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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A scary time of year for Weight Watchers

31st October 2012
Happy Halloween!  Oh yeah it’s that day when if you do the Halloween thing you’re house is going to be full of goodies for the trick or treaters, and even if you don’t the supermarkets are full of the stuff anyway, so be extra careful if they reduce it all tomorrow not to be tempted to buy a pile of junk you don’t need and didn’t plan on buying!
I don’t actually do ‘Halloween’ but I’m very aware that it’s a scary time of year for Weight Watcher members, it’s cold and dark outside and we’re starting to wrap up with bulky clothes that make us not realise our size quite so much as we maybe normally do.  All we want to do is hibernate but we must remember why we joined Weight Watchers in the first place, why do we want to lose weight and change our eating habits!  It was 8 weeks Monday gone till Christmas, so if we stay focused with can lose another half stone easily, if however we let the diet demons will we could start 2013 almost a stone heavier – it’s easily done.
So this week think about that, why did you join Weight Watchers, why do you want to eat healthy and lose some weight?  What’s in it for you?  For me I want to feel well now and in the future, I want to be able to be fit enough to be the best me I can possibly be and I don’t just mean the way I look, I’m actually not that bothered about my image, I want to be sharp of mind, healthy of body to be able to make a difference in this world, I want to be remembered for things I’ve done and said, not for the size label in my jeans!  I want to be strong enough mentally and physically to take care of my mom, to be there for my mates and their children as they grow up, yep I want to be and do so many things that will be easier if I’m fit and well. So what’s in it for you?  What’s more important that eating that extra piece of candy today, or that extra glass of Bailey’s this Christmas.  Weight Loss and Healthy Eating is so much more than numbers on a scale.
Yesterday I realised I have been omitting the vegetables from my diet the last few days, don’t get me wrong I’ve had some but I really need more, so I’ve just taken some beef and chicken out of the freezer and will be making a beef casserole and a chicken hotpot I thinks, that’ll use carrots and onions.  I can serve with extra veggies, cauliflower, broccoli, green cabbage maybe.  Yes I feel the need for vegetables, they fill me up too, if I don’t include them I tend to eat more of my other foods which are higher in ProPoints. 
I need to look at maybe making some soups also, I’m not a massive lover of soup as a meal because I always feel ripped off, so I need some that’s less than 2pp a portion which can be used in addition too, zero ProPoints soup would be best.  If anyone has any fabulous recipes for this, sent them to me please at info@happyowls.co.uk, thanks in advance, here’s on I’ve found that I may try when I’ve got the ingredients;

Zero ProPoint Pumpkin Soup. Serves 4.
Flesh of a large pumpkin
Large onion, chopped
2 vegetable stock cubes dissolved in 850ml hot water
Salt and pepper
Bring all the ingredients to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 mins until the pumpkin is tender. Transfer to a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Season and serve.
No Point Roasted Tomato and Red Onion Soup. Serves 4.
450g ripe tomatoes
2 red onions
½ pack fresh sage
Low fat cooking spray
  litres hot vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/390F/Gas 6. Place the tomatoes and onions in a roasting tray, coat in low fat cooking spray and season well. Roast for about 20 mins. Pour over the vegetable stock and roast for a further 20 mins, then liquidise and serve.

Zero ProPoint Roasted Pumpkin Soup. Serves 4.
Low fat cooking spray
6 shallots, not peeled and cut in half
2 cloves garlic, not peeled and squashed
750g pumpkin, peeled deseeded and chopped roughly
2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1.2 litres vegetable stock, made from 2 stock cubes
Salt and pepper
Fresh chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas 7. Spray a large roasting tray with the low fat cooking spray. Add the shallots, garlic and pumpkin. Toss with the seasoning and five spice. Roast for about 30 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly charred. When cool enough to handle, peel the skins from the shallots and garlic then transfer everything to a large pan and add the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 mins. Liquidise and check the seasoning. Garnish with chopped chives.
On that note, I’m off to get ready for the scary day ahead ;-) Have a good one.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How do you feel rather than what do you weigh?

30th October 2012
One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears--by listening to them. Dean Rusk
Well I’m extremely surprised my arms don’t ache this morning, went for a gorgeous walk yesterday afternoon, from mine to Essington pools, which is a good mile away, then suddenly Alfie starts limping and seems to be distressed, so I end up having to carry him home.  He was ok later so I think he just had a case of cramp, but a mile walk carrying a 18lb dog isn’t fun I can tell you!
I felt great yesterday morning, even made Wake Up muffins at 7am for my shop lady who’s birthday it was, used strawberry’s instead of raspberries – they weren’t as nice so won’t use them again, I need to try frozen raspberries next.
After finally getting back from our walk - I earned 7pp on my pedometer without the ProPoints earned for carrying a 18lb dog for a mile, that’s got to be worth something – I decided to be frugal and use up the stale bread and some of the stuff in the kitchen I’ve had a while.  I found a sachet of Dolmio sauce for one and some tomatoes on the turn in the fridge, and this is what I made.
Savoury Bread Pudding
I was using up the stuff on the turn!

Soaked 2 stale bread rolls 6pp & 2 slices stale WW bread 3pp In 250ml skimmed milk 2pp & 2 eggs 4pp & a sachet of Carbonara sauce 5pp (you could use a tin of Bachelors condensed low fat chicken or mushrooms soup here)

Layered tomatoes on the turn on the bottom of dish squirted a bit of tomato purée on them then topped with bread mixture

Topped with 1pp of wafer thin ham and the rest of the tomatoes, topped with 40g grated cheese 5pp

Baked on gas mark 6 covered in foil for 20mins, remove foil and cook for 10-15mins until bubbly & crispy.

26pp plenty for two portions or three portions if serving with plenty of zero pp vegetables.
This recipe could use any of your leftovers such as mushrooms, spring onions etc up.  It was really tasty; the cheese on the top always helps!
I do love to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with my cooking, there’s a recipe for toad in the hole in this weeks ‘Your Week’ which I fancy, but I thought about adding some chorizo to it and spicing it up a little, when I mentioned this in my meeting one of my members asked, “isn’t chorizo really bad”, the answer is no worse than any other food if eaten in the wrong quantity, when I check the difference between a pound of full fat pork sausage and a pound of chorizo was 3pp, you wouldn’t need to use that quantity of course.  The recipe uses low fat Weight Watchers Premium Pork Sausage and I thought about adding just a bit of chorizo to give it a bit of umph.  There are not good and bad foods, the dose makes the poison – never forget that!  Everything has it’s toxicity level, even water – it’s called drowning!
It makes me smile when we see things as good or bad, or see some things as healthier than others or a better choice when thats not always the case, for example yesterday another conversation about muffin recipes, I’d found an old Weight Watcher on and the ingredients included 4tbsps vegetable oil, my mate said ‘that’s 16pp I’d rather have the ones with Peanut Butter”, when I checked 4tbsp of peanut butter is 5pp more than vegetable oil, they muffins worked out 1pp less, so it depends on your reason for eating the muffin, if it’s to give you energy then definitely the ‘wake up muffins’ are probably the smarter option, if it’s for a sweet fix then the 4pp will save you a ProPoint and give you the fix,
4tbsp vegetable oil = 15pp
4tbsp peanut butter (120g) = 20pp
The best you can do is inform yourself with the knowledge you need to make an informed choice about your food decisions, as well as listening to your head regarding food choices, start paying attention to your body, how does it feel after you eat certain foods, do you feel energised, sluggish, bloated.  There is no one diet fits all solution, you need to find what works best with your body.  Weight Watchers ProPoints are the tool you need to help you lose weight, your mind and body are the tools you need to know if your choosing the right foods.
Think about that today, how do you feel rather than what do you weigh? 
That question alone has changed my entire outlook on weight loss. xx
& a sachet of carbonara sauce (5pp)

Layered Tomatoes on the turn on the bottom of dish squirted a bit of tomato purée on them then topped with bread mixture

Topped with 1pp of wafer thin ham and the rest of the tomatoes, topped with 40g grated cheese (5pp)

Baked on gas mark 6 covered in foil for 20mins, remove foil and cook for 10-15mins until bubbly & crispy.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Pumpkin Pie anyone?

29th October 2012
Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. Albert Schweitzer
Well yesterday felt like the longest day ever, I know we had the extra hour but boy did it drag, it probably didn’t help that I had the lurgy and didn’t feel the best so ended up sitting round all day, and there really is only so much tv you can watch, especially when tv is rubbish!
I did use some of the time productively though, looking up recipes for the coming weeks, I found one for your pumpkins if you’re doing the Halloween thing!

Pumpkin Pie
Total 37pp values per recipe, 6pp per slice, Serves 6
25m prep, 30 minutes to cook

1 x Asda shortcrust pastry case
350 g (12 oz) pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced
50 g (1 3/4 oz) brown sugar
I 1/2 tablespoons mixed spice
2 eggs, beaten
75 g (2 3/4oz) low fat soft cheese
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, for dusting

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200C/fan oven180C.
Place the pumpkin (or squash) in a lidded pan with 150 ml (5 fl oz) water, cover irtd
cook for 10 minutes until soft. Drain well and mash. Add the sugar and spice to the pumpkin. Leave to cool slightly before beating in the eggs and soft cheese. Sieve the mixture to remove any stringy bits of pumpkin and pour into the pastry case. Don't
worry if the mixture looks thin, it will thicken and in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes until the filling has set and the pastry is a deep golden colour. Leave for 5 minutes before serving warm, dusted with the cinnamon.

And as it’s Monday, why not have a meat free day and try this;
Roast vegetable pilaff
Serves 6
Total ProPoints values per recipe: 42
Preparation time: 20 minutes, Cooking time: 45 minutes

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) parsnips, peeled and cut into wedges
300 g (10 1/2 oz) carrots, peeled and chopped roughly
300 g (10 1/2 oz) butternut or acorn squash, peeled and chopped roughly
6 shallots, peeled and halved
1 head of garlic, broken into whole cloves
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
few sprigs of fresh rosemary, woody stems removed.
chopped roughly and reserving one for the garnish
low fat cooking spray
salt and freshly ground black pepper

300 g (IO 1/2oz) brown rice
pinch of saffron
850 ml (1 1/2pints) vegetable stock

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C and place all the roast vegetable
ingredients in a large roasting tin. Spray with low fat cooking spray, season, then toss together and spray again. Roast on the top shelf of the oven for 45 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, place the rice in a lidded ovenproof casserole. Stir the saffron into the stock, pour this over the rice and stir. Bring to the boil then stir well. Cover and cook in the oven on a lower shelf for 40 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven, stir in the roasted vegetables and then return the casserole to the oven for a further 5 minutes, or until the rice is tender. The pilaff should be slightly moist, so if the rice dries out too quickly add a little more stock or
water. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary, if you wish.

That’s me for today, I’m going to have me a nice hot shower to try and clear my head, then walk the dog and get to my meeting.  I also need to try and make muffins this morning as it’s my helpers birthday and she reminded me last night after all the shops had closed to do it!  I haven’t got raspberries, so hoping I can use extra banana in my wake up muffins!  We shall see!

Have a not too manic Monday.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Not ready to hibernate just yet.

28th October 2012
I gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which I must stop and look fear in the face...I say to myself, Ive lived through this and can take the next thing that comes along. Eleanor Roosevelt
Gained an hour, what will you do with yours?  I managed to sleep well again, so I’m refreshed, still got the head cold but they go when they’re ready don’t they.  It didn’t stop me enjoying yesterday, I cooked, made macaroni cheese haven’t had it for years and only ever had it from tins or processed packaging, never liked it but that was ok I have to say and quite easy, a little high on the ProPoints but very filling.
Macaroni Cheese
225g macaroni (17pp)
1tsp olive oil (2pp)
225g cheddar cheese (25pp)
85g low fat spread (9pp)
85g plain flour (8pp)
1.2 litres (2pints) skimmed milk (10pp)
1 teaspoon mustard
Pre-heat oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas 6
Cook macaroni in boiling water until just soft, about 9 minutes.  Drain sprinkle with a tsp oil to stop it sticking together and set to one side.
Grate cheese.  Put low fat spread, flour and milk into pan, place over heat & stir continuously until it starts to thicken.  Remove from heat and ¾ of the cheese and the mustard,  stir then add the macaroni and stir thoroughly.
Pour into large ovenproof dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese & bake in preheated oven until golden and bubbling, approx 20 mins.
Yes it’s 14pp but its real food that everyone can eat and it will fill you up – trust me!
At lunchtime I went for a walk on Cannock Chase with Lynne and Katie and the dogs and that was lovely, the fresh air, the autumn leaves, and the bright sunshine – glorious, much nicer than walking the local roads.
Not sure what my plans will be today, but I do know it’ll start with a long walk in a little while.  Might do a bit of cooking, or reading or chilling, who knows, I just like the fact I haven’t got to rush to do anything.
Just realised 8 weeks tomorrow will be Christmas day!  So if I want to enjoy it and let myself indulge a little, I need to stay on track now and not hibernate like a grizzly bear otherwise I might look like one come 2013!  Yes plenty of fresh air I think and ways of adapting recipes so that I can eat the comfort food without getting the Santa belly!
On that note, I’m grabbing my Walking Boots and going for a long walk!  Enjoy your Sunday, make the most of that extra hour. x

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Tarts, seesaws & scooters!

27th October 2012  

Two things – if it makes you happy - do it,if it doesn’t – don’t!Night nurse rocks – almost 11 hours sleep andonly just got up at 7.45am, still got my head cold but it doesn’t feel quite asbad as it did yesterday morning so that’s a good start to my day.  Add that to the beautiful sunrise on what Ithink may be our first frost of the winter (I don’t remember one alreadyhappening – but then my memory sucks) and I do believe it’s going to be alovely day.
Well yesterday went by in a blur, couldn’tleave the house because of waiting for delivery men so made a Manchester tart,
ManchesterTart –the whole this is 40pp so you decide how many it serves!
What you need
short crust or flaky pastry (I used an Asda precooked pastry flan – 24pp)
100g Weight watcher Strawberry jam (4pp)
2 bananas
1 pint of skimmed milk (5pp)
2 tablespoons Custard powder (3pp)
1tbspsugar to make custard (2pp)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut (2pp)
If makingyour own pastry do this -
Preheat over to gas mark 5 or190C. Grease a 20cm pie dish or flan tin. Roll the pastry to cover dish,including the sides. Prick pastry over with a fork and cover with foil, pushinginto corners. Bake for 20 minutes, take off foil and bake for another fiveminutes. Leave to cool.
Other starthere
When cool, spread jam on bottom of flan, and coverwith sliced bananas. Make a thick custard (two heaped tablespoons of custardpowder to a pint milk) and, when cool, pour over bananas.  Sprinkle with dessicated coconut, leave to cool beforeputting in fridge to set. Serve in slices, cold.  Keeps one day in the fridge: don’t freeze!  
I shall be having a slice for my breakfast;-) so that I have the ProPoints!
So then Lynne arrives with Jen aged 8 &Will aged 10 and they were in those moods that make children not very nice,Lynnes nerves were already in shreds I could tell.  So the plan was KFC but they wanted to go tothe park first, Wills got a scooter and there’s a skate park by me, of coursewhen we got there Jen didn’t want to be by the skate park she wanted to go on theproper park, Lynne can’t be in two places at once so they’re both playing youlove him/her more than me card!  Itsexhausting trying to placate them bother - mothers out there, I applaud and bowbefore you!
So it’s now about 1ish and we’re hungry, thekids are cranky because really they’re hungry too but they think it’s becausethey wanna play more, we agree they can come back after we’ve had lunch.  So it’s off to KFC and McDonalds because mymom doesn’t like KFC and we’ve told Jen after lunch instead of going over thepark I’ll bake with her and Lynne can go to skate park with Will.  £30 later, we’re back in my house trying toeat the KFC that Lynne and I have looked forward to and had planned for weeks, thekids and mom have eaten theirs in the car on the drive home but we’re sittingdown to enjoy it mindfully after my blog yesterday!  OMG – Wills, “When can we go back to the park?”,Jens, “Can we bake now?”, Mom’s, “I think the washing machines broke, is itinsured, what we gonna do?”  I realise I’meating my chicken at such speed and with such tension in my body because of allthree of them and I look at Lynne, and say “You mindfully eating too?” and weboth laugh.  If only it was possible tolive in a blissful state of mindfulness all the time ay?
So Lynne goes back over park and I bake withJen, we make rocky road and bread rolls, she actually does all of it, I merelysupervise and wash up – proper little cook she is. 
Then we go back and join Will and Lynne onpark.  This is where we have fun, we spota seesaw and decide to use it to see who is the heaviest, we we’ve not laughedthat much sober in a very long time it was so funny!  Next we stole the kids scooters and had aball, it didn’t go down very well but we didn’t care one little bit.  Apparently it’s not cool to see over 40sscooting round the street!
I hope this video link will work ;-)
So that was my day in a nutshell, we found away to move more that didn’t cost any money, I baked and then when they finallywent home I thanked the universe that I’d never really wanted children of myown because I once again had a quiet house ;-)
Enjoy your weekend everyone, I certainly plantoo. x

Friday, 26 October 2012

OY YOU! Pay attention!

26th October 2012
People are never satisfied.  If they have a little, the want more.  If they have a lot, they want still more.  Once they have more, they wish they could be happy with little, but are incapable of making the slightest effort in that direction.  Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone
I believe that if the universe things we need to do something, it will continue to give us the message until we listen – I’m a bit philosophical like that!  Anyway, I’ve been thinking about mindfulness and meditation quite a bit late, I multitask a lot which means I also miss out on lots of things because I’m not always paying attention.  Anyway the other day I was multitasking again, walking the dog whilst listening to an audiobook – not a bad way of using multitasking to be honest because I can still look around and enjoy the view if I want but it doesn’t help clear my mind like a good walk should do.  Anyway I’m veering off, so I’m listening to this book by Miranda Hart (the comedienne from that Friday night show ‘Miranda’) and in it she’s trying to explain the mobile phone to her 18 year old self from the 80s, I laughed at the line “You press buttons for words to come up on a phone instead of just calling someone when it’s a phone anyway? One word – WHY? The whole chapter is amusing because it does make the mobile phone sound like a ridiculous idea when really most of us can’t live without them these days!
The end of the chapter and the bit that stayed in my head was “try and go a day without a mobile.  For we might just see something wonderful we would otherwise have missed”
I remember thinking to myself as I read it, yes you really should try that, you spend far to much time messing with that phone, you’re always in constant communication with some one.  Then I disregarded it and carried on with my walk and the next chapter of the book!
So that was the universe making its first attempt at communicating with me!  Yesterday when it realised I’d forgotten all about the subtle hint, it smacked me in the face, not with a hint but a no choice gesture “if you won’t listen, I’ll take the decision out of your hands” kind of statement!
I dropped my new iphone 5, oh yes I did and the screen smashed to smithereens, and I didn’t even swear!  I think I was in shock to be honest, now I have no choice, I can’t mess with my phone I have to turn it off until it’s fixed. 
What an odd feeling it was last night in my meeting, not having my phone – I didn’t know the time, I couldn’t show members photos of the foods we were talking about, I couldn’t look up the ProPoints in things on my app – oh man it was weird and I didn’t like it. 
I did like the fact it wasn’t there to distract me though, so once it is repaired I will be more mindful of how much I use it, I will attempt to use it less that’s for sure!  To realise things can wait till I get back to my office to be done.
Yep mindfulness is really important in every aspect of our lives, Mindfulness is a translation of a word that simply means awareness. It's a direct, intuitive knowing of what you are doing while you are doing it. It's knowing what's going on inside your mind and body, and what's going on in the outside world as well.  And it’s a great practice to get into when you eat!
Most of the time our attention is not where we intended it to be. Our attention is hijacked by our thoughts and emotions, by our concerns, by our worries for the future, and our regrets and memories of the past. Mindful awareness is about learning to pay attention, in the present moment, and without judgement. It's like training a muscle - training attention to be where you want it to be. Being mindful reduces our tendency to work on autopilot, allowing us to us choose how we respond & react.  When we’re mindful when we eat it will help us enjoy our food more and even realise when we are actually full!
So today, pay attention, slow down and get mindful!  The next meal you sit down to, use these ideas to get you to realise what’s actually going on in your head as you eat – you might be surprised that this food you think you’re obsessed with and think about constantly isn’t even getting your attention when you sit down to eat it!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Sunday dinnner on a Thursday - don't mind if I do!

25th October 2012
Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.  Mahatma Gandhi
Yesterday morning I dropped my mom off at the clinic for yet another blood test, she got out of car singing at the top of her voice, everyone walking the kids to school stared, she didn't care and I love her for that, that's the way to live your life - care free and not worrying about what others think of you.  I’m getting more and more like her every day, it’s awesome because I used to be so self conscious of what everyone thought about me, now I too sing in the street if the mood takes me – try it you might like it.
So I’ve had an Tefal Actifry, it’s huge and takes up a great deal of space on the work surface so it better do more than just make chips to justify its existence in my kitchen!  I’ve only used it once so far for a plate of chips which were good I have to say so we shall see how I get on doing other things.  I’ve since been told that the Phillips Airfry is better by people and doesn’t take up as much room so I’m now not sure which I should’ve bought, hey ho always next time.  I like the idea of cooking whilst not having to stand by the stove or having to have the oven on which must use more energy.  Apparently the advantage of the Airfry is that is doesn’t have a paddle so cooks more things mmm interesting.

I fancy trying real chicken nuggets cooked in it I have a recipe in the dinner lady book that I shall try, this weekend I also plan to cook Macaroni Cheese this weekend, I haven’t eaten this for years and I think I’ve only ever had it as a processed meal so have never enjoyed it, I will therefore try and make it from scratch (recipe in same book) and see if my liking for it has changed.  Your tastes definitely do change over the years, I never used to like pepper in food now I have a huge pepper mill I put on everything!  I’ve heard and read somewhere that your tastebuds change every 7 years, how much truth is in that I’m unsure but if there’s something you never used to eat, it’s worth re-tasting with an open mind because you never know you may like it now.   I used to love Pot Noodles and Batchelors Super Noodles, yet I’ve tried both of them over the last few weeks and oh my disgusting, truly awful – I cannot believe I used to find super noodles delicious, they were just a clump of tasteless mushy stuff, not nice at all.  I’m so glad I learned to cook, I’m no genius in the kitchen but I know what I like and I’ve found a way to cook my favourite foods quickly and easily and to a standard where other people actually eat it too.
I’m being a little silly today, it’s my busiest day of the week, I get up at 5, write blog, walk dog, leave for work at 7.30am, get back 12.30pm, do paperwork from morning and night before, leave house again at 4pm get home 8pm and I’ve decided sometime in amongst all that I’m going to cook myself a ‘dinner’ meat, potatoes, veg and gravy – not a stupid idea at all is it!  I’ve just peeled sprouts whilst waiting for my kettle to boil for my cuppa tea, so stage one is complete, the meat is a bit of brisket with gravy in a microwave bag, already cooked so that’s not so bad, I’ve just got to get my hands on some potatoes and peel my carrots, ooo Yorkshire pudding too I thinks.  Oh I do love food and eating, it’s such a simple pleasure in life isn’t it!
On that note, I’m going to peel carrots – yes I know it’s only 5.40am but I have a busy day ;-)
Have a fab one xx

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Have a great day gorgeous xx

24th October 2012
Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don't want it. What appears bad manners, an ill temper or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone. Miller Williams
Sometimes when I sit down to write my blog I have no idea what I’m going to talk about, other times there’s something fresh in my memory from the day before, something that’s happened or been said, then some days there’s lots of things and I don’t know where to start, today is the later, so I may spread it over a couple of days ;-) as I appreciate we’re all busy people.
Mom came to work with me yesterday, first time for a while, she’s in a lot of pain bless her and every morning she rises feeling nauseous, anyone who’s had morning sickness knows how dreadful that is, if you’ve had it for 6 years, it starts to get a little tiresome!   Lately she’s been sitting round until it goes off a bit and I leave her at home as I go to work, but yesterday she decided she may as well be at work with me feeling sick as on her own in the house.  It was lovely to see her interacting and laughing with my members and genuinely looking better in herself than she has for weeks.  Consider your options, if you’re in constant pain do you sit focussing on it, thinking about it all the time or do you distract yourself?  You would be best to distract yourself.  This made me think of our weight issues are you better to constantly think about dieting all the time and dwell on how much you have to lose, how long it’s going to take etc, or are you better distracting yourself from the enormity of it all!  Obviously you have to think about food and what to eat but it doesn’t have to take up every single waking second of your day!  Meal planning for the week is a good way of getting that problem sorted then you don’t have to think till it’s time to cook and eat.  Just something to mull over – do you think about it all just a little bit too much?
The other thing that I noticed on Monday and it happens a lot, because of my job, because of what I do for a living, people who are overweight and actively NOT trying to lose it seem to feel the need to explain themselves to me and justify their decision – I personally don’t care either way, it isn’t for me to live another persons life or tell them how to behave.  However I would like to cover the “fat & happy” conversation I had on Monday, a lady explained to me that she’s happy, her weight doesn’t bother her and she used to get obsessed with food when she was on a diet.  She then went on to tell me that she would have to lose some weight soon because bad knees run in her family! 
Okay so firstly let’s clear one thing up, being happy is a state of mind – it really has nothing to do with the size of your body.  Secondly, that means you don’t lose weight to be happy, there are lots of other reasons for that, health reasons being at the forefront!  How you treat your body today will have an affect on you health and well being in 20 years time.   Fat & happy, isn’t a reason to not lose weight!  And before anyone starts having a go, I know thin people can be extremely unhealthy, I don’t really think it’s about the size of your body it’s about the way you treat it and take care of it, I’d rather be bigger and eat good healthy food than skinny and living on junk.  I’m all about healthy eating and moving more regardless of what the numbers on the scales say.
Read this then think about how you feel after you’ve read it;
Weak, Disgusted, Hopeless, What’s wrong with me? What chance do I have?  Just stuffing it into my gob!! Someone give me a big kick up the bum! Last weeks big gain was really unexpected - I didn't want to tell folk how much - such shame.  I'm not looking forward to weigh-in tomorrow - I don't feel any thinner. Been so good all week and gave in to the temptation of a jam doughnut the night before weigh-in.  A disappointing half off, yes I know it’s off but still disappointing not sure why it’s also the lightest I have been in months. Didn't post on Monday as so embarrassed was off track big time and gained 4.5!!  I'm just rubbish :( Absolute waste of time.  Weekend was a nightmare. Totally over my dailies and my weeklies but there was no stopping me!!!  I totally lost the plot yesterday and ate and drank anything and everything.  I just don't see how I couldn’t have lost :(
How’d you feel?  Just imagine having regular conversations like that with someone you love, a child or a best friend, every day once or twice at least saying something like, “you’re weak, I’m disgusted with you!” or “What chance have you got – you’re hopeless”.  Maybe you could say, “You only lost half a pound, that’s rubbish”, “What were you thinking eating a jam doughnut, what’s wrong with you, I’m disappointed”. 
You get my drift yet?  It’s not very encouraging is it?  Hopefully you wouldn’t say it to someone you love, yet so many of you say these things to yourself (all that paragraph is full of actual statements made by real people about themselves – the names have been removed to protect the innocent x).  So why do you say those things to yourself, if you’re not saying them out loud you may be thinking them which is equally as bad.  No one gets very far without love and support (that’s what makes Weight Watchers the success it is – group support).  New born babies die without love – did you know that?  The one thing to guarantee you more chance of success is a bit of self love!  That’s the whole basis of my website, www.happyowls.co.uk, so if you’re guilty of any of that, how about STOP, stop judging yourself for what you weigh, for what you eat.  Hell if you want a jam doughnut the night before weigh-in that’s absolutely fine, they’re about 7pp and delicious, they don’t weigh that heavy in your tummy either – honest.
Start noticing the words you use when thinking about yourself, make them more positive you’re not weak or hopeless for having a day where you go over you’re ProPoints, you’re strong for being on a weight loss healthy eating plan to start with.  You’re not to be disgusted with yourself over what you eat, it’s not like you’ve slept with your 99 year old neighbour whilst your hubby was at work!  Losing the plot and overeating, gaining weight, it’s all part of life but it isn’t the end of the world and it isn’t the end of your weight loss efforts, it’s just another day at the office of the healthy eater.   
My personal experience and I can only talk about my experiences of course, although I do know others who have found the same, is that since I decided to be nicer to myself, forgive myself when I did overindulge and also to give myself permission to do just that and to eat whatever I wanted whenever has meant I don’t do it so much, I don’t need to because I can have chocolate whenever I want, it isn’t a no-no, I can have MacDonalds and not feel shame that I’ve just eaten my daily allowance in one meal, I can have cake for breakfast if I want to.  Do I do this everyday – nope, why not? Because I’m taking care of this body now so it takes care of me years down the line.
Have a great day gorgeous, go start it with a cup of self love x

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Heart racing for all the wrong reasons!

23rd October 2012
I said Somebody should do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody. Lily Tomlin
I’ve just slept until my alarm, rarely do that but I was so tired when I went to bed last night, combination of not sleeping very well the night before and driving yesterday afternoon, I certainly couldn’t be a driver for a living, it really tires me out.  I took mom out for a drive to visit Lynne and the kids, she really enjoyed herself and it was good to get her out of the house, it’ll give her something new to talk about.  That’s what happens when you don’t go anywhere you run out of things to talk about so you tend to recap over the same thing over and over, so you start to repeat yourself!  Whatever you’re age, you need to socialise, I just wished I could get mom to use a pc or ipad she’s love interacting with others without having to leave the house but she won’t have any of it, and she’ just a tad bit stubborn!
I baked a nice warm tray of my wake up muffins to take with me and they were still warm when we arrived so that was my lunch sorted – two of them.  I’d fancied peanut butter on toast for breakfast so instead of my usual two rounds of toast I had one round with peanut butter and jam on – nom nom. 
Lynne has to go to work at five and her hubby doesn’t get home till just before six so to save her paying the sitter, I said we’d stay and I’d sort their tea.  Of course me being lazy, them being kids and them knowing I’m a soft touch, tea turned into MacDonalds and I do love a Maccy D’s.   Well I had what I can only describe as ‘a moment’, just lately after reading a couple of books re eating I’ve been more aware of the ‘toxic environment’ in which we live and how we are influenced by offers and temptation everywhere.  For example with it being Halloween next week all the cakes have been rehashed and renamed so for example instead of jam tarts which I wouldn’t dream of picking up, they’re now called slime tarts and I quite want one in my life!  The French Fancies which are vile have been called Fiendish Fancies and they certainly caught my eye, they have also been priced at a very attractive £1, the fact the other ones are normally £1.06 doesn’t matter to us – a pound is a bargain!  It is though isn’t it?  So yep you guessed it, yesterday in Asda before going to Lynnes I bought loads of Halloween junk for her kids because I am a sucker for a supermarket gimic and bargain!
Anyway back to this moment at Maccy D’s, oh how do I explain it, it was almost like how I would imagine a junky to react who hadn’t had a fix for a while.  I’m with Jenny (Lynne’s daughter) going through drive-thru, my memory isn’t the best and I’ve got what Will wants written down on my phone and Jenny is remembering what she wants.  The menu’s are there as we drive up to the tannoy, there’s a car in front of us so we have time to peruse - there are two boards with all the new stuff on and I’m reading them like an overexcited kid and having a conversation in my head something like, “ooo Big tasty, I haven’t tried them, but what if I don’t like it – you can’t beat a big mac.  Oh I fancied KFC and we’re here now, I could have chicken, no I’ll have KFC on Friday when we go to the cinema.  Oh I fancy a fillet of fish, or maybe something with cheese oozing out, ooo what’s that a bean wrap, oh I could have a deli thing.  By now I’d got a little jittery (I put that down at the time to being hungry, however I’ve just realised typing it I’ve got jittery again!  Yes I think I’m a Maccy D addict!)  So now I’m proper confused, and the car in front is moving and it’s my turn to order and I’m panicking inside, “what do I do, what am I going to have”. 
“Can I take you order please”, Okay I think to myself compose yourself, read Wills whilst you think about it, “can I have a fillet of fish, no sauce, and fries please” think to myself oh he hasn’t had a meal deal, they’re cheaper, I’ll get Lynne a coffee with is and make it a meal (the fact she’s at home and has a jar of coffee which doesn’t cost a pound a cup doesn’t enter my head!), next Jenny orders her meal, they don’t have strawberry milkshake so we have to have banana.  NOW it’s my turn, I’m trying to recall all the things that were on the board, what am I gonna, have what shall I do.  “Anything else madam”, Suddenly something twigs, I realise what’s going on and I say, “Big Mac Meal please”, I cannot believe I’ve just gone through all that in probably less than 5 minutes, I’d say my blood pressure went up, my heart was racing, I really did want to order everything on the damn menu, luckily my memory is so bad and I’d got myself so confused and wound up, I couldn’t remember anything off the menu really anymore.
“Thank you, does that complete your order, please drive round to pay”.
Phew, it’s over, and I’m so glad we were using the drive through and hadn’t gone in the shop because that could’ve ended with me spending too much money on food I really didn’t need in my life.  both with money and ProPoints, I've just looked a Big Tasty with Cheese = 24pp!  I had Big Mac & fries for 26pp, but it didn't look like this photo on their website that's for sure;
Jenny bought me back to reality, “Bev, why aren’t you getting married?”.    
Gotta love kids ;-)
I am pretty good with controlling my eating these days, but I still get overexcited at times over food, especially when there are too many choices!  Do you?  Start to observe how you react in situations – it’s interesting to get to know yourself.
The best of it was when we got back with the food, my burger was coldish, so Alfie really enjoyed the meat from it, the chips were half and half.  It really wasn’t what I’d imagined!  Cured from MacDonalds for a while now I thinks! Da da da da da - NOT LUVIN IT!
Today I shall mostly be working and playing with my new Actifry that arrived yesterday, watch this space for feedback, have a tremendous Tuesday everyone. x

Monday, 22 October 2012

Taming your Gremlin!

22nd October 2012

You only live once? False! You live every day - you only die once!
Didn’t just sit on my backside yesterday for a change, after I walked Alfie on the morning in the fog I spent a few hours sorting through my recipes magazines and putting them all in my recipe folders so I could throw away the rest of the magazines – too much junk in my house.  On the afternoon I managed to get mom to come for a walk with me, we didn’t go far, just across the road to the canal where we saw a heron and got really close to it so we were both happy about that.  I made her poached eggs & cheese on toast, she’s not got much of an appetite lately so it was good to see her really enjoy something, I had my cottage pie that I cooked Saturday, not bad at all.  I then read in the bath for an hour before finally sitting on our backsides and just chill out watching tv, XFactor was on but I’ve got to say I don’t really watch it, I’m faffing doing other stuff.  Perfect Sunday doesn’t it sound?  It wasn’t but we’re working on that. Xxx
I started reading a book I think I’m going to love called, ‘Taming your gremin by Rick Carson’, I just love all that self help stuff, it’s helped me in the past and I also like to pass the info one and help members and you lot reading this.  The book isn’t about dieting but I’m just going to share with you a paragraph which is so true;  
“Here we sit, you and I, wrapped up in our bodies,…..

But we’re not our bodies.  We’re not.  Our bodies are constantly changing masses of matter.  As a matter of fact, if you’re over 30, as we speak, you ears are getting bigger, your nose is getting longer, and the distance is shrinking from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head.  Frightening, but so.  Bodies change.  My body has done so dramatically.  A lean 165 pounds now, I used to weigh, and this is the astonishing truth, 7 pounds 8 ounces.  We’re not our bodies”
I love that, I also love everything that follows that paragraph in the first chapter, so I’m hoping the book will be interesting.  The book suggests your gremlin interprets your every experience. He has nothing good to say about you or anything you do, not to mention your dreams and aspirations. Just when you feel you've out-argued or overcome him, he changes his disguise and his strategy. Grapple with him and you become more enmeshed. What he hates is simply being noticed. That's the first step to his taming. That what the books about and without going into too much detail that’s exactly how my day ended with my Gremlin having a field day with me!  Even though earlier I’d started that book, and my Gremlin genuinely doesn’t cause me too much grief these days because I’ve already done a lot of personal development work on myself, last night he/she whatever it is really went to town and messed with my head. 

I’ve slept but it wasn’t a good sleep, my brain has been going over and over stuff all night, so I’d just like to thank my Gremlin for that!  And warn it that this book is gonna help me tame that Gremlin – watch this space! 
I am aware that I’m talking in riddles but I don’t want to share those thoughts I was having last night because they weren’t just about me and well bearing my soul online is one thing, but other peoples – maybe not.

You’re either getting this Gremlin thing or thinking I’m a lunatic right now ;-), either’s good with me, I’m not sure how much you’re allowed to share of someone’s book but as this next bit I’m going to share is available as a preview on Amazon I think it should be ok, and who knows I might help him sell a few copies.  So this is what he say’s about your gremin;
“You already have some sense of your gremlin, though perhaps you never have focused your awareness on him or labelled him.  Your gremlin is the narrator in your head.  He has influenced you since you came into this world, and he accompanies you throughout your entire existence.  He’s with you when you wake up in the morning and when you go to sleep at night.  He tells you who and how you are, and he defines and interprets your every experience.  He wants you to accept his interpretations as reality, and his goal, from moment to moment, day to day, is to squelch the natural, vibrant you within. 

I’m not sure of the factors that contributed to the makeup of your particular gremlin.  I am sure, however, that he uses some of your past experiences to hypnotise you into forming and living your life in accordance with self-limiting and sometimes frightening generalisations about you and what existence holds for you.
Your gremlin wants you to feel bad, and he carries out this loathsome pursuit via some sophisticated manoeuvres, which we will discuss later, and by convincing you to waste time reliving the past, worrying about the future, and analysing the relationships between all sorts of people and things.  Your gremlin wants you to believe that he has your best interest at heart and that his primary purpose is to serve and honour you.  His motive is actually less honourable.  He is intent on making you miserable.

Your gremlin’s caution about life and living is inordinate and his methods of control are overzealous.  He is not merely your inner critic or simply a part of your psychological makeup.  Your gremlin is not your negative thoughts – he is the source of them.  He is not your less-than-positive past experiences – he uses them.  He is not your fears – he taunts you with them by creating the horror movie about yoru future that you sometimes watch. 
He is your gremlin, and his personality, like his dastardly intention, is all his own.  One thing is for certain.  As you begin to notice your gremlin, you will become acutely sensitive to the fact that you are not your gremlin, but rather, his observer.  You will see clearly that your gremlin has no real hold on you.  As this awareness develops, you will begin to appreciate and enjoy your life more and more. It is for you, the observer, that this book is written.

Ooo I can’t wait to read it, cos my Gremlin had me crying myself to sleep last night, soI’m ready to kick his ass!  So if any of that strikes a cord, watch this space, I’ll let you know how the rest of the book goes. 
And apologies for making a Monday morning so damn serious, but hey sometimes reality sucks!

I’m smiling again now I’ve wrote all that – love rambling on my blog.

Have a great day. x