Beverley has prepared the content of Bev's World irresponsibly and carelessly. She therefore disclaims all warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, originality or completeness of the drivel presented on this blog or on other linked websites or on any subsequent links. She vehemently denies that the information may be relied upon for any reason. Beverley shall not be liable for inflicting laughter, shame, disgust, torrents of tears and the eventual desiccation or crashing boredom on readers.

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Sunday, 31 July 2011

I am too blessed to be stressed!

31st July 2011

I am too blessed to be stressed!

Last day of July, and ended it with energy, me and Alfie went out about half five and got back just after 7, well walking in the fields with Pat and Guinness, as we were walking so long I decided it was time to get my bum on my bike so I dropped Alfie home and I’ve just been out for half hour and done five mile on my ‘Wicked Whyte’ and it’s still as good as it always was, I bet it’s been two years since I’ve sat on it, always thought I should be walking Alfie if I had spare time for exercise but now realise I can do both.  Next weekend I’ll empty the car and take it over the chase I think, aim for an hour and build up gradually, got till October 3rd to get fit for the 40k sponsored ride which I hope you’re all gonna help me raise funds for ;D  I spent an hour making little ‘weight loss angel’ charms yesterday that I plan to sell to you all to raise money for Compton Hospice, I’m just waiting for the cards to arrive that will go with them.

An email I received this morning consisted on an A-Z gratitude list, I like that idea, I’m going to write one myself later.  “Count your blessings” is simple to the point of stupid—and powerful to the point of life-altering. Gratitude, that very specific feeling of thankfulness in your heart, allows you to see and absorb all you have, forgetting for a moment all you may lack. It connects your brain with your heart, and gives you the ground to be more giving, effective, loving human. Being grateful allows generosity to flow. And many believe it also makes us more receptive—as in, the more you love what you have, the more you get what you want. So why not write your own a list to remind you of fundamental things to be grateful for every day—from alcohol to clouds to ice cream to getting enough nightly Zzz’s.

Now I’m thinking there must be an A-Z gratitude list for losing weight, all the things that are good about it, let’s see if I can do it;

A – appetite – learning to understand and appreciate your appetite means enjoying your food more. (OR A - Alfie, cos he walks me miles)

B – Bananas – everyone who hears fruit is zero ProPoints always comments “even bananas”

C – Compliments – you’re bound to receive them as you lose weight and you’ll love it.

D – Drinking water – we are fortunate enough to be able to turn on a tap anytime & have a glass.

E – Eating - we may not do it as often as we used to but we enjoy it when we do.

F – Food – realizing it doesn’t have to be the enemy is an important part of weight loss.

G – Gorgeous - Knowing that’s what we all are regardless of our weight.

H – Humour – you gotta have a giggle, and we do that in my meetings.

I – Issues – realising you can deal with them without turning to food.

J -  Jumping about – The fitter you get the more you can do this!

K – Kitchen – I love my kitchen, it’s where I create all my delicious food these days, not where I got to stuff my face with junk.

L – Life – realising there’s more to life than food is one this that I’m truly grateful for.

M – Money – think how much you save not eating all that junk.

N – NO – the one word you should be grateful that you’ve learnt to say.

O – OMG – when someone say’s “OMG you look amazing, have you lost weight”.  You just love to hear it.

P – ProPoints – they make weight loss so simple.

Q – Queue – you’re always happy to wait in that queue at the scales to be told you’ve lost weight.

R – Restaurants – I enjoy eating out more now I appreciate food and don’t take it for granted.

S – Sleep – I’m always glad to get into bed after a good day on track.

T – Tracking – I’m glad I take the time to track my food, it helps me understand myself.

U – Upset– The one thing I no longer let my weight do to me.

V – voluptuous – I’ve learned to love my curves, I no longer want a washboard stomach and an empty plate.

W – Weight Watchers – OF COURSE, as if W would be anything else!

X – Xercise :D – we all feel better after a bit of exercise.

Y – YES – being able to say yes because you fancy something and knowing you have the ProPoints to cover it.

Z – Zero – We always enjoy zero propointed food :D

YAY I did it, would you have picked different things?  I’ve just had another email to say I’ve won a tenner on the lottery so it’s my lucky day.  Feeling creative today, so going to go and be a bit arty I think.  Whatever you’re doing, enjoy yourself. Xx

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Yesterday I ate a man!

30th July 2011

Turn your wounds into wisdom.  Oprah Winfrey

Well I had a great day yesterday, got all my work done on morning then made lunch for my friends (chicken with 40 cloves of garlic & Spanish roasted vegetables, followed by marbled cheesecake), I dropped mom off for her eye op to have her 2nd cataract removed and then went home and waited for my guests, 3 moms, 5 kids and we had a lovely afternoon, the kids made pizza for their lunch and also decorated gingerbread men, Jenny did this one for me which was 9pp without the decorations!  So my weekly allowance was well spent on gingerbread men x 2 and the leftover white wine from the meal I’d cooked and well worth it too.

The kids have decorated my back garden with chalk, they drew a lovely image of me with a hairy bellybutton – nice!  Now that should guarantee no rain for the rest of the six weeks cos we’d like the chalk to wash away ;D  I have to say, I’d kill for their energy, the ran round playing cops and robbers for ages, then ran round the park too.  Can’t wait for next weekend, we’re off to Cadbury World, it’s great not being a grown up.

So I have 5pp left of my weekly allowance and I do have 22pp that I earned on my pedometer Monday – Thursday, probably more but I forgot to wear it yesterday and didn’t put it on this morning either, so this weekend should be a doddle because I’m going to keep myself busy.  I’ve got lots of keyring charms to make that I’m hoping to raise funds for Compton Hospice by selling them to you, I’ve got plenty of office work to do and who know I may indulge in a bit of housework or ironing but only if I get desperate.  Might make some soup today too, use up the spinach in the fridge, or maybe a lasagne to freeze, I’ll have a look on esource for recipes with spinach in them.

I smiled to myself last night as I sat looking at the lovely bunch of flowers the kids bought me thinking to myself, who’d have thought I’d have guests for lunch and a house full of kids running about, certainly not me 6 months ago, my house has always been my retreat, my sanctuary where people rarely get to enter.  But things change don’t they and so do people, I really enjoyed having them over and would definitely do it again. 

The one thing you can count on 100% of the time is change. All things change.  So if you’re not in the best place at the moment, or you’re struggling to get on track, remember that fact – things change, whatever is happening will pass.   Of course this doesn’t mean I’m giving you permission to sit idly by and wait for something to change your life. No it’s more an assurance that no matter how desperate a situation is, it will end and how it ends is largely up to you. You may be able to change the outcome by taking action. If you cannot, you can absolutely change your response to the situation. 

A lot of the time when we’re having a tough time, chances are you can handle whatever is happening in this moment, however you’re probably stuck in the past where the source of the problem started, because often the thing upsetting us is buried in the past or projected into the future.  Most upset is derived from our unwillingness to accept or release something.  A bit like holding water, the tighter we grasp the less we have. Often the intense energy we waste clinging to something is our single greatest obstacle to our good. We greatly improve our lives and results by letting go.  Letting go does not mean giving up. It means that we do our very best to achieve our desires, take our frenetic, chaotic energy out of the picture and release our attachment to the outcome.

So decide to return to now, because there is no other time you can ever actually experience.  Think about it, you can’t change the past so why keep replaying it and you can’t predict the future so why fret about it, and if the present is a little difficult right now, remember things change.  Choose to live in the NOW, that is all you’ll ever need to do. That is all you can ever do.

Living in the now saves an awful lot of worry, a lot of people asked me if I was worried about moms operation yesterday, my reply was NO, I’m not even thinking about it, I don’t think about things until they happen, which is why we had a bit of a miss match lunch yesterday cos I’d forgot I was supposed to be cooking it at about 11 o’clock ;D  I wasn’t going to worry about mom because worrying is like a wooden rocking horse, it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.  O heck now I want a rocking horse!

:D have a wickedly wonderful day, I’m going to wait on my mom hand and foot because she’s the patient this weekend ;D

Friday, 29 July 2011

Need Support and I don't mean a bra..

29th July 2011

If you worried about falling off the bike, you'd never get on. Lance Armstrong

Well it’s Friday already and I have to say I’ve been so impressed by all the moms who’ve made the effort to come and get weighed despite it being the kids holiday and talking of kids well they’ve been super well behaved in my meetings – what’s going on there then?!  I even had one member drive from Burton-on-Trent for her meeting Monday morning with her poorly son, who had a sick bowl just in case – NOW that’s dedication ;D

It’s really important to get to your meeting, Weight Watchers works because of the group support, I’ve even got myself a leader and it’s helping me enormously.  Because let’s be honest being overweight in today's society can be really stressful. You are constantly bombarded by the media advertising and promoting the latest weight loss product or gimmick, and you are surrounded by images of thin, sexy people, I was pleased to see that L’Oreal’s airbrushing ads have been banned, but disappointed to see the new Weight Watchers magazine as a beautiful lady on the front who’s lost lots of weight and they’ve felt the need to hairbrush her face – WHY, what’s wrong with wrinkles and reality.  I have a whacking scar on my forehead and it’s part of me, just like my laughter lines and I’m proud of them and so should you be of yourself.  Unfortunately guilt is often present in the overweight person's mind, as well as a lack of self-confidence and social anxiety.

None of these things are helpful if your trying to lose weight so in order to develop a positive mental attitude about weight loss, we have to find things to motivate us, and seek support.

When you start on your weight loss journey your motivation is usually high, you are able to control your eating and exercise is not yet seen as a burden. In the first week, the weight loss totals are often good and high, and that in itself can be very motivating to continue. In the subsequent weeks, your weight loss slows down, you grow bored with diet food if you’ve made the mistake of not choosing food you enjoy, and your excuses start piling up as to why you can miss your exercise every day.

So how do you keep your motivation going, you could keep a Journal, not only will this keep a record of how much you have lost. If you record your feelings when you record a loss, you can go back and read them over and over to recapture the motivation that came from that experience. Also, by recording your thoughts and emotions on the weight loss journey, you will better be able to deal with them. Much of over-eating is emotional eating, and learning how to deal with the emotions in another way is important.  Why not put a motivational picture of you at your lower weight in your journal, it can be a great visual cue to stay on your diet. You can also display a picture of someone else whose body you would love to have – be realistic if your 5ft 2in you’re never gonna be 6ft 4in!

You could get online, make use of the facebook group and the weight watchers esource, chat to your friends whether you know them in person or meet them through cyberspace. 

Another great motivator that a lot of members do, is to hang up a goal outfit or piece of clothing in plain view. A pair of size 12 jeans hanging off the door will motivate you to lose weight and fit into them or that holiday bikini!

Most importantly remember rewarding yourself for your efforts and any small success is an important part of staying motivated to lose weight. Many of us get into the habit of rewarding ourselves with food or drink, this isn’t what I mean. For long-term weight loss, you need to change the focus and reward yourself with other things: manicures, a massage, a new pair of earrings, a magazine or anything that you like. The rewards will keep you motivated during your weight loss journey. 

Maintaining your weight loss motivation is an important part of succeeding on your weight loss journey. A lot of my members and anyone with a weight problem usually have a strong emotional attachment to food, so forming other attachments is an important part of loosing weight. Journaling, reminders, rewards, and support groups are all excellent weight loss motivation and support techniques.  I love it when I see new friendships start in my meetings, it’s wonderful.  We all like support, and praise, everyone likes to hear the words “Well Done” or “WOW”. 

So well done everyone for reading this, if you weren’t motivated why would you bother, and I look forward to saying WOW next week on the scales. 

I’m off to get busy, cooking lunch for my mates today so we can stay within our ProPoints allowance and the kids are making their own pizzas – that’ll be fun :D

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Sort it out!

28th July 2011

If life hands you lemons, you could become bitter, too - or you could make lemonade - but frankly, I'd rather just throw them out and get something I really want instead. - Loretta LaRoche

I love the quote above, I came across it yesterday, I’ve hard the first part before but I’ve never heard the second bit and that’s the bit I like.  I know these days throwing things away is not an easy choice to make, especially with finances being a priority for most, but sometimes you have to remember where the wastebin is and it isn’t your WAIST!  Try not to eat because it’ll go off if you don’t or any other similar reason, if I cook something I’m not keen on, I don’t make myself eat it, I freeze it and give it away.

Of course there is the nice kind of throwing away, usually old clothes that are now to big for you as one member text me to share that info with me on Monday, she was delighted she was getting rid of her old stuff.  And then there’s the lovely Serena who’s birthday it is tomorrow, she’ll be 76, her husband treated her to some new clothes this week as a present and she told us all that she’s gone from a size 26 to an 18 after losing 2 stone so far this year, such a lovely lady but does give herself a hard time when she doesn’t lose, so it looks like we don’t learn as we grow up ;D

This week I decided to manage my environment, we all have our trigger foods, the snacks and sweets that can make us forget all about our weight loss goals, by enticing us to indulge in them.  It helps with your success to do what you can to minimise your exposure to such trigger, managing your environment to that you’re not always around foods that tempt you.

It’ll help you immensely if you organise, remove the junk food from your kitchen, and replace it with filling and healthy food that you know will satisfy you and keep you on track, it’ll mean you’ll be in a better position to make those smart choices.  I’m smiling right now because I can hear a few of you saying, “I have to have it in the house for the kids!” NO YOU DON’T, by weaning them off it now you’re saving them a weight problem in the future.  I’m not saying never give them treats but make them ‘TREATS’ not everyday snacks, introduce them to the fruit bowl.

By sorting your own surrounding, you can also have a good start when you come into situations where you have no control over the foods that are around you.  Sometimes managing your own environment, means managing the way you respond to your environment.

So is this a habit you need to work on?  Do you struggle to throw away leftovers?  Do you tend to overeat when you’re with certain people?  Do you overeat when there’s too much tempting food around you?  If certain foods are around, can you not help but eat them?  Do you keep extra food in the house in case you get visitors?

I haven’t bought bread this week because I know it’s my weakness, if there’s bread in the house I’ll opt for it as my meal because it’s quick.  I’ve also filled my fridge with good choices, fruit, veggies and all the good foods that are going to help me lose at least a pound.  My house is still filled with red wine but I seem to be resisting that okay for now, however I might move it out of sight I think today so I don’t get tempted tonight.

Is there some re-organising you could do in the kitchen to make it easier for you to stay on plan?  Why not do that this weekend, it’ll give you something to do and help you with the weight loss mission.
Have a lovely day; it’s looking good out there again, so I’m off with Alfie for an hour.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A lotta lotta lasagne...

27th July 2011

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C. S. Lewis

What a glorious day it was yesterday, not too hot but very bright, wouldn’t it be lovely if the entire summer was made up of days like that.  I had my usual busy Tuesday and still managed to cook, I really enjoy it, I made cheese and gammon lasagne with fresh lasagne, then made a butternut squash and gammon lasagne with dried lasagne because I still had some gammon left to use, both were delicious if I do say so myself, one I had for lunch the other for my dinner.  I’ll have some again today and freeze the rest.  Both recipes will be in my Cheap Eats which shouldn’t be long now.

I ended the day on 26pp, even with indulging in my first glass of red wine in a few weeks, one of my members brought it me last week and I just fancied it - 6pp well spent.  I’m going to use what’s left to make a beef and red wine hot pot mmm, if I buy the beef whilst I’m out this morning I can put it on slow all afternoon then eat it tomorrow, always tastes better the day after, don’t you agree.

Yesterday I was reminded by my Weight Watcher leader to drink plenty of water, I’d got out of the habit again and yet it’s so important and simple to do, so I’ve got my big glass on my desk again and not feeling so tired today so maybe I was a bit dehydrated before although I preferred the idea that it was my body disapproving of the lack of red wine in my system ;-)

It was great to see so many yesterday morning and that moms aren’t using the school holidays as an excuse not to get weighed, 6 weeks is a long time to go off track and you can do so much damage in that time. It’s important to get weighed wherever you go.

Just realised I’m messing about, started this blog half hour ago and got side tracked! But I have just created and ordered some rather nice postcards J which has given me another idea, so all is good.

A member sent me an email with an interesting link yesterday and she actually wrote

Thought you may enjoy this. Although it sounds like you wrote it!!” which made me smile.  It was about how staying slim is all about your attitude which if you’ve sat in my meeting often enough you know I totally agree with, “choose your mood” is definitely up there with one of my favourite comments. 

In the article they suggested you find new thrills, as dieting has it’s own built-in reward system, for example every pound you lose feels like you’ve hit the lottery, your scales smiling at you, the waistbands on your trousers getting looser, people paying you compliments.  Life is good when you’re in the zone, then you get to goal and you have to keep that buzz going to help you maintain your new habits.  So reward yourself regularly with anything other than food or drink, cd, magazine, bunch of flowers, anything that feels good that you can afford.

It’s also really important to love your body, it’s never going to look like the bodies in the magazines, heck their bodies don’t even really look like those photos, so enjoy your new shape, or your changing shape if you’re still on the weight loss journey, love your lumps, I love mine, I often sit holding my spare tyre in a loving cuddly kind of way, it’s part of me and I love me so I love the tyre too.  Lose the “I feel fat” feeling and start looking in the mirror and saying “I feel fab”.

The article also suggested you adopt a ‘can do’ philosophy, are you likely to gain now and again, probably, what matters more is how you react to that gain.  Lose the all or nothing mentality, and start being flexible and realistic, no one loses weight every week and life gets in the way sometimes, heck Saturday I either had to eat Pizza Express or not eat and as much as I want to get back to goal, I wasn’t missing lunch.  The important thing is to get back on track as soon as possible.

So however yesterday went, for me it went brilliantly and hopefully for you it did too, but if it didn’t so ‘hey ho’ and start afresh today.  Life’s too short to live in the past. xx

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Had a sod it shop!

26th July 2011

Patience is the companion of wisdom. St. Augustine

Well I had a half pound gain yesterday at my official weigh in, which I can live with after my weekend.  Had I waited till the evening to get weighed I would have lost a pound compared to last week as I was a pound lighter when I tested the scales at my meeting, but I didn’t and as I tried to explain to a member last night who wanted to be weighed on both set of scales, we’re only allowed to be weighed once a week, so I have to practice what I preach and go with the first result.   Can’t say I’m surprised by that result, I didn’t have the best Sunday, then there was the trip to London where I did try and do my best.  Onwards and upwards (or downwards on the scales) had a fab day yesterday, spent some time doing some meal planning and had me a shopping trip to my favourite Sainsbury’s store even though I couldn't afford it really, because I need to cook and enjoy my shop – it’s part of who I am, I don’t mind having a cheap tv and stereo, I enjoy buying bargain clothes and I can live without the porch I thought about having built but I like to buy food and I like to do it in Sainsbury’s, before you start, no there’s nothing wrong with the food in Aldi or Lidl I know, I just enjoy the experience of walking round Sainsbury’s and trying the things I fancy, and in fairness I do tend to buy offers so my bill doesn’t work out much more expensive than shopping in the cheaper stores.  I did indulge in another orchid plant though, it was reduced too ;D I’ve decided they’re a better buy than bunches of flowers because they last a lot longer, the first one I’ve had for over a month now and it takes minimal looking after.

For my tea last night I made tuna melts they were delicious, I used the last two slices of bread and won’t be buying any this week as it’s my cop out weakness, I choose it for quickness and it doesn’t really fill me up so I want something else after which messes up my weight loss.  In the melt I put, a whole tin of tuna, tablespoon of sweetcorn, sliced grilled pepper (from a jar) 30g phili light, 30g light mayo and 30g cheese, absolutely tasty as anything and with a few salad leaves, well worth 14pp unlike my lunch of smoked salmon (half price counter) wraps (8pp) which tasted nice but didn’t look so good as I hadn’t been shopping for salad.

Today I’m making bacon and cheese lasagne using a gammon joint I bought last week, which again was off the reduced counter (I love a bargain) and I’ve bought some fish for tomorrow for a rarebit, it should have been haddock but they had some other white fish reduced, can’t remember the name but I’ll let you know what it’s like.  I’m also going to make another lasagne using butternut squash, a recipe I found that I shall be tweaking and removing the pot of double cream!  I love to get creative in the kitchen, not a big fan of eating the same meals and cooking the same recipe, so if I do remake something it was really, really good the first time!  I’m putting together a new Bev’s Bites which will be to raise money for charity and it’s a ‘cheap eats’ version, it’s almost complete, takes a while because I like to have cooked the recipes first.

Last night on my way home from my meeting I received a text from a member that upset and stressed me out. Normally I would have reacted by having a drink or eating when I got home but instead I grabbed Alfies lead and took him out for a walk instead. I'm so glad I did because whilst walking I received another text from a different member which cheered me up immensely. We have to remind ourselves that we are not perfect, everyone makes mistakes or as on this occasion unintentionally upsets someone and no one can keep everyone happy all the time as much as I wished I could. The only thing you can do is apologise which I have, so I hope it's accepted.

Can't wait to get back from my meeting today and get cooking, I'm also looking forward to Friday because I'm (yes me) am having children in my house and we are going to make pizza and cakes. That'll be fun ;)

Alfie was really in the mood to walk this morning, could have kept going to be honest, however I’ve got to go to work and now have less time to get ready, but it was worth the rush I’m now going to have. 

So whatever your plans today at work or not, enjoy it and stay focused. Xx

Monday, 25 July 2011

It only takes a minute...

25th July 2011
Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. Warren Buffet
What a marvellous Monday morning, it’s my idea of a perfect morning out there today, the sky looks amazing, not a soul to be seen and Alfie behaving on the park, even if his latest pastime is chasing seagulls, he’ll never catch on so I can rest in that knowledge.  Here’s a minute of what it’s like to be over the park on a beautiful day and have it all to yourself, I tend to just stand and watch the sky – it’s kind of meditative.   Play the video and just sit and gaze, empty your mind – it’s only a minute.

The weekend seems to have flown by even though I did absolutely nothing yesterday besides watch a lot of tv and eat a few more ProPoints that I should so I’m hoping for a stay the same on the scales this morning.   On a positive I’m still off the wine, even ordered diet coke when my mate ordered a glass of shiraz on Saturday in London, I just didn’t see the point of wasting 6pp on a drink when I was planning on walking the afternoon around London.

I was just reading a blog by Sara Cox, I like to listen to her a lot on the radio and in this blog she’s talking about the 9 things you should never say to your kids and she’d read it in someone elses article and it got me to thinking how did these things being said to us when we were kids really affect us now?  The first one “Leave me alone” (or “I’m busy”), apparently makes your kids think you there’s no point in talking to you because you’re always brushing them off”, instead apparently you should say something like, “Mom has to finish this one thing, then when I’m done, we’ll go outside”.  Mmm, do I agree?  I dunno, I’m not a mom but I did once have my 5 year old nephew live with me for a while when his mom was struggling and my brother was abroad so I’ve had a mini insight into it, although for a month it’s a novelty I suppose, just the same as helping to entertain my mates kids for a few hours on a Friday is too.  It’s easy to give kids your undivided attention when you know you’re giving them back at some stage, it’s not so easy when you’ve got that much to do you don’t know which way to turn.  I don’t doubt my mom used to say “I’m busy”, a lot but I don’t think it had a lasting effect, nor do I remember thinking she hadn’t got time for me.

However, the "Why Can't You Be More Like Your Sister?" or brother or whoever line, now that one I agree with, how many of you have felt resentful of a sibling or friend because of a comment like that, or just felt that you weren’t good enough?  Nobody needs to be like anyone other than themselves and if we had all been told that when we were kids, some of us might not be so screwed up, one of my favourite sayings is, “You’re perfect to be you”, yes always tell your kids they are perfect as they are, as long as they’re encouraged to do their best then they’ll be just fine, we will too, so remember just do your best and you’ll be good enough.

And the last one that caught my eye was, “Don’t cry”, WHY NOT!  If we cried more often, or expressed our emotions instead of squashing them down with a doughnut we wouldn’t be the nation of comfort eaters we are.  How many of you remember, “don’t be such a big baby”?  WHY NOT!  Seriously, what’s wrong with being emotional, what’s wrong with crying it’s only the opposite of laughing and we all do that?  Unfortunately people are afraid of showing negative emotions because we were taught not to, it’s okay to be angry, as long as you express it in the right way, it’s fine to say to someone, “I’m angry with you because…”, it’s not ok to say I’m angry with you and punch them!  Of course you want to protect your child from having negative feelings or being upset but it’s part of being human, so next time they cry, or get afraid, explain to them that it’s ok to be sad or scared.  Wouldn’t it be great if when you come home from work furious at your boss instead of walking to find comfort in the fridge your other half say’s, “You look angry, wanna talk about it”, or if you picked up the phone to have a chat about it with a friend.   Think of the ProPoints you’d save!

Today, enjoy the sunshine, even if it is only through the office window and decide to express your feeling no matter what, (in an adult way of course) ;D

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Life is Beautiful

24th July 2011

What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other? George Eliot

What a day, what a day, I was shattered when we got home from London yesterday but had a very interesting day.  We started with breakfast and I opted for eggs benedict which was delicious and 15pp maximum, then we went to see the Tracey Emin exhibition “Love is what you want” which didn’t do it for me, not my cup of tea at all.  After there we moved onto the Tate Museum of Modern Art and well all I can say is, “you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time!”  Some of the work was great but some, well we weren’t sure if we were in B&Q or Ikea at one point and it’s quite amusing watching people because they seem to think they have to like and appreciate it because it’s in a gallery, well I’m sorry, Alfie could create better than some of that stuff and the art I have on my walls in my house are much more my preference.  Having said that the good stuff was really good, there was an amazing Monet, and I didn’t like it just because it was a Monet, because when I walked in the room and went ‘WOW’ I didn’t know it was.

Next we tried to find somewhere nice for lunch, mmm that wasn’t happening, we were too late for the 12-3 lunch sittings in the nicer places and all that’s left are endless chains of tasteless tosh, so we ended up in on of those, Pizza Express, not my favourite, I’d go for Pizza Hut any day of the week, but not when I’m trying to lose weight!  I opted for the Leggera which is the pizza with the middle cut out and filled with salad (which actually was just a pile of rocket leaves), 14-16pp of boring dry floury pizza base and a bit of topping, not impressed washed down with a diet coke – a mere bargain (NOT) at £12.50!

We walked that off almost immediately after by climbing up 578 steps to the top of St Pauls Cathedral for a look at the view, amazing, although a shame that it’s such a rushed viewing.  We really did walk some miles, 12.5 in total, early 11 ProPoints on the pedometer – nice.
Finding food when you’re trying to stick to the plan in somewhere like London is not easy, we went for a coffee at the station, Belinda sat eating a cup cake and a caramel shortcake and Sarah had a super thick hot chocolate, I finally caved and had a large hot chocolate withOUT the whipped cream topping, I bet that cost me 10pp going on the eating out guide.  I did buy strawberries from Sainsbury’s for on the train home, so the final damage wasn’t too bad.  But no, it’s not easy to stay on plan when having a day trip to London, not unless you preplan it, which I intend to do with all the other day trips we have planned this summer.  I don’t mind going over my allowance if it’s worth it, but a Leggera pizza from the worst pizza chain on the planet for 16pp isn’t worth it, not when I think about what I could have had.

Comment of the day yesterday though went to Belinda for;
Bev “Have you noticed how foreign people always sound loud?”
Belinda "yes I think it's their voices"
mmm really B ;-)
or her other one; “What do u think they do with the middles out of doughnuts?”

Great day and I was home and in bed for ten o’clock and I slept like a log till 6ish when Alfie insisted on his walk.

Today I’m mostly sitting around doing not a lot, I’ve managed an hour walk with Alfie and I’ll cook later but other than that it’s a hot bath and a good movie or two. 

Whatever you’re doing – enjoy. xx

Not quite Thomas the Tank but it is a Virgin!

23rd July 2011

I am an optimist. It does not seem to be much use being anything else. Winston Churchill
Sat on a train on my way to London, we're off for a day of art, starting with a Tracey Eminent exhibition 'love is what you want' then wherever Belinda (our Artist mate) decides to take us, speaking of B if anyone has access to a laser printer and could print about 10 A4 colour sheets a week for a poor artist - let me know .

I had a good day yesterday, we went bowling again, 8 of us and I'm officially going through my second childhood - it's fab, I'm having a great time and best of all the last thing on my mind is food and drink which is a bonus.

I've just nearly had my head taken off with a backpack, they really don't think about the luggage behind them when they walking down the aisles!

I'm hoping to earn lots of activity ProPoints walking round London, I'm already at healthy from walking Alfie, I've gotta try and stay on track today.

I've already decided I need to remind myself when we go for something to eat that I want to lose weight on Monday so I must make wise food choices if I want that to happen.

So do u want to lose weight next week, is there anything this weekend that may interfere with that outcome? If yes have you decided how you're going to handle it, are you going to make wise food choices or will you suffer 'sod it' syndrome. My aim is to stay focused but of course anything can happen in the next half hour. The girls have gone to get coffee and I'm not going because I'll be tempted by a breakfast panini, prevention is better than cure. They've just come back and bought me a flapjack thing worth 8pp even though I'd told them I wasn't going with them because I'd buy food and they bring me some anyway!

However your spending your day don't do it in an ignorant way - be aware of your actions. Xx

Friday, 22 July 2011

Go sit on the naughty step!

22nd July 2011

Life is never so bad at its worst that it is impossible to live; it is never so good at its best that it is easy to live.

I’ve just got back from walking the dog and for me it’s my thinking time, an hour uninterrupted of just mindless wandering, I love it.  This morning I was thinking about my day ahead, I’m going bowling again with the kids, and my mind started to wander and I thought about Supernanny and how she has her reward system for teaching the kids and thought how funny it would be if we tried doing that for ourselves and our diets, when we lost weight we could get a star for our card and when we’d not lost any weight or gone off track, we’d get to go sit on the naughty step and think about what we’d done ;D Maybe not ay?

But it is a great idea to reward yourself when you’ve had a great week, or a fab weight loss.  It’s important not to reward yourself with food because we need to take the emphasis off food, take away its power.  I treated myself to a lovely orchard plant last week because I haven’t had any wine, the plant will last a whole lot longer than the couple of bottles of wine the tenner would have bought.  We all like to be praised and rewarded for doing well, so hopefully you’ll realise how important it is to take time to praise and reward yourself.

I’m really in the zone at the moment, had a couple of hungry days thanks to the joys of being a woman but I haven’t got off track.  When you think about it, starting the Weight Watchers plan is a be like getting married!  Yeah the first few weeks are the honeymoon period, you’re really enthusiastic, very disciplined about tracking, measuring and attending your meetings to get weighed.  You’ve got that loving feeling.  But then reality kicks in and the going starts to get a little tougher.   That’s why it’s a great idea to write down how you’re feeling in those first few weeks, then if you start to lose your mojo a little later on, you can read it and remotivate yourself, because let’s be honest, that feeling when you are in the zone and losing is great isn’t it?  And just like being married, it’s important to work through the hard times and remember the loving feeling you had when you joined.   I’m really enjoying feeling more energised, eating more yet healthier food and most of all, I totally loved being able to put a pair of jeans on this morning I haven’t been able to get my backside in for a long time.

One of the things I’m making sure I do at the moment is take care of myself, because I know that when I do, I’m more able to take care of those around me.  I’ve found that when I make my own needs a priority, I’m happier, healthier and more in control.  I love the way I feel at the moment and that feeling is impacting the way I’m behaving around my loved ones and everyone else too.  How do I know, because they’ve commented on it.

Research shows that an ongoing focus on self-improvement can affect your weight loss, and the energy and confidence that you’ll experience when you get to your goal weight will make a massive difference in what you’re able to do for others. 

We all need balance in our lives, so that we can help others and take care of ourselves.  It may be difficult at first to step and do something just for yourself, but remember, making time for your goals is crucial to your weight loss success.

Think about it, do you always seem to put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own?  Do you rarely have time to yourself?  Do you usually put your needs at the bottom of the list of what’s important?  Do you struggle to say no to other or do a lot for others and little for yourself?  If you’ve answered yes  to any of the above, then it’s a good sign you need to work on the habit of ‘taking care of yourself’.   Instead of thinking ‘I can’t’ start thinking ‘I can because I deserve it’. 

Stop and think for a second what one thing could you do this weekend to ‘take care of you’, why not go and buy yourself a nice bunch of flowers, if you’re short of cash either go pinch a bunch out of a garden or don’t buy the kids their chocolate this week, explain to them you spent it on flowers instead, as they’re healthier and you can all look at them!

Well I’m off to do my paperwork so I can go play later, got a busy fun weekend planned with no thought of food or wine – HOW FAB IS THAT!?

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Caffeine Smoothie to go...

21st July 2011

The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it's very difficult to build and very easy to destroy.  Always remember the wrongdoer is more unfortunate than the man wronged.

O DEAR, the following equation isn’t a good thing in the dieters life!

((Premenstrual + busy + unprepared) = Bad News)

That was me yesterday, I wasn’t craving the wrong things I was just hungry when it got to lunchtime and because I was really busy and rushing to get everything done – nothing unusual there for a Wednesday or Thursday come to that, I didn’t have time to spend in the kitchen so ended up warming up the potatoes from the day before and having them with some pork I’d defrosted and stir fried in a sauce sachet I found in the cupboard and some veggies.  I worked out the ProPoints after eating it (another huge mistake) and it was 18pp for lunch, damn.  Then Weight Watchers decided to totally sabotage me by delivering the best bars they’ve ever created – BANOFFEE mmm, so I had two of those.  Then when I got home, it was almost 8.30 because we couldn’t get the shop to balance and I ended up popping a frozen garlic bread in the oven and eating it all to myself with a bit of cottage cheese, so my day ended on 49pp – oops but at least I had my weeklies to dig in and I’m still focused and on track.

I bought loads of bananas yesterday to make banana cheesecake but I didn’t have time so for my breakfast this morning I’m making me a caffeine smoothie to kickstart my day, they’re delicious and I haven’t had one for a while.  Here’s the recipe;

1/2 medium banana(s), ripe   
150 g 0% fat Greek yogurt   
200 ml skimmed milk, cold (7fl.oz)   
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for dusting   
2 teaspoon coffee, & 6 ice-cubes   

Place all the ingredients except the ice cubes into a blender. Process, adding the ice cubes one at a time until smooth and creamy.  Pour into a tall glass, dust with cinnamon and serve.

Me and Alfie have just got back from our morning walk, that’s really wet rain this morning, thank goodness for waterproof jackets, because Alfie doesn’t even notice the rain. 

Well it’s official, I’m entering my second childhood, went to buy my mates kids some cheap toys yesterday to use as blackmail for good behaviour and they’re so cool, I don’t want to give them up, I’ve stashed them in my room whilst I grow up and realise they’re not mine.  But they are good, do you remember being a kid before they bought out those pesky computer games.  When you wanted all those cool toys your mom couldn’t afford like ‘pavement chalk’ and ‘laughing bags’ and ‘giant bubble makers’ not forgetting ‘water pistols’.  NOW I’m big enough to buy my own, I can’t wait for the summer holiday – there I’ve said it, I’ve admitted it, I wanna go play with the small people.  And if they won’t let me, I won’t give them the toys, me and Lynne will take them and play on our own ;D

I’m thinking about the ProPoints that could be earned having a water fight or playing hop scotch, juggling, not quite sure if I could still do a handstand or a cartwheel.  Remember Jacks and Marbles, not forgetting real Hula Hoops not ones that don’t really exist other than on a screen!   Yeah kids games can really burn some calories I reckon.  I want to get my hands on a large set of skittles for up the garden too ooo and what about Twister ;D

Well that’s my summer sorted, what you lot doing?

I better get back to reality and go get ready for work, have a great day. xx

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Food & Mood & being conned into a 40k ride!

20th July 2011

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Pavarotti

The other day, I suggested to one of my mates that we needed a challenge, I was thinking something like the race for life, not over strenuous but enough to make us start moving a little bit more – me and my big mouth!  I should have been more specific and finished the sentence whilst talking to her because I went and found a nice sponsored 6k Trick or Treat Halloween Walk for Compton Hospice and she found a 40k bike ride in Tatton Park!  Some how she’s managed to sign us up for both – neither of us have been on a bike for over 2 years!  I’m now a little bit scared as we have a little over two months to get fit ;D  Oops, so if you would like to sponsor us, you can log onto http://www.justgiving.com/WeightWatcherWitches or sponsor me by texting JDFE56 £1 to 70070. It doesn’t get any easier than that.  All donations gratefully received and all the money raised will go to Compton Hospices Raise the Roof appeal.  You can even give me your donation at the meeting.

I’m in a pretty good place right now, although I have to say I’m in a pretty good place most of the time these days because over the last 4 or 5 years I’ve really learnt ‘who I am’, what makes me tick etc, I know how to identify my moods (good and bad) and usually realise if I’m feeling a bit grumpy and acknowledge that it’s just one of those things and I’ll be ok tomorrow, because NO ONE can be happy all the time, not genuinely anyway I don’t believe.  But yes right now I’m in the best place, I feel great, that doesn’t mean I’m walking round with a permanent grin on my face or that nothing goes wrong in my day, it just means those little niggles don’t affect me long term. 

Becoming aware of yourself and how your moods fluctuate can be really helpful when it comes to eating habits particularly, because if you’re having a bad day, it’s so easy to reach for the biscuit tin, when it would be much better to reach for the telephone and call a mate for a chat (trust me if they’re a true mate they’ll be happy to listen).   We don’t do that anywhere near enough, instead we tend to plod on and cope by eating a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps to distract us from the problem or mood. 

We’ve heard the expression “you are what you eat” and we’re all guilty of turning to the unhealthy choices when we’re having a bad day, which just tend to increase our stress levels even more which isn’t the best idea.

When you feel like your moods are spiraling out of control, food should be your ally, not your enemy. So if you find yourself cranky, tired and even a bit down, these mood-boosting foods could help.

MILK - Your brain needs an amino acid called tryptophan in order to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter nicknamed the brain’s Prozac, thanks to its happy-making and calming effect. Prozac works by conserving the brain’s serotonin, but tryptophan helps you make more of your own. Milk also contains antioxidants that help destroy free radicals associated with stress. Have some skimmed milk with your cereal for breakfast or pour yourself a tall, cold glass and use it as an excuse to scarf down a few chocolate chip cookies – ProPointed of course!  You’re now impressed I know those big words aren’t you?  I didn’t I’ve googled it ;D

CHOCOLATE contains a host of chemicals to brighten your mood, including anadamine, a neurotransmitter that targets the same parts of the brain as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. But chocolate contains such minuscule levels of anadamide, you’d need to eat kilos of it in order to make any impact on the amount that’s circulating in the brain naturally. So, why does chocolate give us the buzz it does? Scientists believe other chemicals in chocolate cause anadamide to hang around in the brain for longer, enhancing its stimulant effect. The sweet stuff also boosts our levels of endorphins, the brain’s natural happy hormones.  I personally think it’s because we like the taste so eating it makes us smile!  Again don’t forget to ProPoints it, the Weight Watcher bars are a low PP option for getting a quick chocolate fix.

WHOLE-GRAIN RICE OR PASTA - Eating carbohydrates boosts serotonin levels (thus have a calming, soothing effect), and slow-release ‘complex’ carbs keep you sustained, helping you to stay mellow and preventing between-meals rattiness. While all carbs will give you this kick, stick to whole-grain bread, rice and pasta. Simple carbs like white bread and pastries will only give you a momentary boost followed by a crash, and they can make you pack on the pounds. On the other hand, whole grains (complex carbs) are digested more slowly and will keep you feeling fuller — and conceivably happier — for a longer period of time.

MACKEREL - A study in Finland found that people who eat more fish are 31 percent less likely to suffer from depression. Oily fish like mackerel are the best source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which help prevent the blues. They boost serotonin levels and also enhance your brain’s receptiveness to the neurotransmitter. High-dose omega-3 supplements can even help patients suffering from clinical depression. Most types of fish are also replete with all-important B vitamins, particularly the renowned stress fighters B6 and B12. In fact, B12 is one of the most important vitamins involved in the synthesis of the “happy” brain chemical serotonin.

BROCCOLI - Yet another food that is packed full of stress-relieving B vitamins, broccoli has the added benefit of containing folate (folic acid), which is also part of the B vitamin family. And since low levels of folate have been linked to depression in many studies, including research following thousands of people in Finland and California, it stands to reason that if you keep your folate levels up, you’re less likely to be down in the dumps.

COFFEE - Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug. It boosts metabolism and energy levels, making you feel more alert by interfering with the action of drowse-inducing adenosine in the brain. It also manipulates the same channels in the brain as amphetamines, activating the brain’s pleasure centers. There recently was a study from Brazil finding that people who drink coffee with milk each day are less likely to have depression. On the flip side, it’s clear that coffee isn’t for everyone. Its legendary jolt in excess doses — that is, more than whatever your individual body can tolerate — can increase nervousness, hand trembling, and cause rapid heartbeat.

TURKEY is high in phenylalanine, an amino acid, which the brain converts to dopamine, a neurochemical that elevates mood and motivation and prevents depression. A study published in a German psychiatry journal showed that phenylalanine was as effective as an antidepressant drug. As well as turkey, phenylalanine is found in most protein foods, so eat them when you want to feel sharper. The addition of protein to a meal will also help slow the absorption of carbohydrate in the blood. This can help leave you feeling upbeat and productive for hours after eating.

LIVER is one of the richest sources of vitamin B6, which you need to convert the phenylalanine from the protein you’re eating to mood-enhancing dopamine and buzzy adrenaline. If you don’t get enough vitamin B6, you’ll probably feel low, and stress depletes your levels further. If the thought of liver doesn’t exactly boost your mood, get your vitamin B6 from brown rice or other whole grains.

BLUEBERRIES - These little blue miracle workers are jam-packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, which are potent stress busters. Because your brain consumes so much oxygen, oxidants do heavy damage there, and those antioxidants will help pick off the free radicals that wear away at your memory. As an added bonus, they’re low in calories, so they won’t make you blimp-like. Blueberries are also a good source of fiber, which can help relieve the cramps and constipation that can occur in times of stress.

BRAZIL NUTS are the number one source of the mineral selenium, which helps maintain your mood and prevent depression. Although scientists haven’t figured out exactly how, it seems that selenium is essential for maintaining a happy mood — it’s so important that when the body’s stock is being run down, the brain is the last organ to give up its stash. These crunchy little dudes are also packed with vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. B vitamins and magnesium are involved in the production of serotonin, which helps regulate mood and relieve stress. Zinc has also been shown to fight some of the negative effects of stress, while vitamin E is an antioxidant that destroys the free radicals related to stress and heart disease.

AND FINALLY ANY FOOD THAT TASTES GOOD!  Eating food that tastes good stimulates the production of endorphins — the painkilling peptides that bind to the brain’s opioid receptors, triggering the same kind of reaction as opiate drugs such as the painkiller codeine, and heroin. So eat the things you enjoy for a natural — and legal — high!  And do it without your ProPoints allowance and you’ll feel on top of the world when you watch those numbers on the scales go down – it makes you happy to be a loser.

I’m thinking Turkey, broccoli and wholegrain pasta for lunch washed down with a glass of milk followed by blueberries for dessert and a couple of Brazil nuts for a natural high ;D 

Have a Happy day, remember it’s a choice. xx