Tag: diet

In which I waver and have dark moods.

I have been in a funny mood the last couple of days, since about Saturday evening. Irritable, pensive and gloomy. To what shall I attribute it?

  • Could be hormones. I am the right age for swinging hormones, or it could be a time of the month thing or it could be exercise-induced testosterone surges or whatever.
  • Eurgh, I have faulty lights in my house and I have to engage an electrician. If the whole place needs rewiring, it will be very, very expensive, running to thousands of pounds. This is enough to make anyone annoyed and depressed.
  • I went on a carb binge over the weekend because I was just so tired of constantly eating raw vegetables and watching my weight waver within a range of the same two pounds for the last two weeks. I am back on the healthy eating wagon as of this morning. I wrote that sentence and then ate several pieces of Mint Aero with my breakfast smoothie.
  • I want to do demanding exercise classes at my gym but at the same time I am plagued by various allergies and itchy skin right now and I know this is a sign that I’ve run down my immune system instead of boosting it. I need to rest and preserve myself and get my energy up, clear my skin, then resume doing insane classes at the gym where you heave weights around until you pass out.
  • There are certain aspects of work that I find annoying, which I guess is true for everyone. I’m not very patient with bureaucracy.
  • Being in an actual relationship for the first time since 2010 brings its own rewards and challenges. On the rewards side, it is a warm and mutually beneficial social exchange, we are genuinely fond of each other and my house is clean all the time. On the challenges side, I picked someone highly intelligent and observant who notices everything and is very interested in getting to know me. This is unnerving because it is something I haven’t experienced for a long time. Usually, my relationships involve making sure the other person is kept at a distance. We don’t discuss deep, personal topics. I discourage personal remarks and they don’t ask penetrating questions. We keep things light and cheerful. I now realise that I haven’t let anyone get to know me well for several years. I just don’t let people get that close. Also, it’s conceivable that I might be a bit crazy. You don’t notice this as much if you don’t let people in.

So that’s why I’m grumpy today. When I’m in a better mood, I actually have some nice photos to show you, but they will have to wait. Let’s have a tune instead. This is 90s rap artist, Da Brat. In this beautiful video, many famous singers and rappers of the era come together for a party and to see her perform. The vibe is gentle and everyone is happy. For me, the most special and poignant moment is at 1:26, where the late Biggie Smalls, arguably the greatest rapper of all time, arrives with four of his honeys, affectionately holding two of them by the hand. He was always a ladies’ man. Precious moments in rap history. Biggie died of fatal gunshot wounds three years later, in 1997, aged 24. If I could choose between having Princess Diana come back from the dead or Biggie Smalls, I would choose Biggie.

Da Brat: Give It 2 You (1994)

Brutality at the gym.

Holy Mother of God. Total Conditioning class at the gym last night was the most physically challenging experience I’ve ever had in my life. I was kidding myself if I thought that going on 10 mile walks and lifting a few dumbbells was achieving any significant level of fitness.

We lifted weights. We did 18 different kinds of squats, lunges and crunches, all while holding weights. I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. After the class, my legs were shaking so much that I had difficulty walking down the stairs to get to the changing rooms. When I made it, I sat in the changing room for several minutes until I was reasonably sure I wasn’t going to pass out. Then I slowly crept home, like an 80-year-old on an icy road. I ate a huge, protein-heavy chicken salad and fell asleep.

I feel as weak as a kitten today and I am doing nothing today but resting. I was supposed to go out with Harry but I don’t feel I have enough strength in my legs to walk around.

I am still eating very cleanly, I’m not starving hungry. If I want a mid morning or mid afternoon snack, I have one – usually a boiled egg or a couple of rice cakes with plenty of almond or peanut butter. I’m pretty sure I’m getting enough protein, I have protein every time I eat something. All the details of everything that I’m eating are on the Rising Heroes page of this blog, if you are interested. I keep meticulous records every day. I’m drinking at least 1 litre of water every day and I’m taking a multi-vitamin with iron as of right now.

Today is Day 15 of the new health regime, which is long enough to start seeing a difference. I’ve lost some weight. I’ve lost 6 pounds in total. Perhaps rather alarmingly, 5 pounds of that came off in three days. I weighed 163.6 pounds at the start of Day 1, a Tuesday, and by Friday morning of the same week I weighed only 158.6. My weight has been falling at a more moderate pace since then, with small fluctuations. I weighed in at 157.0 this morning, Day 15 (Tuesday again) and I would like to be down to 156 point something by Friday. My goal is only that of losing 1lb a week from now on, I would be happy with that.

My hair is still falling out in large amounts and I’m obviously not happy about it. I can’t see anything wrong with my diet but I might be over-exercising, maybe? I didn’t think I was overdoing it, last night’s class being an unpredictable exception, but I’m going to try to slow it down a bit and exercise on alternate days for a while instead of 7 days/week. I would be panicking right now if I hadn’t seen this before but it happened to me in 2011 when I was at exactly this stage of a quest to lose 33 lbs (which I eventually completed). At that point, I’d lost five pounds, so I was right at the beginning of the journey, and I was going out running every day. My hair was falling out so I slowed down the exercise regime and that seemed to fix it. So that’s why I’m going to cut back on exercise for a while until my body is behaving more normally, even though exercise is every bit as addictive as sugar and I want to be in the gym all the time. Wish me luck for hair recovery.

And that’s all today’s diet and fitness news.

Strength training starts today.

Well, here we are then. I can’t put it off any longer. I love going out for my 10-mile walks and after only a few days of this my calf muscles are like rock and my thighs are starting to follow. I’m also burning off a lot of calories. However, I need to work my core and the upper half of my body if I want to look good all over and today is where it needs to begin. I am about to go out for a walk of only 1 hour instead of 3+ hours, then when I come back I will put together a strength routine that I can do regularly involving squats and using the dumbbells, etc. Oh god, it’s going to be hard work. Wish me luck. I will report back when I have designed and implemented the new routine, in a few hours.

My breakfast: spring greens, tatsoi, carrots, cherries, peanut butter, coconut yogurt, honey.

Sexy footballers training on Hampstead Heath yesterday. These guys were doing burpees in public. If they can do that, I can do a few squats in the privacy of my home.

footballers

NutriBullet and general food news

OK, so I am on a mission now for improved health. You know me, I am happiest when I am on a mission. I’ve done 10 hours of walking in the last four days and I am right on the brink of resuming weight training. I’ve been walking on Hampstead Heath, which is gorgeous, as you can see.

I have finally acquired a NutriBullet, two years after everyone else, and it has been a real game-changer. As we all know, eating healthily is a lot of hassle, especially if you are like me and you don’t want to cook. I have all good intentions and everything and I don’t mind making a salad once in a while but I can’t possibly do that three times a day, it is out of the question. The NutriBullet, which is a fancy type of blender, is the antithesis of cooking. You don’t have to cook anything and you don’t even have to use a plate to eat the results, you can drink it straight out of the cup you made it in. No cooking, barely any washing-up.

I am photographing everything I eat, because that’s a proven method of keeping me from eating junk, so here are a couple of photos.

Spinach, spring greens, strawberries, pineapple, ice, protein powder, nuts. Chuck in blender, add water, pulverise for 1 minute, slurp.

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Kale, spinach, banana, peach, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, protein powder, nuts. A really great way to use up fruit that is on the turn.

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Look at that, delicious.

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I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so healthily and I feel fantastic.

I am dating Harry and we are falling in love with each other. He’s excited that I’m excited about health and I have made a couple of nice meals for us. A simple mixed salad with smoked salmon. Observe my beautiful Portmeirion tableware.

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This was yesterday, I was so proud of myself. A salad made with spinach, red onion, strawberries, raspberries, blue cheese and sesame seed croutons.

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Soon I will start letting Harry cook, because he likes to cook. Score. I am so happy with this boy, he is really lovely and I have cancelled all of my other relationships except for Fyodor, who doesn’t count because of being in Russia.

Rising Heroes

I continue to be concerned about my health because my heart pounds more than it should. I am ready to take action. It seems urgent.

Health and fitness has always been a major theme of TLYW. I look at the Achievements page which was my main source of motivation for the first few years of TLYW, and over half of the 800 points I managed to score are health related.

It’s time for another concentrated campaign of health and fitness and this time around I feel like I need some encouragement and teamwork from other people instead of doing everything on my own. That’s why I’ve signed up for Rising Heroes, which is a self-improvement and fitness programme for gamers, using video game metaphors. Should be right up my street.

There is a new TLYW page for it here, with links and details of what I’ve been eating and what exercise I’m doing. I’ve done 5.5 hours of walking in the last two days.

I have made a character to level up, she is a scout, a character class that I selected because I like endurance sports. I don’t think I’m particularly strong or fast but I can keep going for a long time. I can swim and walk long distances.

I have joined a squad of rising heroes, a squad is a team of five people, I belong to the Shimmy Hips squad, which is all women.

I also joined a division, a division is a team of 30 people. I belong to the Number One Ninja division.

A nice feature of Rising Heroes is that it encourages you to develop one skill that’s outside of health and fitness, so I picked Chinese. I will be super happy to get that back up and running.

That’s all I have to say right now. I’m a little bit overwhelmed with new information and it is taking me a while to make sense of everything but hopefully the picture will become clear soon. My squad members are really friendly.

Wish me luck. I am heavy right now and I want to lose 30 pounds, lower my blood pressure and make my heart stronger. Hopefully, belonging to a couple of teams will really help.

profile pic

Pink lilies.

The flowers are surviving well. The lilies have opened and they are pink.

pink lilies

I can’t believe it’s been a whole week since I last blogged. Let’s try and catch up. I will give you the news in brief.

I’ve been really busy with work. This is good because it keeps me awake and makes me travel around and meet new people.It uses up all my time, of course, so that the days rush past. This in turn alters how I use my time outside work. I have to choose between doing a lot of things in very short bursts, or doing one thing consistently.

Gaming. I haven’t touched my Xbox since work reopened following Christmas, it is tragic. I was starting to get into Alien Isolation and would love to do some more on it. I’ve played a little Bioshock and a little Secret World, maybe the weekend before last. I played a surprisingly enjoyable session of Sims 3 last weekend. I’m logging into my World of Warcraft garrison for about 30 seconds a day, just to send my garrison followers out doing quests in my absence.

Crafts. I have a large number of unfinished projects and set some objectives for 2015 with regard to completing some of them, so I am sewing up a sweater that has been hanging around for 2-3 years.

Diet and Fitness. We’ve had about 9 months of fail in this area of TLYW, I seem to remember giving up on exercise and turning to rich restaurant lunches and large glasses of wine right when I arrived in Chile. Right now I’m about 25 pounds heavier than I was last February. This isn’t a world crisis but it’s also not really what we are aiming for. I don’t mind having bigger boobs and a bigger bum, at all, but also I carry weight on the front of my body, on my abdomen, and on my face. In particular, I can see that my face is puffy and doesn’t look like the self-portraits that I use for online dating purposes. I’ve also been on a couple of dates where I noted that the person I was with didn’t fancy me that much, which is normally a rare turn of events. The fact is, I’ve gained weight, esp in my face, to a certain point where my market value has noticeably gone down. This means that even though dating and meeting new people is a very enjoyable hobby, I need to stop dating now and return to the gym and cut out sugar and unnecessary carbs right away, which means meal planning and thoughtful shopping and cooking. I could just come to terms with being heavier and a bit less popular and take some new, more accurate photos, but I actually would prefer to go back to the gym and lose weight and get back to where I was 9-12 months ago. I can take new photos and start dating again when I have a leaner, more muscular body to show off. So that’s why my dating career is over for the time being. I don’t have a lot of free time, I have to choose between gym OR dating, and the only sensible choice is gym.

Home Improvements. This is going to have to wait for a while. The windows have been replaced so we will survive the winter.

Brownie Achievement Badges. Almost miraculously, I am squeezing in some reading in support of the Classic Literature badge. I will write about this when I’ve reached the end of the book I’m currently on.

Dating. OK well, when we have to get serious about time management, dating takes a hit. It is not the Christmas holidays any more. I do not have unlimited amounts of free time on my hands to spend on boys. Gym needs to come first until I’ve shed this excess weight, so several weeks. That is why I’ve reluctantly suspended my online dating profile even though the actual dating situation over here is a bit shabby. Leroy is being flaky and unreliable. He is good at making excuses and being charming but my patience for that has run out now. I don’t see this situation improving and I am losing interest in him, even though I would prefer to have some sort of regular sex life, and when we do have sex, it is great. I am building up to a confession here, readers. In light of the fact that Leroy and I are coming apart at the seams, I don’t have any other romantic interest going on, and that I need to spend the next 3 months in the gym instead of going out to restaurants in high heels, I disturbed the Honcho, explained the situation and asked him to take me back for a while. Because he can’t see what I look like, and with a bit of luck he will keep me company while I am in the gym for the next 100 days. He is not a man for turning me away, so he didn’t turn me away.

And that’s all the news. Time to stop being a buffalo. I need to clean my house this evening because (a) it is filthy and chaotic after a week of heavy workload, and (b) I have a pack of new ear plugs around here somewhere, and when I find them, I can start swimming again.

I lost three pounds this week.

So that’s pretty amazing, isn’t it. I mostly stuck to the diet. There were a couple of lapses involving chocolate buttons when I was desperate. I worked some very long hours. I was out of London all day yesterday and didn’t get home until nearly midnight. I’m finding wheat and dairy a lot easier to abstain from than sugar, but in general I am sticking with the programme. I am boiling a couple of eggs for breakfast right now, which I will eat with spinach again.

When I took my special grocery list shopping last week, I couldn’t believe the amount of vegetables I came home with. I wondered if I was seriously going to eat them all. But I have eaten nearly all of them. I have some left over lettuce because apparently I prefer spinach, one left over courgette and I have spare green beans and broccoli in the freezer but I only because I bought two family-size bags.

It’s been an interesting experience so far, this diet. There’s more meat and fish on the menu than I would normally consume, usually I would favour cheese and get through quite a lot of it. But hey, I am not complaining, if I am going to lose weight this way, then fine, I will forego cheese and eat slices of cold chicken and turkey instead.

I’m almost out of fresh vegetables now so I will have to go the supermarket today and stock up for the week. I think I can succeed at this diet. A couple of times during the week I was starving hungry so I went in the kitchen and cooked a huge plate of green vegetables which I ate with no dressing and that seems not to have done my waistline any harm. So yay, I guess. It’s not the most exciting diet in the whole world but it seems to be doing the trick. We will see what next week brings.