Corona Lock down Diaries – Intermittent fasting and calorie deficit.

The ongoing saga of the right old state our doors were in…

I know were not still strictly locked down but I figured I’d carry on with this anyway. Last post I wrote on this is here if you want to catch up first.

So after 2 months I about 16kg/35 Lbs down. Roughly back where I was when I last did the Whole30 thing, so whilst a real boost it is rather annoying that I have just lost weight I already lost previously and then put back on. But if you’ve ever been overweight then you will be familiar with this cycle. Losing it can be easy but maintaining it often seems to be the difficult part.

This time round I have tried calorie deficit combined with intermittent fasting. I really like cooking, and I love eating and I just don’t think it is possible for me to not enjoy the things I love to eat so I have endeavoured to simply have what I want – just less of it. Looking at a calorie deficit of around 500 and you’ll lose about one pound a week, but I have probably ran a little more than that and I do tend to lose weight really fast when I start getting things under control. Apart from the last week where I have pretty much maintained my weight because I could not stop eating bourbon biscuits and jammy dodgers! I have a real problem with them…

So in addition to the calorie deficit I started intermittent fasting and broadly eat in a 5 hour window between noon and 5pm. This really helps me to focus and helps me with the discipline I usually do not have. I know there are all sorts of actual benefits of intermittent fasting and there are great sites out there that will extoll those but for me – it mostly stops me eating about 11 meals a day at all hours. Simple really.

To help me keep track of what I am doing I use two apps each day. Fastic helps me to track my fasting hours and I use MyFitnessPal to track my calorie intake. The former does have the ability to track calories but I prefer the latter as it has all the foods from most stores in its database so I can be more accurate with it.

There have been hiccups and blips along the way, and I have struggled at times like you do when youre trying to fix something that has been a problem your whole life but this time I do feel different about what I am trying to achieve. Perhaps it is because I am 50 next year and know I cannot carry on like I have been. That pending sense of mortality can be a real awakener.

Oh there is one more thing I have been doing. Drinking a lot of water. I have a glass that takes 500ML and drink about 6 of these a day. There are studies out there that show drinking more water helps with weight loss and it does seem to have helped me – perhaps I just feel fuller I don’t know -there will be science to it. Mostly though it just feels like a useful part of the routine I am developing.

The one thing I haven’t really done yet is exercise. I’ve barely been out during the last 4 months and my step counter on my watch struggles to get to 5000 most days. I will be remedying that though over the next few weeks when our building project completes. We’ve put in a small home gym and I will have a cross trainer, static bike, treadmill and rowing machine.

So there you go, you’re up to speed with what I have been doing on that front. Here’s my head 2 months apart and some of the food I have been making…

Exodus 0.4 – Dust

Just a thing I have been playing with…

I’ll carry on with this a bit. Not sure if anyone will read it but I like waffling on when I am in the mood…I’m still just trying to mostly find time and just keep writing something each day

Other parts are here, here and here

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At about the same moment that Fisher changed her mind from wishing she had never been born to instead wishing that fate on the base Commander, an unfathomable distance away at the far side of the universe – and quite a bit beyond that – a Crenorian fleet dropped out of hyperspace. It then proceeded, methodically and without too much of a fuss, to demolish a quiet and unassuming small planet where just moments before the magical myriad of molecules and circumstance had collided in a ‘just so’ manner to create what would eventually have evolved into intelligent life.

It didn’t. Instead, along with everything else on the planet, it was turned to a collection of space dust and debris in the name of military preparedness.

“Now how about we collect the debris and hurl it into the nearest sun?” Pondered Fleet Marshall Jolt, a broad grin spread across his face from gill to gill. His scales flashed iridescent in the dim light of the bridge and a sharp red tongue flicked from his mouth licking his thin dark lips.

A junior officer shuffled uncomfortably and informed Jolt that it was a practical impossibility though they could spend a few hours firing ion torpedoes at the larger remaining pieces of planet if that took his fancy.

“And are there any living things out there?” Jolt asked, staring out into the inky darkness of space as he stood legs akimbo and hands on hips looking, in his opinion – and this being the only opinion that actually mattered – quite impressive indeed.

“D-d-doubtful sir” the junior officer replied. “Pretty certain the exercise put pay to anything that might have been alone though early scans indicated that the planet was quite lifeless.”

“Hmm, that’s a shame. Would have been nice to do a little hunting.”

The junior officer continued to shuffle his feet uncomfortably. He wasn’t sure that he would class a planet killer class Crenorian warship’s vaporisation of an entire planet as ‘hunting’. He was certain however that he was not going to correct the Fleet Marshall.

“Unfortunate indeed sir. Shall I stand down the armoury for the time being.”

Joltz signed and turned slowly. “Yes I suppose you better if there isn’t anything else worth blowing up. Are you absolutely certain?”

“Afraid so. I’ll stand them down sir shall I.”

“You should probably stand the armoury down then…what was your name again?”

“Drax Sir. Fenorious Drax”

“Oh there is absolutely no way I intend to remember that.” Joltz turned back towards the darkness outside of the ship. “I don’t even know why I asked. Anyway, stand down the armoury for me will you. Looks like there’s nothing else to blow up.”

“Yes sir straight away” said Drax saluting with his clenched fist across his chest and spinning on his heels as he hurried from the bridge.

And it was at this precise moment an unfathomable distance away and then some at the far side of the universe that Cole received, by an apparent incalculable chance, instructions to set his faster than light drives to coordinates that just moments before was the home to a planet that was suddenly no longer there thanks to Fleet Marshall Joltz.

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That will probably be the end of that …for now. 🙂

Corona Lock down Diaries – Day Meh – Haircut

Snip snip buzz

Okay so strictly speaking we aren’t exactly locked down anymore. We have commenced with an experiment to see how many pub goers we can kill off which seemed to commence without too much drama at the weekend. London saw some dumbfuckery in particular and there were pockets of shenanigans country wide so now we wait to see what the impact of it will be.

Hairdressers and barbers also opened and against my better judgement me and the boys managed to get a slot at our local barber this afternoon. Asim moved into the area a few years ago and is a top chap and the boys have always enjoyed what he does to their hair so off we went.

During lockdown the eldest seems to have somehow grown a fringe that when brushed out goes below his chin. The youngest was looking like Boris Johnson on one of his particularly bad days. Not that the twat has good days, but hair wise imagine him at his blondest and most boufont…

Oh me you ask? Well I have half a Mohican (given I don’t have to go into the office any more) which I have been doing with an old beard trimmer so mostly look like a fat extra from a shit fan film version of Mad Max.

So a few hours and a couple of quid later (he has rightly put up the prices – now we know who the crucial people actually are in society) we are all shaven, coiffed, tidied and presentable. Mostly.

I decided to actually keep the Mohican and get him to do it properly. Looks a bit mental and like I have a dead animal on my head but meh, there’s a bloody apocalypse going on – it actually seems more appropriate than ever…Mrs Afterwards didn’t mind as much as I thought she would. Maybe that’s because we don’t really leave the house anymore…

Happy apocolypse! Stay Safe!

Dirty, dirty, oh so dirty Monday limerick

I like to think that one day it will come out that this is what’s on those secret Trump Tapes…

Trumpesque water sports fan, name of Trystin

Pretty mouth that he loved to have pissed in

Craved his balls to be squeezed

Nipples bit, clamped and teased

And on Tuesday’s a large handed fisting

Fireside

Blah blah blah…Limerick tomorrow I promise…

Your name is always on my lips, the fairest treat

The furnace heat, life’s love, stars intersection

We walk the chapel built of breathless whispers

Spend summer days in golden fields, love’s raw reflection, soft flesh yields

Rush headlong to oblivion, with not a care and no retreat.

And orchards ripe and bursting full, we lay beneath their shade

This promise made, devoured like sweetest fruits, head on my chest

Full moon nights, desires willed, of yearning filled

Are all I need, surrendering to secrets spilled

And winter’s icy fingers wrapped tight around my heart do fade

And now amongst the living do I find a way each day

The path to stay and memories once so lost I cling to dearly

Love’s winding path home leads so very clearly

To the door, and like before, you wait

I close the gate and know that I am home at last,

Did you know I wrote a book?

Seems I wrote one…

4th of April last year I posted this.  I actually forgot about it mostly.  I sold quite a few copies and had some good reviews and am rather quite proud of it.  I’m currently working on some other things right now…but below is the original post…It is wholly inappropriate by the way.  In a good way!

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I have written before about why I started my blog.  For those who missed it one of the main reasons was due to a friend who’s wife, an aspiring writer and a vile human being, insisting that anyone that self publishes does so as an act of vanity which is probably why she had never been published and for the most part refused to work.  Writers retreats she enjoyed a plenty I believe.

Anyway, perhaps I ended up proving her point, but I suggested to my friend that I would from that day forth take up writing and publish a book before she did just to prove the point that surely it isn’t that hard and perhaps if she wasn’t such a horrible cow she might have achieved more.

Anyway, the result of that rant can now be found on Amazon in the form of my first book ‘A Collection of Inappropriate Limericks.  Its only 300 or so of my limericks but it’s something I guess.  Something I made that perhaps my grandkids will hold one day and ask “What the fuck was wrong with Grandad?”

Paperback out now with the E-book to follow on the twelfth mostly because I made a mistake setting it up and couldn’t work out how to remedy it.’

Oh and I dedicated it to her too.  Seemed only right.

Paperback in the UK is here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1916089011

And in the US here

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1916089011

UK E-Book can be preordered here for delivery on the 12th of April.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QF58TYM

The US E-Book is here

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QF58TYM

Who’d have thought it eh…

Happy Blogday to me!

3 years old today!

Well, turns out I started my blog three years ago today!

The last year I have not been as active as I would have liked, and I will certainly attempt to remedy that this year, but what fun it has been. Over 1800 posts have made their way onto here and I have loved writing every one of them…

To those of you who have followed, liked, commented, inspired and tolerated me I thank you muchly. I feel I know so many of you so well through your work and its been a pleasure to read you and get to you know you whilst at the same time putting stuff out there which many of you seem to have enjoyed (despite knowing you really ought to probably not)…

Hopefully see a lot more of a lot more of you this next year.

Thanks always

Love

Michael

X

Thursday’s filthy limerick

One about a ladies cavernous front bum

A voluptuous temptress from Cuba

A vagina shaped quite like a tuba

And she would not delay

To allow you to play

Her, so wide was she, no need to lube her

Just work on the speed of that last line…it works I assure you .

Corona Lock down Diaries – Day Twelvtytwo – Renovations

I’ve got a house full of manly men…

About 3 weeks before lockdown we started a cellar renovations project that we had been planning since we moved into this house 15 years ago. The cellar compromises 3 rooms which we have used for storage and a play room for the kids when they were younger. We had a big screen and a projector down there for a few years which was pretty cool too.

It was never a really clean and tidy space though and had damp in places and lots of exposed pipework and wiring. So, after a few years of saving it was time to get the builder in and see what he could do. It was going to take a few months but we figured we could live with the mess for a short while and proceeded to box everything up we wanted to keep (and trash everything we didn’t).

Then we went into lockdown and everything stopped for a few months…

Whilst they are back now, and there isn’t long to go, it has certainly been an experience. We have patiently waited as they have done a great job in truly transforming the space and…even as I write this I am struggling to concentrate because someone is fucking drilling so loud in the room below me that I could just…Bloody hell get done already, you’ve been here since March!! Our living room barely has enough room to fit the four of us in, I cant actually even see the TV screen in a lot of the room because things are piled 5 foot high! And stop drinking chuffing cups of tea…build something damn it, anything. Hammer, cut, saw, plaster, shovel…I don’t care just do it. Do it NOW! Finish my fucking house you bloody buggering bastards!

Ahem…Anyway, here are a few progress photos of one of the rooms. Lots more to follow somewhen but it’s getting close to being done.

I think they just put the frigging Kettle on again! Twats!

Only kidding…I actually really do like them 🙂

Corona Lock down Diaries – Day 4800. Weight YoYo-ing.

The ongoing saga of the right old state our doors were in…

So…The doughnut returns.

For those of you not familiar with it I wrote a lot a while back about food, dieting, whole30 and generally trying not die prematurely. It went quite well for quite a while, and I lost quite a lot of weight. About 30lbs as I recall. I then proceeded to put it back on again plus another 10lbs. I then lost that but no sooner was it off than I put that back on again in double quick time. Plus probably a but more.

If you’ve ever struggled with your weight then you know how it goes.

The most recent weight increase was following a health review I had at hospital in December. Despite me having concerns I was in a pretty bad shape, my weight aside I was apparently not doing too bad. This emboldened me to embrace the Christmas and New Year with wide open arms and an even wider mouth and before you know it I am in lockdown and as heavy as I have ever been.

Anyway…fast forward three months and I have managed to shift close to 30lbs and am now close to where I was when I did the whole30 thing. So a long way to go but I have undone a year of cocktails, pies, meat feasts and general gluttony. Just another 48 years worth to do now…

This time round I have concentrated on calorie deficit and intermittent fasting. The fasting helps me to be disciplined in terms of when I eat, and the calorie deficit keeps what I eat under control. I am using the Myfitnesspal and Fastic apps to track things and it really does seem to work for me.

Being home 24/7 and being able to plan and cook has made a huge difference too. There are far fewer takeaways and processed foods have mostly been replaced with freshly cooked meals. I;m even growing my own herbs to help with some of the dishes I have been dabbling with.

Anyway, I will write more about this I am sure – just thought I’d share a little as a starter for now. Pun intended.

Oh and we are putting a gym in in the cellar as part of the renovations. But that is also for another post…

Bon appetit!

Corona Lock down Diaries – Day…Er? – More Backdoor Shenanigans

The ongoing saga of the right old state our doors were in…

We’ve lived in this house for about 15 years and am still not quite convinced which is the back door and which is the front. We enter through the door straight into the kitchen from the small road at the back of the house. This would make me think this is the front door. But the traditional front door, which leads outto the garden, is far more ornate and has the feel of a front door which means what I think is the front door is probably the back door. We were discussing this with a neighbour just this week and she said she thinks of the backdoor as the one at the kitchen so its probably right that what I think is the front door is actually the back door.

Whenever Mrs afterwards and I need to reference one of the doors we generally point to it. Seems easier.

Anyway, as I wrote about here I recently sorted out the front door? Last weekend I sorted out the backdoor as it was also in need of some TLC. I will admit there were quite a few ‘backdoor’ jokes during the 5 hours it took me, none of which went down particularly well. Best I got from Mrs Afterwards was an eye roll I think.

Anyway this was the before and after. The surround took some serious filling and its a bit scruffy close up but from a distance I think it looks alright. Still going to add a transfer to the glass pane above the door with the house number on it (once I clean up the stray paint).

I painted the 2 stone teddies too.

So I think that makes me an official backdoor officianado. (Cue eye rolls).

And yes, there is a skip outside my house. Has been since March. Will be until July…

Corona Lock down Diaries – Tuthwedday – Renovations

Want me to sort your back door out?

When we bought this house 16 years ago we did so (or at least on my part) because it had a great garden and a wonderful cellar. Two weeks before lockdown we started a building project (which I will write about some when) to eventually turn the cellars into something usable, and the plan is to create a small gym, a TV room and put a toilet in. Oh and add a new entrance to the garden.

That work continues (with a 6 week off site in between) but inspired by the manliness of the chaps working still I thought I would have a crack at sprucing up the back door. Whilst I will willingly try my hand at DIY my track record is not great.

There was the time I tried to install a kitchen worktop and measured in centimetres but cut in inches. Took 2 weeks to get a new top delivered and I had to prop it up with a broom. Or the time the oven door handle broke and I bolted an old coffee table leg onto it. I thought it was genius. Mrs Aftewards disagreed. Oh and there was that one time I thought I could tile the shower. It had more undulations that a scenic drive out into the country. So as willing as I am I just seem to actually know what I am doing.

Oh that reminds me of when I thought I could change the taps in the kitchen. We had to keep a bucket under the sink to catch the post installation leaks. I thought that was a perfectly reasonable solution. Again, Mrs afterwards suggested that perhaps it was not.

Anyway, inspired by all the handiness going on in the house I renovated the back door. Yes I accidentally painted it grey instead of blue, but I think it looks ok. We have blue paint but for some reason I just picked up the wrong paint. It has been suggested I did not listen and I will admit that may carry a degree of truth.

So with some filling, priming, painting and sealing I spent a couple of days last weekend sorting it out. On close inspection there are things I would do better and that I will apply when I do the front door, but with the added paining of the handrail and the addition of some lights I think it looks okay.

Keep on living that lockdown dream!

Fluctuating Follies – Exodus 0.3

A continuation of a start of something perhaps…Just trying to get my juices flowing again

Michelle does a load of great prompts each month. I used to do a lot but less so now. Ill try get back into them I think. Theyre often just snippets of things and seldom more. This one is the glimmer of an idea I needed to get down on paper, using the prompts as ca bit of an idea spark – and like everything else I pretty much just share it whether done or not.

Part 1 of this is here

Part 2 is here

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Admiral Kent stood legs akimbo, hands on hips as he cast his gaze over the bank of screens laid out before him.

“How do I look Fisher?” he asked turning slowly, his once chiselled physique now like too much sausage meat squashed into too little skin.

“Regal Sir” Fisher lied.

“Really? Are you sure?” He placed one hand on a nearby desk and leaned nonchalantly, turned his head as if to look wistfully into the distance. Perhaps at a herd of reindeer on a hill side. He did rather like reindeer. “You don’t think it would look better if I were a little more… relaxed?”

“No not at all sir” Fisher insisted clasping her clipboard tight. “I think you look very imposing sir.”

“Imposing you say?” Kent liked that. He smiled and assumed his previous pose, sucking in his stomach. “And what time will the artist be here?” He asked turning his head so that what he regarded as his good side got what little light there was from the copper wall sconces scattered around the room.

“He’s already here sir. You asked to see Cole first though.”

“I did, I did yes of course. And is my dress uniform ready? I do want to look my best for my portrait.”

“Yes sir, it’s in your quarters.” Said Fisher, her knuckles white as she gripped her clipboard even harder. The lengths she had gone to for her stripes and here she was baby sitting this deluded fool of a man on a pointless mining outpost.

“And the hat too? You haven’t forgotten that right?”

“Hat too sir. Yes.”

“Jolly good. Please send Cole in…”

Cole entered the room and brushed past Fisher. She bristled as he came near and glared at him, nostrils flared. Cole really had no idea why she hated him so much. That is not to say that he did not know why she hated him, he did. But how much she seemed to despise him did seem excessive. He did sometimes wonder if it was displaced passion or maybe an unrequited love kind of thing and all that pining for a lovers touch shenanigans. It could also have been the way he treated her back in flight school. Who knew really, it was one or the other. He never could tell with women, they were a curious thing to him.

Cole continued past Fisher, stopped in front of the Commander and saluted. “You asked to see me Commander Kent?”

The Com turned slowly from where he had been staring at nothing in particular at the other side of the room. It was something he liked to practice as he felt it gave off quite the impressive dramatic effect as he turned back slowly.

“Ah yes, Cole, thank you for coming” he said.

Cole waited. Kent said nothing.

Cole shuffled and looked around as Kent continued to say nothing, again practising his dramatic delivery. He was getting very good at it he thought to himself.

Cole continued to wait uncomfortably, wondering whether the Com had perhaps suffered a stroke. Or perhaps some sort of neural embolism. A newb pilot in his squadron during the Martian wars had suffered some sort of mental schism at the onset of a sortie to scout a Martian moon base, and when his autopilot brought him home the lights had been well and truly turned off and he was most definitely not home anymore.

“Good to see you Cole” Kent said, the dramatic pause apparently concluded. “How have you been?” Cole opened his mouth to speak but Kent didn’t wait for an answer. “You’re going to be heading a mission out beyond the mining belt.” He continued quite matter of fact.

“I see” said Cole surprised. “To where exactly Sir? There’s a whole lot of nothing out there. And some pretty ‘awful somethings’.”

Fisher’s customary scowl broke into something close to a smile. Just getting beyond the belt was dangerous enough given your proximity to Mars, and beyond that very few Earth ships went since the war.

“Well, that’s just the thing Cole, I don’t really know. Orders came through from High Command and that’s really all I know. They asked for you specifically, seems you have something of a reputation and they felt you were the right man for the job. Whatever the job is.”

“And what is the Job Sir?” Cole pressed.

“Absolutely no idea” Kent said, his voice trailing away as he turned slowly away to stare once more into the distance. “That’ll be all Cole, Fisher will give you more details. Departure set for tomorrow at zero eight hundred.”

Fisher grinned as Cole turned without saluting and heading slowly towards where she stood. Her small dark eyes seemed to dance in a way that Cole was certain her body certainly could not.

“Oh and Fisher” Said Kent as Cole reached the door.

“Yes Sir?” Said Fisher tucking her clipboard under her arm and drawing herself to attention.

“You will make sure you make that I have my hat before you go right?

“Go sir?” Fisher said quizzically.

“Yes, really do need it for the picture you know and they asked for you for the mission too so really don’t want you to forget it. I did mention that didn’t I?”

“No Sir, you didn’t” Fisher answered, the smile now disappeared from her face.

“Oh I am Sorry” Kent said. “Really should have mentioned it before now, my memory can be quite terrible at time. Anyway, good luck to both of you, and don’t forget the hat before you go.”

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Here are a few others from way back

https://afterwards.blog/2019/03/11/harvest-room-101/

https://afterwards.blog/2019/03/11/harvest-room-101/

https://afterwards.blog/2019/10/07/the-fizzled-enchantment-and-other-stories-of-ruin-room-101/

Turning

Read the word ‘Fluctuate’ somewhere on my reader and it triggered this…

Between the tides he fluctuates

The stir of dreams, the love and hate

seems far too late a pause he takes

And break the silence, then to wait

But echo’s are all that returns

While soul it yearns and passion burns

Like fire, fierce, consumes and turns

Man into cinders, so he learns

To quell the cravings, quiet the hate

Embrace the now, love out of reach

And leaves but footsteps on the beach

Corona Lock down Diaries – Day Eleventytwelve – Green Fingers

In an English country garden…

I’ve never been one for gardening, the extent of my green fingered interests lying mostly with occasionally mowing the lawn and popping to the tip to throw away all the dead plants Mrs Afterwards bought in an attempt to brighten up the back way.

About 2 weeks before lockdown we started a building project, a cellar conversion is underway with a new entrance meaning the builders had to dig our where previously I was cultivated a lovely collection of weeds, hosepipes and rusting bicycles. As they dug out for the steps and the new door they discovered a mass of old stone which seemed to have been used as backfill when the house was built in 1906. Driven, I think, by my love of cutting corners and looking for shortcuts I insisted that they not worry about moving it but to leave it and I would instead build a rockery.

I then went away to research rockeries.

Anyway, long and not particularly interesting story short, Ive spend the past many weeks putting together what I think passes as one (who knows how long has passed – we are, as you know, in lockdown time and that doesn’t move like real time) . Something I am sure will be proven by bearded scientists in years to come in an attempt to explain just how it was possible that people got so fat during quarantine when they swear they went for a long walk everyday and ate lots of salad.

There was membrane laying. rock piling, soil carting, plant planting, fountain fitting, light fitting and pebble placing. The photos below show my progress.

I would note that as pretty as I think it looks, I am currently having some problems with finding it all a little creepy and unnerving. The plants (I just went for alpines and succulents) are spreading at a phenomenal rate. The succulents doubled in size in a week and I swear to Jeebus they sing this sweet little song when I look at them but I know that they want to lay spores inside my orifices and control me and make me do their bidding.

Fuck them! Might just lay a patio.