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Friday, 31 August 2012

It's all about the healthy now....

Well moms gonna be rattling like a sweet jar with all the tablets we've been given ;-) Once she's feeling better in herself she's going to live telling everyone how ill she is now, mom is a bit of a hypochondriac so to actually have real things wrong is gonna be fab for her (tee hee)

So she has ct scan and an ECG, apparently she has a heart murmur, the veins or arteries in her neck were clogged or whatever it is but not too bad for a woman of her age, ECG was clear bonus and next we will be sent app for heart scan. She has high blood pressure and cholesterol so tablets for both and another for stroke prevention. I did smile when the doctor did the follow my finger, push my hands away, pull my arms as mom likes to do her best and nearly pulled/pushed doctor lady over, doctor said "strong lady' luv it!

It's all about the healthy now in our house! I will be making sure she eats regularly and has good food, now I've bought the table back into the living room we can sit and eat and talk. She can still have her sweet stuff just not instead of proper meals and hopefully it'll help me too.

I've really appreciated all the love and support from everyone, people are what life is all bout not food!

Can't believe how cool it is this morning, I'm walking and writing this on my phone and my fingers are really cold!

I am looking forward to not rushing today, I have lots to do but it'll be at my own pace, it's been a crazy 7 days, some of it fantastic, some of it horrid but all of it part of life's rich pattern and nothing that can't be coped with as long as you keep smiling ;-)

I've just taken some nice lamb chops out of the freezer, we're going to have a scrumptious lamb hotpot tonight as mom likes a bit of lamb cooked in oven as she would say, it won't be a regular but alright as a treat. We'll be eating a lot more oily fish in future for sure, I've got enough food in the freezer to keep us going for a good few days do over the weekend I'll sort my kitchen (ooo that's next weeks topic sorting your surroundings) and plan some meals and do a shopping list, I might even do four weeks worth and then I can just repeat them monthly, that'd take some hassle away! Mmm I likes that idea and yes before anyway says it I know I've had that idea before but hey - if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. I remember being told that as a child and it worked for me with Weight Watchers, I got to goal and rejoined so many times since I was 18 but finally I got it sussed, 8 years now. Not always at goal maybe but always aware and never giving in.

Me and Alfie are enjoying our morning stroll although we are a bit late and he's walking me through the busier roads so it's a little noisy. I've got so much paperwork to do, I don't actually want to go home, it'll be ok once I start.

Yay it's Friday and the kids go back to school next week moms so I'm looking forward to all of us getting back to it x

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Weight loss isn't just about looking good!

30th August 2012

When making big change in our life, it can be easier to break it up into a few small changes to avoid overwhelm.
Firstly thank you all for your concern for my mom, it’s very much appreciated to know you care. Xx

Apparently I get my stubborn streak from my mom - according to my mate.  If that’s true god help whoever has to take care of me in my old age because my moms can be a nightmare.  Regardless of what the experts say with their machines and tests, she’s all “how do they know, how do the know I had a mini stroke, I reckon it was just a migraine”, what can you say to that, she’ll try anything to get out of going back to the hospital today ;-) I however am glad we’ve got an appointment this afternoon so I can find out more about what actually is going on and what needs to be done going forward.  Of course being me and an internet freak, I’ve googled it, no doubt you’ve seen the adverts about strokes but just in case you haven’t or as a reminder here are the clues;

The main stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST: Face-Arms-Speech-Time.

  • Face: the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile or their mouth or eye may have drooped
  • Arms: the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift one or both arms and keep them there because of arm weakness or numbness
  • Speech: their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake
  • Time: it is time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms
Symptoms in the FAST test identify about nine out of 10 strokes.

Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • numbness or weakness resulting in complete paralysis of one side of the body
  • sudden loss of vision
  • dizziness
  • communication problems, difficulty talking and understanding what others are saying
  • problems with balance and coordination
  • difficulty swallowing
  • sudden and severe headache, unlike any the person has had before, especially if associated with neck stiffness
  • blacking out (in severe cases)
Unfortunately I wasn’t here when it happened and mom didn’t call me, it was 2 hours before I got home and she didn’t call me!  Mom had a mini stroke which is also called a TIA;

The symptoms of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) are the same as for a stroke but only last from between a few minutes to a few hours, then completely disappear. However, never ignore a TIA as it is a serious warning sign that there is a problem with the blood supply to your brain.

There is about a one in 10 chance that those who have a TIA will experience a full stroke during the four weeks following the TIA. If you have had a TIA, you should contact your GP, local hospital or out-of-hours service, as soon as possible.

Scary stuff ay!  So today I’m playing doctor advisor ;-) and am going to give you a few suggestions on how to avoid it happening to you.  And surprise, surprise on of the main ways of preventing strokes is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol.  I have the first three nailed, I’m working on the fourth!

Weight Watchers isn’t just about getting slim it’s about getting healthy and now I’ve had this reality check with mom, because lets be honest until it happens to us or to someone we love whether it’s a stroke or whatever, we ignore what ‘could’ happen because we walk round and treat our bodies like they are indestructible – well guess what they’re not!

A poor diet is a major risk factor for a stroke (and other medical problems as we know but ignore) High fat foods can lead to the build-up of fatty plaques in your arteries and being overweight can lead to high blood pressure. A low-fat, high-fibre diet is recommended, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (five portions a day) and whole grains. You should limit the amount of salt that you eat to no more than 6g (0.2oz) a day because too much salt will increase your blood pressure. Six grams of salt is about one teaspoonful.  However, a balanced diet should include a small amount of unsaturated fat, which will help reduce your cholesterol levels.  I’m delighted that my Weight Watchers ProPoints plan covers all this in its healthy eating guides, so if you’re following the plan you’re eating in an healthy way, if you’re spending your ProPoints wisely of course.

Oh dear this is me before my trip to the hospital with mom, can you imagine how I’m going to be after!  Get ready to be educated on health issues over the next week I reckon ;-)

On the bright side mom seems in good spirits if not a little scared, yesterday with the help of one of my besties she fleeced me out of £40 because apparently now she doesn’t come to the meeting and sell tea and coffee she’s going to need pocket money!  This conversation went on when I was out of the room, when I returned I was told Katie had suggested a fiver a week, mom thought a fiver a day would be more like it.   To shut them both up I gave her £40 for the month ;-)  Mini stroke, more like mini mafia I’d say.

My friends have been fabulously supportive, Lynne visited mom every day for a couple of hours at a time whilst I was away to keep her company, and Katie sat with her last night when I went to work.  It’s got to be a bit scary for her being left on her own after what’s happened especially as she was on her own when it did happen, hopefully she’ll feel better after todays appointment.

Right I’m off, I’ve gone on for long enough!

Take care of your body, it’s the only one you’ll get. xx


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I'll be fine - famous last words!

29th August 2012
Time is the thing that keeps everything from happening all at once.

Well yesterday didn’t end quite as I expected, all that kept me going all day was going to bed as soon as I could after work.  I’d made it through the morning meetings and grabbed a hour snooze at lunchtime, then I actually didn’t feel too bad when I was driving home after my evening meetings to say I’d not really slept since getting up in Corfu on Monday morning at 6am.  Yep all I had on my mind was sleep and I knew I hadn’t got to worry about cooking because my amazing bestie had left me 26pp worth of food in my fridge the day before so I could get straight back on track, she’d left me pineapple for breakfast, couscous, tikka chicken and a gorgeous salad for lunch and sweet and sour with rice for tea (now that’s a friend!).

That’s where all my plans change, now before reading on don’t stress everything going to be fine!  I walked in and moms sat there saying she didn’t feel very good and she’d had a bit of a turn (it’s now 8pm and this happened at 6pm) so the silly stubborn mare (I have no idea where I get my stubborn streak from at all) had sat there for two hours instead of calling me.  She explained what had happened how she had just got back from a little walk with Alfie and as she was trying to get back in the house when her face/mouth had gone numb and she couldn’t get her key in the door as her co-ordination had gone.  She was sat shaking like a leaf, I called NHS Direct, shared all the systems and everything that had happened and they said I needed to take her to A&E.
I have to say they were great, very caring and we got seen as quick as was possible, they did the heart machine tracing machine and other checks and told us that she’d had a mini stroke and tomorrow someone would get in touch with us about an appointment for her to go to the stroke clinic.  She’d also got a severe upper UTI infection so they’ve given her tablets for that.  I knew she wasn’t right, she hasn’t been for a while but she’s a stubborn old boot and unless I argue about her with it she won’t go to the doctors, however earlier in the day she’d called the doctor for an appointment herself because of her nausea.  It has to be bad for her to ring them without me suggesting it, but I stood there listening to her say to the receptionist on the phone, “NOoooo it’s not an emergency”, (Really isn’t it mom!).  At the hospital when a nurse is doing her heart trace and she asked mom how she was feeling, moms reply, “I’m fine thanks” and then she wonders why we’re waiting there longer than we probably would have if she’d have answered, “I feel dreadful”, which actually was nearer the truth!  I love my mom so much but she’s such a stubborn old lady, and I know she’s passed those traits onto me and I’m probably going to be worse in all honesty as I get older.

We were seen and out in less than two hours, which I think is really good to be honest when you think about the size of the city of Wolverhampton.  What I think is obscene is the way I witnessed members of staff being abused by members of the public, absolutely disgusting and totally unnecessary.
I’m an optimist so I’m sure everything is going to be okay, although I am sure she’s had a mini stroke before now they’ve diagnosed it because she’s had a turn like this once maybe twice before when I’ve been out and she wouldn’t let me call anyone.  The NHS Direct line might seem a pain and long winded when you or someone else is ill but trust me it’s not, I can’t fault it, I’ve used it a number of times and every time they’ve directed me where I needed to go whether that be the hospital, emergency doctor or waiting to see my own, they’ve been really helpful.

This morning I’ve almost forgot about all my exploits on my holiday, I know they’ll come back but not today, so if you are interested here are the photos, I’ll let you make up your own story, although I know you won’t be able to come close to the reality, it’ll be fun to let you try.  Just follow the link for the photos.

I’m off to get ready for work, change of plans, late night, hospital visit and 5 hours sleep makes for someone with lots to do before they even go to work ;-)

Keep smiling, stay positive because drama and difficult situations whether it’s your diet, a family drama or whatever is always easier to cope with if you’re smiling and thinking that the best will happen. Xx
And if you are lucky enough to still have your parents, take care of them, visit them regularly or at least call because one day they may not be there and there’s nothing worse than listening to someone sad with regrets saying, “I should’ve…..”  It’s too late then.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

No place like home...

28th August 2012
In order to make our dreams come true, we must take action rather than simply wishing for what we want.

I’ve just returned from a lovely long weekend in Katavolos, Corfu, where we stayed with my brother and his wife in their house in the hills.  Some would say they are lucky to live in such a beautiful home in Corfu, but luck had nothing to do with it, what did was a plan, determination and damned hard work! They made their dream come true, and fair play to them, it wouldn’t be my dream but they’re very happy there and it is a beautiful place, shame about the misquitos!
So how did my diet fair whilst I was there, mmm obviously I wasn’t on track and bearing in mind we only landed at 2.30am this morning so I am probably full of water (that’s my excuse) I’m 2.5lb heavier than I was when I left Friday, so I reckon that’ll be gone by next weeks weigh in for sure.  I didn’t go crazy, enjoyed a drink but not ridiculous although I did indulge in lemoncello and baileys which are both very high in the ProPoints!  We ate lovely food, my brother and Alexis can both cook really well, she’s give me a recipe for the most delicious dish she concocted and when I find it (because I’ve put it somewhere safe!) I will ProPoint it and share, because it was the tastiest thing I ate all the time I was there.

I’ve just made my holiday souvenir, found a pebble on the beach with a hole through it so I’ve made me a necklace, that’ll probably knock one of my teeth out when I bend over ;-) but hopefully not!
We I slept a bit on the plane and in the car on way home and I’ve had an hour in my own bed, I’ve been eaten alive whilst there by mosquitos so it’ll be the anti-histamines today, so day will be fun, 4 meetings and finish about 8pm tonight ;)

Right I’ve got lots to say but not the time to say it because I’ve got a job to get do and as you’ve just heard, I’m not exactly fully rested although I do feel fine to be honest, I’ve took lots of photos, will share tomorrow, have a fab day.
Catch ya laters. Xx


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Proper live wire me!

25th August 2012

Life isn't tied with a ribbon but it's still a gift!

Well I'm not stupid at all - I won't have it said! This morning plugged my adaptor into charge my iPhone and an hour later it still wasn't charged so I thought I'd try it it another plug still no luck so when I took the plug out one of the pins had stayed in the plug hole so stupidly I went to pull it out with my fingers and got a crazy electric shock! Nope I'm not stupid at all :-).

Then as if that wasn't enough I got stung by something mean and nasty on the beach! They say these things come in free so I'm keeping my head down.

37 degrees it was here in Corfu yesterday, that is bloomin warm I tell ya! You can't drink enough water to keep you hydrated in that heat but it didn't stop me trying. We had a fabulous lunch of Greekness the Tzatziki and taramasalata was amazing, the danger is the bread it's too easy to consume.

Apart from a few too many lemoncello's on Friday night I've been quite good on the alcohol intake, it's too hot to get hungover and I know if we start that's how it's turn out, so glass of wine at lunch and a beer later was plenty for me yesterday.

Family's are very complicated aren't they, driving you to despair at time but despite that I still love mine! Friends are the family you choose for yourself and I have to say I have the best, I really do and I love them dearly. They're are all such different characters and I am blessed that they choose to be part of my life.

I'd love to go for a real long walk but it's just too hot, maybe if I wake early and it's a little cooler I'll go out for a couple of hours.

It's almost 11pm here not an we are reminiscing and having a music quiz 'name that tune and artist' using the iPod. I'm havin a fab time and there's no food or booze involved which proves you can :-)

Enjoy your Sunday x

Friday, 24 August 2012

How cute is the Michelin Man!

24th August 2012
But it really does not matter what you are called, or where your work is placed, as long as it brings some kind of joy to some person some place.
- Charles Schulz
YAY, it’s Friday busy morning followed by a long Bank weekend of chilling and chatting in Corfu with my brother and friends, that’ll be fun.
Brains already in holiday mode, so paperwork will be difficult this morning, to be honest I’ve been in holiday mode all week which really hasn’t done my diet much good so I shall enjoy the weekend and reign it in again next week, good job I lost those few pounds at the start of the month isn’t it because the end of the month won’t be so pretty!
From looking at facebook news feed there were a lot of happy parents and gcse students out there yesterday, well done to all of you.  If yours didn’t do so well, don’t stress it, I left school without a qualification to my name, I just wanted a job and I had one in a shop lined up so I left.  I did ok, I own my own house (no mortgage) and apart from once when my father passed away (long story) I’ve always worked.  I did go back to studying in my mid 20’s to help me change direction and early 30’s to prove I could but leaving school without gsces didn’t hold me back at all.  Having said that I’m not suggesting anyone follows my example, I’m just saying they’re not the only way to success.
I’ve had a strange week, my heads been in a very thoughtful place and I’ve been counting my blessing, I’ve seen lots of things this week to make me do that, things I don’t need to share with you.  Life can be so very difficult for some people, sometimes it’s a continual difficult and sometimes it’s something that happens that just makes your whole world turn upside down.  No wonder people find it difficult to stick to their weight loss efforts! 
Plus everyone copes different to their problems and life, some are so stoic, some just get on with it and then some just love to moan about everything and anything - they’re usually the ones that actually haven’t got much wrong ;0)
Yes, this week so many things have made me see how lucky I am and how blessed my life is regardless of any problems I have.  It’s good to stop and look at your life sometimes and see how wonderful it is.
This week in meetings we’ve talked about clothes and how we put off buying them and that we keep our big clothes in case.  I also talked about sizes and trying on clothes and how frustrating that can be!  Not half I popped in Sainsbury’s last night and was going to treat myself to new pj’s for the weekend until I started trying on a couple of bottoms under my dress, well one pair clung to every lump and bump on my lefts I looked like the Michelin man, with like tyres sticking out at the top of my lefts, then I tried another pair and the size 14 were a bit tight round that leg area, but buried my waist area, so it’s official according to Sainsbury’s I’m deformed at bedtime no wonder I share my bed with a dog named Alfie ;-)
I shall go away with my old pj’s they fit and they’re a size 14 so I could be any size, my jeans are a 12, my dresses vary, it’s all a lot of ridiculousness isn’t it, I have one dress that’s an 8/10 and I can get it on but trust me this body is not a size 8/10 but at the same time I don’t think its over a 14 either - no wonder people don’t like shopping.
On that note, I’m off to get dressed in my new size 16 t-shirt that I bought last night!  Yeah Sainsbury’s again, I bet even skinny girls come out of there feeling deflated after clothes shopping.
Enjoy your weekend, I may speak to you before Tuesday, I may not, it depends how I feel xx  

Thursday, 23 August 2012

What' no pasta!

23rd August 2012
Strength shows not the ability to persist, but the ability to start over.
Getting up in the dark, not as much fun as waking up to a beautiful blue sky, it is however a sign that summers coming to a close and we have the last bank holiday of the year ahead of us. 
Yesterday I cooked corned beef casserole, I layered thin slices of courgettes, carrots, onions, red pepper. A tin of corned beef (20pp), potatoes (9pp), and vegetable oxo cubes stock (1pp), cooked in oven covered in foil then removed foil to brown potatoes.  When cooked I topped with a little cheese (6pp), and the dish served 4 at 9pp each, really nice.
I was a bit of a rebel later though and went to the chip shop on the way home, the one at Ashmore Park, I only had a cone of chips even though for 30p I could have had a regular bag, tempting as that was I resisted.  When I got back I weighed them – 460g, which is a pound of chips and also is 32pp, now my helper had asked me how many chips in a handful, so I weighed them and worked that out and that was 8pp (of course that’s using my hands, so it would depending on the size of your hands!)  If you were to make them at home yourself they would be 24pp according to esource.  I did share them with my mom and there was plenty, but seriously one portion on esource is 165g, so there was almost three portions in that bag.  Plus how many of you would have had fish, kebab, roe, pie or similar with it!  A pukka steak and kidney pie is 13pp!
One of my members bought the hairy bikers recipe book in for me to look at, I’ve only seen a bit of it on tv but the one I say was when he cooked lasagne with leeks instead of pasta, interesting to find out if it is as nice as the photo.  So here’s the recipe folks, knock yourself out and let me know.
I’ve inputted the ingredients onto esource and it works out at 13pp a portion and serves 4.  I can honestly say I have cooked many a lasagne with pasta for less than those ProPoints, so don't be fooled, a couple can be found on my http://www.happyowls.co.uk/recipes.html website, and there are plenty in the cook books.  But if you fancy a pasta less one this is your recipe;

Skinny beef lasagne

Who would have thought you could eat lasagne when on a diet? Well thanks to our amazingly clever recipe you can.   The pasta is replaced with sheets of blanched leeks so you can have all the deliciousness without the calorie count. 354 calories per portion.
  • 2 large leeks, each about 300g/10½oz
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 celery sticks, trimmed
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 500g/1lb 2oz lean minced beef (22pp)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 150g/5½oz chestnut mushrooms, wiped and chopped
  • 2 tbsp plain flour (4pp)
  • 150ml/¼ pint red wine (4pp)
  • 400ml/14fl oz beef stock, made with 1 beef stock cube
  • 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée (1pp)
  • 1 heaped tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500ml/18fl oz semi-skimmed milk (6pp)
  • 3 tbsp cornflour (6pp)
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 50g/2oz extra-mature cheddar, grated (6pp)
  • 25g/1oz parmesan, finely grated (3pp)
  • 3 medium vine tomatoes, sliced
  • freshly ground black pepper
Preparation method
  1. Trim the leeks until they are about the same width as your lasagne dish. Cut the leeks lengthways through to the middle but no further.
  2. Open out the leeks and remove five or six of the narrow leaves from the centre of each leek. Thinly slice these inner leaves. Separate the larger leaves – these will become your ‘lasagne’.
  3. Finely chop half the onion and cut the other half into wedges. Thinly slice the celery and dice the carrots.
  4. Put the minced beef in a large non-stick frying pan with the sliced leeks, chopped onion, celery, carrots and garlic.
  5. Place the pan over a medium-high heat and fry without added fat for about 10 minutes until lightly coloured. You’ll need to break up the mince with a couple of wooden spatulas or spoons as it cooks.
  6. Stir in the chopped mushrooms and cook for 2–3 minutes more. The pan should look fairly dry at this point.
  7. Sprinkle over the plain flour and stir it thoroughly into the mince and vegetables. Slowly stir in the red wine and beef stock. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato purée and dried oregano, then drop a bay leaf into the pan and bring it to a simmer. Season with lots of freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Turn down the heat slightly and leave the mince to simmer for 20–30 minutes until rich and thick, stirring occasionally.
  9. While the mince is cooking, put the onion wedges in a saucepan with the remaining bay leaf. In a small bowl mix three tablespoons of the milk with the cornflour.
  10. Pour the rest of the milk into the pan with the onion wedges and set it over a low heat. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the milk to infuse for 10 minutes.
  11. Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the leek ‘lasagne’ and bring the water back to the boil.
  12. Cook the leeks for five minutes or until very tender. It is important that the leeks are tender or the lasagne will be tricky to cut later.
  13. Drain in a colander under running water until cold. Drain on kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.
  14. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  15. Remove the onion wedges and bay leaf from the infused milk with a slotted spoon, then return the pan to the heat. Give the cornflour and milk mixture a good stir until it is smooth once more and pour it into the pan with the infused milk.
  16. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, stirring regularly until the sauce is smooth and thick.
  17. Season the sauce with a good grating of nutmeg to taste and plenty of ground black pepper.
  18. If the sauce is a little too thick to pour easily, whisk in a couple more tablespoons of milk.
  19. Spoon a third of the mince mixture into a 2.5 litre lasagne dish. Top with a layer of blanched leeks. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with leeks. Pour the white sauce over the leeks and top with the sliced tomatoes. Mix the Cheddar and parmesan cheese and sprinkle all over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden-brown and bubbling.
  20. Divide into portions with your sharpest knife. Serve with a freshly dressed green salad.
Well it’s lightening up outside, I better get ready to walk Alfie, got a very, very busy day, still got a two cases to pack!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Busy mind, not so busy body this morning!

22nd August 2012

We know nothing of tomorrow, our business is to be good and happy today. Sydney Smith
Yesterday I mostly ate Beef Hot Pot, it was tremendous and If I could guarantee the next one tasted like that I think I’d eat it every week, mmm.  All that was in it was casserole beef (20pp), carrots, onions, sliced potatoes (9pp)  on the top and a packet of Colmans lamb hot pot mix (3pp) (Lamb was the only mix I had in the house, really tasty though).  So simple to make too, and apart from the mix all come under the Filling and Healthy banner.  It will definitely be one to try and recreate in the future.

I enjoyed my meetings yesterday, I love it when you open up and actually talk about how you all feel because it usually makes us all realise we all have similar things going on in our minds.  If there was a genie of the lamp and he turned up with some wishes, one of them would be to let people be happy with themselves, to appreciate how fabulous they are, but at the same time for them to continue to strive to be their best, whilst taking care of and loving their already ‘good enough’ self.  Mmm, if only ay!
Alfie woke me up at 3am to go up the garden, he doesn’t do that very often so he must have really needed to go, then he starts barking so I had to go outside to shush him, WOW what a beautiful sky it was, clear as anything and just an amazing display of stars, it’s been a while since I’ve been and looked at the stars, we really do live on an amazing planet.

I’m in a ‘life’s really too short’ state of mind this week for one reason and another, and I’ve noticed that when I approach a problem with this thought in mind it actually puts it into perspective.  There are so many things we can’t change in our lives (actually we could but that’s a different conversation all together!) we can however change our response and it makes so much difference to how those situations affect you.  It’s not something you have to do once either, it’s something you have to continually remind yourself of; in any given situation you can choose your response.
The same goes for the person we are, yes we have personality traits and certain individual characters, we also have the power to change if we so choose to.  I’m not saying its easy but it’s doable, there’s no quick fix solution either, it’s taken me years to change and I’m still changing, I expect I will continue to change till the day I die – I hope so anyway.

I’ve heard a lot of “I can’t…..” this week or “I couldn’t……” Those statements are never true, and should be reworded “I choose not to…..” or you could say, “I’d find it difficult to….”  But the “I can’t…” statements I hear in my meetings are never true!
The above might not be making total sense, I’m kind of processing things in my head and typing out loud so to speak, that’s a bit how I feel this week, there’s stuff going on in my head and I’m trying to process it.

Yesterday I realised we’re 18 weeks away from Christmas and I thought about what I could send out to my missing members to encourage them to return, the usual is “lose a stone for xmas” kind of message but my purpose in life if I have one isn’t just to get people to lose weight it’s to get them to realise it isn’t all or nothing, it’s a life long thing, yeah if they’ve been missing all summer they have probably gained which is what we’ve all done in the past, so they can come back and turn over a new leaf this autumn, lose weight in time for Christmas, then start all over again in the new year.  But what I want us all to do is to decide this time to lose it forever, to find the balance between indulging and total personal destruction!  It can be found, I’ve managed it.  I’m not saying I’ve got to my goal and stayed there, but I have lost a lot of weight and kept it off for 8 years now.  My weight still fluctuates up and down but I never go into total self destruct like I used to, when I’d lose all interest in my own self care, because healthy eating is part of that self care pattern, it’s no good doing your hair, buying nice clothes and wearing lots of make up if your poisoning your body with copious amounts of crap food, that’s kind of defeating the object.  Polishing the outside and poisoning the inside isn’t a good combination but so many do it, I’m no longer one of those people, I indulge, a little too much at times but I never go into total meltdown anymore where I lose it completely.
So Do it for yourself! And remember Weight Loss is for Life - NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS!

On that note, I’m going for a walk, apologies if my blog’s a little haphazard, random or o.t.t. this morning but that’s kind of where my head is at today, a good walk and some thinking time might help that ;-)


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Sit down and shut up!

21st August 2012

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine.  Morris West

Well I have found my new diet aid!  It’s the shorts I’d stuck on my fridge a while back, actually I’ve just checked back it was the 30th July, they were my motivation for losing weight I wanted to get in them.  If I’m honest I didn’t think I’d do it in time for my Corfu break this weekend, but I have.  So I’m sitting in them to remind me to stay on track and I’ll put them back on when I get home tonight to stock me over indulging! 
Despite managing to get back in them the scales yesterday showed a weight gain of wait for it!  3.5lb WHAT!  That can’t be right, surely I wouldn’t be in these shorts if that was a true reading, I genuinely don’t believe that’s a true weight gain I think it’s a combination of overdulging in the wrong foods at the weekend and a bit of water retention, so I’m not going to let it get me down, I’m still lighter than I was at the beginning of August and I’m now in these shorts which is a huge bonus because they would have actually took skin off my hips if I’d have kept forcing them up and down before ;-)

I’ve got the best beef hot pot in the oven, I can’t wait to eat it today, ooo if I did an F&H day, I could have it for breakfast, dinner and tea.  I prepared it last night before I went out and left it on gas mark 2/3 for hours, when I got home I wasn’t hungry so it’s waiting for me to eat it now, can’t wait.
Yesterday I bought the small table back in the house from out of the shed, I realised on Sunday at Lynne’s house how nice it is to sit up a table to eat, not only that but it’s good for your digestion and it also encourages you to be more mindful of what you’re eating.   Try it, today every single time you eat something, even if it’s only a biscuit – sit down!  Sitting down makes you more aware, more conscious of what you’re about to do, the most damage done when eating is when we’re not paying attention and usually we’re standing up at those times.

Eating standing up is strongly linked to impulse eating, when you sit down, you can calm down and slow down, you’re telling your body you have made a conscious decision to eat.  You’ll be more likely to enjoy what you eat and also more likely to track it too.
I bet there’s a part of you disagreeing with me, that little voice inside your head saying things like,

“I don’t need to sit down to eat”
“I haven’t got the time”

“As long as I stay within my allowance does it matter what position I’m in when I eat”
“I enjoy eating standing up”

Here are my responses, we all need to sit down to eat, when we eat standing up, we just don’t notice what we’re eating and we easily eat too much without even realising it.  If you want to lose weight try imposing this rule on yourself for a while, see if it makes a difference, if nothing else it’ll stop you eating when you’re out and about, it’ll stop that eating a Greggs Steak Bake (or similar) as you’re walking down the road.  I actually cringe when I see that, and it’s not a snobby thing, I cringe when I see anyone eating and walking around because they’re not paying any kind of attention to that food whatsoever and are likely to overeat again soon.
So find the time to sit down, even if it means eating less often, if you’re eating on the go you will eat more and get less satisfaction from it.   I know fruits a food we often eat when we’re moving around and you’ll probably think well that’s zero ProPoints anyway, but remember it’s not calorie free and you are supposed to be paying attention to your satisfaction levels which if you’re walking around you are unlikely to be doing!

Right that’s me for the day, I’m off to lay my table nice for my lunch, I might even light a candle, what the hell, you don’t need to have guests to make an effort ;-)
Enjoy your day xx

Monday, 20 August 2012

YAY it's Monday!

20th August 2012

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.

Unlike most I love Mondays, it’s generally the day when my energy is totally recharged and I have the afternoon to do those little jobs I don’t have time to do the rest of the week nor do I want to do them at the weekend.  It’s my ‘to do’ day, and today I have a lovely list of things to get through.

The weekend as I mentioned wasn’t a huge weight loss success but it was a lovely life success, we had a smashing weekend, spent time with my mom and generally had a chill out, unfortunately spending time with mom is dangerous because she brings out her stash of Pringles and cheese nibbles!   Hey ho, Monday morning, always the day for restarts and I’m ready for one of those, I’m actually thinking casseroles and stews this week nom nom, even if the sun is shining outside, my body wants comfort food, maybe a good time for a few Filling and Healthy days, yeah maybe.  I want a beef stew and a chicken hot pot mmm, is it wrong that I could eat that now and it’s only 5.30am?

I was looking through some of my ‘self help’ positive stuff again yesterday, I’ve collected so much over the years and it’s good to have a flick through it now and again, it’s almost like revision and you can never have too much positivity in your life I’m sure!  A couple of years ago I put myself a book together so that I had all that information in one place to save me looking all over the place for it, I’ve put that book on my desk now so I can pick it up anytime and have a flick through.  One of those stories I found I thought I’d share with you this morning, it’s about having a choice to change, you may have read it before, but read it again anyway;

Life is all about choices

If you're not happy with your life - change it!  When you get out of bed in the morning you can choose to have a good or a bad day, it really is that simple.  Think about it, nothing will be different in your life, for example you will still have a mortgage and be in debt so you can choose to be happy being in debt or miserable, either way the debt remains!  So yes life is all about choices and if you don't agree, read the following story.


Clint is the kind of guy you love to hate.   He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say.  When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, 'If I were any better, I would be twins!'

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, Clint was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, 'I don't get it!'

'You can't be a positive person all of the time.  How do you do it?'
He replied, 'each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today.  You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood - I choose to be in a good mood.'

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it.  I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or...I can point out the positive side of life.  I choose the positive side of life.

'Yeah, right, it's not that easy,' I protested.

'Yes, it is,' he said.  'Life is all about choices.  When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice.  You choose how you react to situations.  You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood.  The bottom line:  It's your choice how you live your life.'

I reflected on what he said.  Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business.  We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after the accident.   When I asked him how he was, he replied, 'If I were any better, I'd be twins, wanna see my scars?'

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

'The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,' he replied.  'Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices:  I could choose to live or I could choose to die.  I chose to live.'

‘Weren’t you scared?  Did you lose consciousness?'  I asked.

He continued, '...the paramedics were great.

They kept telling me I was going to be fine.  But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared.  In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'.  I knew I needed to take action.'

'What did you do?' I asked.
'Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,' said John.  'She asked if I was allergic to anything 'Yes, I replied.'  The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply.  I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity''

Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live.  Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.  I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.'   After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
Enjoy your day, so think or say “Oh no it’s Monday morning”, that’s not setting you up for a good day at all is it?  Remember all days start the same, how the end up is largely down to you. Xx