediate change in attitude is all it takes to turn a negative pessimistic feeling into a positive and optimistic one.

Next time you find yourself visualising the worst possible outcome become aware of what you are doing. Awareness is always the first step to change. So once you realised that you are going down a gloomy path, just stop it; refuse to go there. You know the kind of thing, “I’ve eaten a cake so I’ve stuffed up my diet, I’m hopeless, I never still to anything”. Blah Blah Blah!

Instead imagine the very best scenario and visualise that instead. See it happening and make it as real as possible. So you could think, “I’ve eaten a cake but for the rest of the week I’m going to eat healthy and move a little more then when I get on the scales next week I’ll be a lose on them.” Visualise you standing on the scales and the digits being lower.

Now notice the difference between how you feel with the two different attitudes. Yes your optimistic view will make you feel so much better, but also remember that successful thoughts attract success. So the optimistic path really is the only viable way to go!

Have a truly optimistic day ;D xx

Monday, 9 May 2011

9th May 2011

A smile brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature's best antidote for trouble.

Monday morning and I’m not quite awake yet, could have done another few hours I think, although I’m sure I’ll be wide awake after my walk with Alfie, that’s what I love about doing my exercise first thing in the morning, it energises me ready for the day.

Yesterday I got my journal out and decided to do away with the exercise excuses, I say I haven’t got the time for anything other than walking, yet I always manage to fit in time for other unexpected events such as a trip to the dentist, so if I can do that I realised I can fit in 30 minutes for some yoga or a go on the Wii Fit, so I’ve booked appointments with myself in my diary for doing it and then I’ve got to do it.

So what about you, can you beat the exercise excuses, perhaps you don’t enjoy the gym or that early morning run/walk you never have the time to do. Don’t give in – you deserve and need a fit body. Find alternatives. Booking in for a regular class in an excellent way of committing to moving more, you could try the Zhumba craze that’s sweeping the nation? If you do use the gym why not take your own music, or an audio book to listen to whilst you workout. Why not use the time to meet up with a friend and have a weekly walk and talk date. If you initially find it really hard work, why not reward yourself every time you complete a session, obviously try not to make it a food based reward! Hopefully your aim will be to programme your brain to associate exercise with pleasure not pain.

Moving your body is vital for health and fitness whatever you weigh and it doesn’t have to be hard work, time consuming or expensive. It’s important to find enjoyable, realistic ways to keep yourself in shape whilst you lose weight, the two things together weight loss and movement are a great way of getting you to your goal and helping you feel fabulous along the way.

Find a way to move you enjoy, take your time, try different things, and whilst you’re looking just move more in your day to day life. Use some of that energy to sort your house out, I intend to this week!

So think of one type of exercise/movement you enjoy doing now?

Acknowledge an activity you don’t enjoy.

Think of something you haven’t yet tried but have always fancied having a go.

And finally think of a way of moving you already do, or could do that you don’t consider to be exercise.

Well I’m off for my walk, today I’m going to do some stretches whilst Alfie sniffs the lampposts and I’m stood there waiting!

Enjoy your day. xx

Sunday, 8 May 2011

8th May 2011

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.

Sunday morning, 8.30am and I managed a lie in, Alfie let me sleep till 7.30 bless him and check me out, I stayed out till 2am! Not only stayed out but stayed awake ;D anyone who knows me well knows I don’t do later than 11 whatever the occasion, I physically can’t keep my eyes open, but diet coke seemed to do the trick and lots of laughter helped too. It’s so good to laugh and I think sometimes people forget, we had paid to watch stand-up but to be honest I was already crying before the show even started thanks to the ladies ;D

It was an eventful day yesterday for me, I woke up realising for the first time in almost 7 years I was soon to be ‘employed’ again, rather than ‘self employed’, don’t worry I will still be a Weight Watcher leader, only our employment status changes. Then I went to have my hair done for the first time since Christmas 09! I had no idea what I was having done to it when I walked it, I put myself at the mercy of Laura and I came out a different colour and I’ve lost about 5/6 inches, and this morning it doesn’t look anything like it did last night thanks to the rain last night ;D

We were planning on a Chinese last night as we were in the Chinese quarter of Birmingham, unfortunately when we came out of the comedy club, they were all closed, so it was a balti instead (and not a very good one – I left a lot), so today I I’ve decided I’m going to make the Chicken Chow Mein I fancied last night, if you fancy having a go, here’s the link to an easy version. http://www.happyowls.co.uk/ChickenChowMein.html

So I have a new hair cut and a kind of new job but not ;D. Nearly everything in your life is there because you chose it, your work, friends, clothes, hobbies, possessions etc, even to some extent your health! They are the culmination of life choices, conscious or unconscious that you’ve made. Do you imagine your future differently; do you imagine a future where you weigh a lot less and feel a lot healthier or more confident – YES? Well to achieve this future you’ve have to set goals because without them, the future chooses YOU!

Actually deciding what you want is the hardest part of goal setting? You may be thinking no it isn’t “I just wanna be thin”, but how thin, how much do you want to lose, how much would you like to weigh, is it a number that your striving for or a level of fitness, will you be happy whatever you weigh when you can run ½ mile or run round with your kids? When setting goals you need to be specific, that’s any goal not just a weight goal. “I wanna lose weight” is vague, “I want to lose 21lb” is specific. Knowing why you want to achieve the goal helps too, “I want to lose 21lb because…

- I will be able to say I’m within a healthy BMI for my height.
- I will be able to wear all the clothes in my wardrobe that I’ve kept from 3 years ago.
- I will look amazing in my wedding dress.
- I will be able to run the race for life rather than walk.

Our reasons are always personal to us, and they’re our motivation to continue. Why not write your goals down, say them aloud every day, maybe first thing in the morning to remind yourself. Visualise achieving your goals. Where are you? What are you doing and feeling?

Once you’ve realised and decided your goal you have to work out how long you’d like it to take you to achieve and how you plan to do it. Most importantly make sure your goal is realistic and achievable. It’s no use saying I want to lose 10st in 10 weeks and grow 2 foot!

Take it one day at a time, take a small step each day and if you feel stuck, ask yourself, “What is the easiest step I can take now in the direction of what I want?”

Most important, enjoy the journey and smile xx

Saturday, 7 May 2011

7th May 2011

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. Sonya Friedman.

Mom showed me her copy of the Daily Mail yesterday and according to an article on page 21 one in six women say they would rather be blind than obese, a survey has found. This information makes me sad, very sad indeed. If I had the power to do just one thing with my life it would be to make women realise that they are gorgeous whatever they weigh and that they can have a fulfilling, happy life too.

That’s one of the reasons I’ve created my www.happyowls.co.uk website which I’m still putting together.  So what is an Happy Owl, I am for starters, I'm a Happy Over Weight Lady, that doesn't mean I don't take care of myself or want to look and feel my best, it means that I refuse to beat myself up because I enjoy good food and wine, and find it difficult to indulge in those things and maintain what the official BMI chart tells me is an healthy weight.  My website will hopefully make people realise you can love yourself and be happy too - whatever you weigh and by doing that you’re more likely to get to your goal weight!
Choose to be healthy and happy whatever your size. Don’t let a set of scales dictate your mood! I don’t.

Why not from today decide to take care of the most important person in your life – YOU!

I’ve got an idea why not go on a date with yourself ;-) Yeah you read it right, pencil in some ‘you time’ and do something you really enjoy. I realise a lot of you feel guilty or selfish when you do nice things for yourself, but I have to admit when I do nice things for myself, I find that I’m more balanced and able to offer the best version of myself to the people around me. Fridays tend to be my ‘Me Time’ once I’ve finished my paperwork and my treat of choice is usually a massage, but sometimes it’s a long bath and a good book whilst drinking a fine glass of wine. So what could you do on your date, or if you haven’t got time for a date just choose one activity, here are some suggestions;

- Garden
- Pick or buy some fresh flowers
- Curl up in a blanket with a good book or a journal
- Manicure/pedicure
- Read a magazine or a trashy novel
- Have ten minutes with a crossword or puzzle book
- Play a computer game
- Buy yourself a present
- Have a long bath or a sauna at the gym
- Watch reruns of your favourite show
- Go to the movies
- Call a friend for a natter
- Go for a drive in the countryside or even a walk
- Clean out your closet – throw away those clothes your never gonna get into
- Listen to music
- Mediate
- Enjoy your hobby – knitting, scrapbooking

The list is endless because it depends on what you enjoy doing. Don’t let food be your only source of pleasure as this will get you into trouble, finding enjoyment elsewhere allows food to fulfil its main role as a source of nourishment, while still providing you with joy and fun.

Having said all that I have an appointment for some me time in a short time I’m off to have my hair done, and then I’m off with the girls for a giggle at the Glee Club tonight. Today’s a good day, hope yours is too. Xx