My wellbeing journey – March Results

Screw you March.

First things first. Screw March. That’s right, you and the horse you rode in on.

Now that that’s out of the way let’s see how it went last month shall we.

Look, it wasn’t a bad month. I have had worse. I have had month’s where it feels like I have single handedly supported the chocolate industry through challenging trading conditions. There were periods where I am certain that I ensured a healthy dividend pay-out to Krispy Kreme shareholders. And there were times when my expanding girth definitely kept nimble fingered small children in far-eastern sweatshops gainfully employed as I was forced to replace my wardrobe with less ill fitting garments.

It was just a month where things just felt …meh.

Yes I managed to do 12000 steps a day at least, and mostly I drank plenty of water every day. I even managed to maintain a relatively normal amount of calories. So like I said, not a bad month. It just felt rather out of control and by chance and not at all focussed. I think I concentrated too much on simple calorie intake rather than focussed meals which left me eating lots of snacks or in-between type of food instead of prepared meals (during the day at least as most nights I have a Hello Fresh meal ready to prep and devour).

I just found it all rather annoying as I know I can do better.

So this month I have started with a renewed focus on balancing my intake and ensuring I have a good balance of Carbs, proteins, fat and fibre. (though I may have threatened to do that last month too). I am also increasing my calorie intake as have been doing some research and think I need to eat more. Sounds daft right, but we shall see whether increasing my calories by around 500 (but focussing on balance inputs) makes a difference.

That said, it’s Easter this weekend so there has been a ton of chocolate around so my balance may be a little off for a couple of days. I simply cannot resist a Cadburys cream egg. I just can’t so I don’t even try.

Anyway, so after 10 months I remain about 22Kg(48 pounds) down from where I started. Not bad I guess. Could have been better but then again, could have been a hell of a lot worse.

My wellbeing journey – February Results

It’s weigh in day for February…drum roll please.

You can read the kick off post here

Let’s get straight to it shall we.

  1. Steps: I achieved my target of 15000 a day every day, with a high of 21000 steps and a low of 15010.

2. I was aiming to fast intermittently and eat between 12pm and 6pm. Probably achieved it half of the time. Life just gets in the way and I kind of don’t beat myself up about it. There may be physiological benefits to it but mostly it just feels like skipping breakfast and not snacking at night. I guess that doesn’t have the same ring as ‘intermittent fasting’ does it. It does help me be disciplined though and that I really do like.

3. Limiting my calorie intake to 2000 a day at the very most. I Hit this most of the time. I track pretty accurately using the Samsung Health app and at least know when I go over and why. I don’t limit anything so eat what I like mostly and try to maintain a deficit of 500 calories a day with the aim of losing 0.5KG/1Lb a week because I am looking for something sustainable – not quick gains. I could probably lose more weight faster given I am pretty active but I love food. And eating. And fat…and sugar…and mmmm I think there is an open carton of custard in the fridge that I might eat tonight!

4. Drinking 2 litres of water every day. Yup pretty much on track there. My old man bladder doesn’t always thank me but it’s apparently good for me right. Right? Stupid 4am pee wake up call!

So there you have it. Things work. I think thoughmostly it comes down to consistency and not throwing in the towel when I eat an entire packet of hobnobs. Don’t know what they are? They’re a bit like crack cocaine – just with more oats and sugar.

Oh I didn’t say what weight I lost did I. Think it was about 2.5 kg – that’s in the 5Lb range. So in total that is now about 22kg/48LBS. (That includes about 10LBS that I have to lose twice because I indulged like a Roman Emperor over Christmas). In total that’s about the weight of an adult clouded Leopard. Seriously. Look it up…

1.So what will I do differently in March? 3 things I think:

2.Be a little tighter on my calorie intake and try to stay at 2000 more consistently. Try run a bit more. Maybe 4 times a week – just to work on my heart health.

3.Eat a bit more protein and a bit less carbohydrates. I need a bit better balance of things (according to the food tracker) as I have been eating a lot of pasta, bread, rice (and rice cakes, my god I eat a lot of those).

My wellbeing journey – The EASTER Tree Edition

More pretty tree-ness

You can read about the start of the tree journey here. If you cannot be bothered then long story short, we have left a Christmas tree up and will decorate it seasonally all year long because why the hell not. 🙂

So onto the most recent decorating shenanigans. We have embraced spring and gone full on Easter. Some yellow ribbon and plastic bunnies and eggs mostly though I think there will be chocolate eggs added in due course. If I can resist eating them all within minutes of going up.

Me and the youngest put it together yesterday and I think it looks nice. Mrs Afterwards said it was lovely and we have made a good effort and she will finesse it later I am sure. And by finesse I mean do it properly rather than it looking like there has been an Easter explosion.

So there you go. Bunnies on the tree and some pretty hanging bunnies around the fire place. It will likely be up until the end of April when we will transition to Star Wars with star wars day being the 4th of May.

Might be odd to some but hey, makes me happy!

My wellbeing journey – January Results

It’s weigh in day…drum roll please…

You can read the kick off post here

So, for January I set out to only eat between 12 and 6, to eat around 2000 calories a day and do 10000 steps. Simple right? So let’s get straight to the results shall we.

On the fasting front it was a bit hit and miss. I stopped using the ‘Fastic’ app when my phone broke and I think the lack of accountability (to the app) made me focus less so I missed quite a few days. Mostly I tend to just forget and I will be making breakfast for the family and suddenly I am munching on something purely by accident. Although there was the day I ate a whole box of fudge. That wasn;t an accident. I did it on purpose. I meant to do it. I wanted to do it. There was no way I could resist so I didn’t even try. Sorry, not sorry.

On the calories front I mostly averaged about 2 thousand. The Hello Fresh meals are helping me track more accurately and I use the Samsung Health tracker to record everything that goes in. There have been days when I haven;t done so well but I always try and recover the next day and don’t let one bad day ruin my efforts. There have been days when I ate a lot of cake, or a greasy takeaway or maybe I had a few beers that might have pushed my totals but I am happy with where I am in my head when it comes to food and that’s the important thing for me.

Steps was probably my biggest success and I did 1000 for the first few days but actually upped the target to 12000 as was pretty much doing this without too much effort. I did manage 20000 one day when instead of sitting at my desk for an hour long boring work call I walked on the treadmill for an hour on a boring work call. I am going to try and do more of that this month and have a target of 15000 a day. the majority of that will be done on the treadmill I think.

So before I tell you my weight loss, there were a few more things I challenged myself to do. Firstly I intend to finish a book each month, and by ensuring I read X number of pages a day I got through Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. I am a huge fan of the show and thought I ought to read the book. It left me feeling…hmmm…I will write more about that later I think. I felt stuff though, and that’s a good thing right.

I also tried to tie up television loose ends. Might sound daft but sometimes I get frustrated having started things and not finishing them so I made a concerted effort to finish a few things I had started. And it felt good. Perhaps it’s strange to think of watching TV as an achievement but it felt good none the less.

I finished Silicon Valley, which pretty much made me cry and I finished the Mandalorian Series 1 which makes me all warm and happy that it exists.

Oh and I tried to blog every day. I missed a day or two I think but mostly really happy with where I got to with that.

So all in all a good month. And I lost 5KG/11 LBS.

This month it’s very much the same, Food, steps, fast, watch, write but I also need to spend more time with the boys. We are all cooped up in the house together so it’s easy to take things for granted but they are getting older now and very easy to let a day go by and not really interact in a meaningful way, so I will attempt to do something about that.

So there you go. That was January.

Onwards to February!

My wellbeing journey – The Tree Edition

I think you might want to read this one. It’s not what you think. Or just look at the pictures.

You can read the kick off post here

I’ve written plenty about food and steps and sweating and eating cake in your underpants (well not an entire cake – it was more of a fruit loaf – so potentially 1 of my 5 a day) , but I’ve not written much about the mental health side of things.

That is mostly because I am not at all qualified to discuss such matters.

I know what I like though, and I know what makes me happy. And I know it is important to find happiness wherever we can in these upside down times. So to that end, and this is very exciting, we decided to leave the Christmas tree up all year! Kind of…

What we have left up is the tree with the lights on it. But the decorations have changed. Still with me?

It was suggested to me by someone at work, I think as a joke, that you could leave your tree up all year but just decorate it for whatever season it is or whatever takes your fancy.

Well people, joke or not, I give you – THE VALENTINES TREE!

I spend most of my day here in the converted cellar of the house, it’s where I work from home and at night it is where the family tends to congregate. We have decked the halls a little as well as doing the tree so right now it’s…well look – see what you think?

Might seem a bit daft but it gives me great pleasure and we are already looking forward to Easter, Family Birthdays, Star Wars (may the fourth (be with you)), Summer, Halloween, the Queen’s Birthday and who knows what else…

Happy (not) holidays indeed

Up Yours Christmas – 12 – The twelfth moan of Christmas

Next up, new year!

Christmas day comes at last to an end

dad’s been racist, your sis banged your friend

Grandad’s shit in his bed

“Gifts were garbage!” kids said

it was great though, let’s all just pretend

Up Yours Christmas – 9 – Oink Oink

And a pear martini in a pear tree…

It’s a slippery slope this Christmas period when it comes to dieting.  If the scales are to believe then cocktails are the most calorific foodstuff known to mankind.

Now I know I have had a lot in the last few days with a work Christmas night out and a party at our home but it seems the olympic nutritionalists out there are missing a trick because if you want to prepare for a marathon race or the 10000m against a pack of Ethiopians then you need to be preparing by quaffing half a dozed porn star martinis and a jug of woo woo.

You dont need high altitude training if you’re plannign on taking on the Chinese on the high board – you need a chocolate martini and a couple of white russians.  Need to have a crack at a couple of bulgarian wrestlers?  A purple rain is just the tonic.

I am going to try and do better in the run up to Christmas I really am, but if I slip then you know what I will simply declare that I am in training and watch out Mo Farah, I’m coming for you you skinny bastard!

20181213_1335595493630526059466935.jpg20181209_1642534608222121714430155.jpg20181213_1401381203518288920148533.jpg20181215_1255557340006078698239719.jpg20181215_172632977184618264903071.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up Yours Christmas – 7 – Old Saint Nicky limericky

Bringing you puppies and sweeties in his big blacked out van

He sneaks into your house late at night

while you sleep creeps around, lights shine bright

his full sack he then spills

neath your tree, oh such thrills

Then he enters your chimney, delight.

Up Yours Christmas – 5 – Family Gathering

Family and all that…

Each year I tend to see my family well before Christmas for our get together because my dad works away a lot of the time so we tend to fit it in where we can, and today was that day.

My parents were there, my sister and her husband and step daughter, my brother and his wife and two of his children and the 4 of us.  We don’t get together that often, perhaps a couple of times a year at best, and It was mostly as you would expect from a family gathering – there was food, the exchange of gifts and a few games before we all headed or seperate ways again.

The top highlights for me though were, in no particular order:

My dad announcing rather loudly and somewhat proudly that he must go and have a poo as the gift unwrapping started.  We didn’t wait as he tends to be a lingerer.

I commented that my nephew looks like his mum (not my brothers current wife) and he amusingly asked whether he really looked like an alcoholic middle aged woman.  And if you are wondering yes he does.  Not a great look for a 16 year old.

My vegetarian wife being warned that one of the cheesy pastry things was best avoided as it had pepperoni in it and she should instead have one of the other ones.  Turns out that that one only had really small pieces of ham in it so it’s almost meat free.

When playing games the question was “name 3 ways to make a baby stop crying.”  My niece offered “Feed it, sing to it, give it a bottle.”  My eldest offered “Stab it.”  Quite a lot of disturning baby murder jokes ensued.

Family eh!  Happy early Christmas…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up Yours Christmas – 4 – Meat

Okay so Jesus never said that but he might have.

Oh bring me your turkey, it’s anus and gizzards

it’s Christmas and we need to eat

this fellow was killed and hung up on a cross

so rejoice with some servings of meat

 

I’ll have sweet panda sausage and lashings of gravy

a pie made of puppies and cats

and some spicy kebabs made of hamsters and gerbils

and a bbq sauce made of rats

 

Give me eagle wings sticky with dark sweet molasses

and elephant steaks thick and rare

and a slow roasted monkey with sides of plump rabbit

and a soup full of grilled koala bear

 

maybe curry with kittens or maybe a souffle

of lightly browned mice or some sparrow

and a serving of horse topped with mash and some carrots

or a stew with a soft llama bone marrow

 

And let’s not forget dishes with sauteed gorilla

and some spicy meat balls made of camel

for it’s Christmas you see and as Jesus once said

“Eat it up, oh rejoice, cook than mammal!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up Yours Christmas – 3 – Friends and Family

Families eh!

Snow Crisp, blue skies, mulled wine, mince pies

wonder seen in children’s eyes

and gifts unwrappd with such surprise

in the hearth a fire burns

 

And family travels many miles

break bread together, warmest smiles

’tis season now to reconcile

as slowly seasons turn

 

And bellies full and drink it flows

facades they fade and contempt grows

and pretty soon they come to blows

past sleights so soon return

 

And dad gets smashed, insults son’s wife

siblings argue, filled with strife

and mother cries, she hates her life

for someone else she yearns

 

And she says he’s “just like his dad”

Then he protests “well youre mum’s mad!

and when she’s dead I will be glad!”

and children lessons learn

 

of family feuds and anger lingers

whilse drunken uncle Albert fingers

his own anus, in the bathroom lingers

without care or concern

 

They scream and shout, insults and hate

and cry and sob but it’s too late

the damage done, ain’t Christmas great

when will we ever learn…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up yours Christmas – 2 – I saw mummy

Dear Santa

I saw you kissing mummy underneath the mistletoe last night just like in the song which was very exciting. Or at least she said it was you.

I must say I didn’t know that there was a Jamaican Santa. You must get cold because you didn’t have a shirt or trousers on so will be having a word with my friend Kira who comes from Kingston and has never ever mentioned this.

I must say I do love your dreadlocks too.

I am surprised that mummy got any presents at all though because of how hard you were spanking her. She must have been very very naughty so its really kind of you to leave her something. Was it because she was begging for you to empty your sack so much? Probably right?

I don’t know why she was suggesting you dump everything down her chimney though because we live in Florida so dont have a fireplace. She has a terrible memory though and often forgets things like dinner and laundry . Was her forgetfulness why you kept asking her to say your name?

Anyway it was very kind of you to visit us especially because daddy is away with work so often.

Lots of love

James

P.s. She did actually share the presents with us even though you said she should take it all.

P.p.s She drank all the eggnog too I think because there was none left in the house but she did still have some on her chin. Greedy mummy.

.

Up Yours Christmas – 1 – Jingle Bells

Personally I love it but I know not everyone is a fan so here’s somethign different.

Night still and calm all through the night

They travel ‘cross the skies

And pull their load for girls and boys

For Christmas morn surprise

 

With Gifts wrapped bright such joy they bring

And never ever late

Beneath the tree their cargo sits

For youngsters to locate

 

And off once more away they set

God speed into the night

Unknownst to them below he has

Them firmly in his sight

 

He calms his breath and sets his sight

a finger on the trigger

and zooms right in above the heart

the target he makes bigger

 

For meat he craves, and prey to hunt

A quarry none have taken

This year it’s reindeer meat he craves

A sausage wrapped in bacon

 

Or chops or ribs or tender flank

Or maybe steak’s the answer

Or Rudolph snout or Blitzen pie

Or lightly sautéed Dancer

 

He holds his breath, squeezes a shot

that echoes in the night

and watches, slowly as it snows

and ends their lives mid flight

Diet o’clock 26th of November

What a perfectly normal post. feels odd really. Even a little dirty, like I’m role playing being an adult…

Right so there’s just about time to do another month of whole30 before Christmas give or take a day.  The last few months have been a bit on off for all manner of reasons but I am feeling motivated to have another round and get things back on track.

Looking back I feel so much better that I did when I started in July with my energy noticeably improved, I am sleeping better and obviously weight wise it has been a winner too.  I have discovered all sorts of things I enjoy to eat (I’m looking at you here guacamole) and my family are enjoying some of the benefits too but I do think I could have done better.

So for the next 30 days I am going to do my damnedest to give it one big push and I shall share the experience more often that just weekly…Might be tricky in the run up to Christmas but if I can do it until the 24th then I know I can do it any time.

So how has today gone?  Well I missed breakfast as was on the school run and straight after I popped to do some grocery shopping.  I decided to stay away from red meat but did stock up on fish and a little chicken too.  I bought a ton of vegetables and already had lots of fruit in too.

For lunch I made a salad with mackerel, tomoatoes, onion, salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and you know what, it was bloody gorgeous.  For those that like to count calories the fish was about 330 and the other bits take it to maybe 500 in total.  I also had an apple, a pink lady, which is my favourite.  The mackerel is just the sort that is vacuum packed so probably not perfectly whole30 but meh, I was shopping at LIDL it’s hardly the easiest place to shop…

Anyway, taste wise it was fabulous and as I have half a pack of the fish left I am going to have it for my tea tonight too.

The biggest challenge today has been resisting the rice pudding sat in the fridge that I made yesterday.  I did it with paella rice and oh god it is so delivious, especially this time of year when its so chilly out, but resist I did 🙂

 

20181126_112820849296127221296800.jpg

Michael