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.
It’s been a bot of a tough week on a few fronts. Diet fronts. Wellbeing fronts.
I had my Covid jab last Sunday. The first of 2 I was booked in for, and curiously, it was down to my weight that I was bumped up the queue. Last time I was weighed by the doctor I was significantly heavier than I am now so my BMI qualified me to be classified as ‘ridiculously fat’ ( I don’t believe that’s a medical classification – though I may be wrong) which means you get to be jabbed sooner for fear that you’ll clog up a hospital bed if you catch Covid and you’ll be a bloody nightmare to turn in your bed if you’re intubated given your girth and just how tricky it is to get a good purchase on flabby bits. Okay so again, my opinion not that of a medical professional.
Anyway, I will admit to finding it considerably more emotional than I had expected and sat in the waiting room afterwards (to ensure that I didn’t grow a second head) it was quite something. It was almost a year to the day that we first went into lockdown and here I was, receiving a jab. What a long year it’s been.
Okay Michael, get to the point – these nice people have places to be.
All week I have felt pretty knackered and hungry and every bone in my body has ached like a proper bastard. Head, shoulders, knees and toes. The entire song. Extra verses included including the oft unsung one about the coccyx.
Ive also been hungry. Like day after drinking hungry. Late night fridge visit hungry. Handfuls of cake and cream squirted straight into my mouth hungry. And really thirsty too. And my weight rocketed. I’m not worried that I put on weight, you cannot put on 7Lbs(3KG) in less than a week – so I know my body is doing something on its own without my permission.
So yes, a curious experience indeed. I am feeling better today and despite feeling achy as hell I have still managed my 15000 steps each day – apart from the day after the jab when I felt proper rough and it was cold and raining like buggery.
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).
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.
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.
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…
I like to cook. Not as much as I like to eat, but obviously one tends to come before the other. Do it the other way round and you’re likely to suffer from Ecoli or bum worms or something equally horrid.
Anyway, lockdown has meant that I am cooking even more than ever and the youngest one day sent me a link explaining all about Hello Fresh and why it would be a good idea. I think they were growing tired of the same old stuff and to be honest they were probably right. I have a set number of things I can cook, and whilst I own a whole load of cook books, I often just revert to what I know for sake of expediency.
So given find it hard to say no to my children on most things we were signed up in a flash.
If you haven’t seen Hello Fresh before it is a service where they send you just enough food to make a certain number of meals each week (including recipe cards). You pick the meals by a certain day, from a selection of about thirty on an app, and a few days later a box arrives. Seems simple really.
I’d like to say I did research, compared prices, made a considered choice. I’d also like to say I am 6ft tall and look great in skinny jeans. Neither of these things are true. I am compulsive and often wasteful and were I to don skinny jeans I imagine my legs would look like sausage skins that had been overfilled.
So anyway the box arrives and my first thought was “ooh that looks nice”. There were pots of spices and saches of sauce, all carefully portioned out , and the meat and veg looked fresh and clean. My second thought was “Im going to be rather hungry “. No way was this enough food for three people (me and the boys) for 4 meals. (Mrs Afterwards is not partaking as she is vegetarian and her favourite flavour is bland, so it was not for her.)
The youngest is now in charge of cooking everything (small hands make light work, right?), so we get stuck in and whip up the first meal. The recipe cards are easy to follow and in no time at all we have ourselves sea bream and rice and bits of greenery and veg strewn through it.
And it was gorgeous. And shockinlgy there was plenty of it. I would definitely have bought twice as much to make this meal and likely thrown a lot away, or it would have sat in the fridge spoiling. So when it comes to saving on waste its definitely a winner.
The ingredients were all really good and with the exception of a lemon that was as dry as Queen Victoria’s dirty love trumpet (I don’t know why I added the word dirty there – that in itself feels rather dirty) and a potato that looked like a Syphilitic Jimmy Nail. (Though it might actually have come from Morrisons Supermarket as I did mix the potatoes up – so I could be being unfair.) I like the idea of not having to have loads of bottles of things like hoisin sauce and soy sauce and tubs of sesame seeds and such. I have just enough for the meals and that works for me. I still have a bottle of fish sauce going back about 12 months that I have no idea what to do with. What the hell is it even? I guess the name says it all but still, who the devil needs a sauce made out of fish. Sounds horrid.
So you want to know about price right? Well I got a huge discount of the first box and significant ones on the next lot so it was only about £25 for the week. At full price it will come in at about £3.70 a meal I think. Whilst I could do it cheaper if I shopped I am sure, this is still not much off the cost of one of those meal deals at our local Co-Op store. There it’s £3.50 I think for a sandwich, crisps and a coke.
So balancing up cost, ease of us, reduction in waste and not forgetting deliciousness and variety I am absolutely sold on it. Throw in how involved my youngest has been about cooking (though he now wants his own knife set!) I think I am sold on it most definitely. There are apparently other services out there like Gusto, which I might try, but for the next few weeks I shall be getting the most out of this and hopefully trying loads of new things I would never have bought otherwise.
Oh and calories. I forgot about that. Obviously I am mindful of what I put into this flabby, balding and mostly dilapidated temple of mine. The menus are pretty clear about what this costs when it comes to my calorie deficit efforts and with light versions available (less than 600 calories) and even the cheesier and meatier options we have had coming in at around 800 calories I am more than happy defiling this wobbly shrine of mine with it’s delicious goodness.
Oh and I will slip this in at the end. Not because I want you to but because you can if you want to, it’s really up to you. Your experience with it might be awful so I take no responsibility for it. But, if you want £20 off your first box then there’s a link below. I get £20 too. That said I imagine there are better deals out there as I got 60% off my first box and 35% off my next 3 just by searching online.
This week it’s been all about steps. 10000 a day to be precise.
It’s been snowing and rather icy so chances to get outside have been limited given that whilst the dog enjoys it there does come a point where he is thinking “Bloody hell, just go out on your own its awful out there.”
I’ve had to hit the treadmill a few times, especially one night when it was bed time and I still had 3000 to go. Not be be defeated I fired up the Reebok Jet 300 and got to walking. Wanting to hurry things up I sped things up a little and tried a bit of running. It’s really rather tiring and I still have quite a lot of jiggly bits so also not the most pleasant of experiences. Anyway so I ran for a while then somehow settled into another walk that was actually faster than I was running. Faster and faster it went until I panicked thinking I was about to fall, be knocked out and as I was not wearing the safety cut off chord I would be found dead in the morning, half of me grated away into a bloody pulp.
Plus I would have missed my 10000 steps, so I slowed it down, put on something to walk and marched mindlessly until the counter ticked over…goal achieved!
Annoyingly I did actually miss it one day. I had taken my watch off in the morning and probably missed a couple of thousand so was again a tad short. Only about a thousand. It was snowing outside and the dog looked at me with his “F*ck off and go walk yourself eyes” so I hit the treadmill and got myself within 50 or so steps of my target. Now I know I could have hit my target with another minute or so of walking but I was feeling the dog’s mood so didn’t, instead figuring the steps to bed woukld knock the remainder on the head.
Alas I did not check and in the morning I was 7 steps short. 7. So very annoying indeed. Ok so I know I did more than 10000 in the day with how many I hadn’t recorded in the morning but my smart watch does not. It simply looks at me with the judgemental look on it’s watch face as if to say, “Yeah, slacker, that’s why you have such lovely man boobs.”
Screw you smart watch!
Happy weekend people, here’s a few photos from our snow walks…
So its about ten days in and so far so good. Mostly. If you didn’t read my first post then…Oh just go read it, it’s a lot easier than me explainign again 🙂
Right so I guess you’re wondering how it is going?
Well, so far so good on the steps front and I have managed to hit my target of 10000 a day every day this year. I’m walking the dog a couple of times which makes it fairly easy and only once did I need to hit the treadmill at about half 11 at night when it was looking a bit iffy. I certainly feel better for it, though it’s been snowing a fair bit so my nipples have been like chapple hat pegs as I drag the pooch up hill and down dale in sub zero temperatures. I couldn’t really fail in the first week now could I.
I set myself a target of 2000 calories a day for the most I have managed it. There was one night where I was presented with the deliciousness of pistachio Turkish delight and I did not even try to resist it. I ate it all. I actually took every piece from the box as had already achieved my steps and I knew I would eat it all so why waste the effort of getting off my backside to get more.
I knew I should resist but I know myself too well.
I have 2 go-to’s most days that help me with a disciplined start to what I eat. Muller light yoghurt with no sugar muesli is my preferred way to start the day, whatever time I start eating, and chocolate rice cakes are my snack of choice. I did eat 10 one day though so I am not sure that’s quite the balanced diet I am going for. They’re just so damned good though.
Eight glasses of water a day has been pretty easy and I put a glass in the bathroom so there’s this kind of pee/drink cycle going on down in the cellar where I spend most of my day. Hmm, that sounds really nasty doesn’t it. To be clear, I am not drinking my own pee. The water in there is particularly cold so it’s my tap of choice.
And then there’s the fasting. I aim to eat between 12pm and 6pm and most of the time I do okay. I will admit that I just forget. I make the kids or the dog breakfast and before you know it I have a mouth full of food without realising. (I feed the dog buttered toast in the morning, I don’t eat dog food. Okay so sometimes I will test the biscuits if he really likes them because I am curious if they’re that great).
So there you go, ten days in and I think I am doing okay. I have energy, I am sleeping well and I think I am losing weight (I’m not weighing in until the end of the month for fear of not having lost weight and losing motivation).
I have though been a bit achy and think that might be because I’ve been more active so am thinking I might try a bit of yoga. Or Pilates. I’m not sure though, I will likely look like I have fallen and cannot get up if someone comes in and I’m on the floor huffing and puffing.
Ooh wonder what my arse would look like in yoga pants? Probably like a sack full of fighting rats.
Okay so here we go, new year, new me, all those things we say on the first of a year, or the first of the month, or a Monday. Or perhaps after eating a whole bar of chocolate whilst sitting on the toilet.
Not that I’ve done that. Not a whole bar anyway.
Ive written plenty about my journey this year, and if you’re new here just scroll back and you’ll find details of my journey in between the dirty limericks and other bits and pieces I have been posting.
Anyway, I have given this section a new name which I think makes sense and am going to attempt to share a little more regularly on the matter as the weeks progress, counting down to my 50th in November.
It’s always easy to get going as everyone knows, but keeping it up is the challenge. To get me into the swing of things and through this first week I have set myself 4 key goals.
10000 steps a day, whether out walking the dog or on the treadmill
Intermittent fasting, restricting my time to eat to between 12pm and 6pm
Limiting my calorie intake to 2000 a day at the very most
Drinking 2 litres of water every day
My aim is to lose another 60LBS (not sure how long it will take) but more important are trying to ensure I make permanent(ish) lifestyle changes.
So that’s it really. I’ll share how I get on and hopefully you will find it of interest. Or maybe you fancy doing it yourself? Up to you.
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 🙂
Okay so it’s going to be a challenging day. I am afraid to head downstairs right now…
Last night I had a few friends over to play poker and have a few drinks. I was mostly restrained and had a small pizza, thin crust, and just two beers and a couple of rum and ginger ales. Oh, and a few snacky things, but nothing major and whilst not Whole30 I was kind of finished with the last 30 days so for the most part I felt good that I hadn’t gone crazy.
Alas though there is a ton of pizza leftovers in the fridge right now and I do not know if I am strong enough to resist it. It doesn’t help that there is little else in the fridge as I need to go shopping. If I go downstairs right now I think it will all go to shit and I will be eating cold baked bean pizza (yes that’s really a thing at our local place) and making dirty groaning sex noises before you know it.
I dont think I can even take a photograph to show you it’s that tempting…
Perhaps I can get dressed and just head out the back door and avoid the kitchen completely as I need to go into town. Oh bugger no I cant, the keys are in the kitchen.
I think I shall ask the kids to fetch them for me. That might work…
So after confessing to having a bad month I girded my loins, did a healthy shop, planned my meals meticulously and then prompty ate most of a bloody cake again.
This was no accidental cake though, no slip of the tongue, no unintentional mountain of chocolate goodness, this was a cake of my own making. One minute I am wondering what ingrediants I have in the pantry and the next minute its an avalance of eggs, sugar, butter and a ton of chocolate and caramel which is filling the house with a heady and intoxicating cocoa scent.
I told myself I wouldn’t eat it, just make it, but I am a damned chocolate mouthed liar and the sweet batter was barely mixed before I was shovelling it into my my mouth like a crack whore desperate for a fix. The whole time I convince myself that this is just for the enjoyment of others but deep down I knew I would end up eating it by the damning light of the fridge in the middle of the night.
By the time the butter cream had been smothered all over it was just too difficult to resist and any slim resistance I might have been holding onto was gone and I succumbed.
God it was good…
Lets try have a better week eh. I have bought a ton of prunes and seeds and stuff which I am certain cannot be baked into anything pleasant at all.
Well October was a bit of a loss really. I didn’t do terribly I just kind of lost focus with everything that was going on and found it hard to stick to things as I had been for the Previous few months.
I travelled a fair bit with work to Cardiff and London and Chester so that is always a bit of a problem when trying to find something healthy and yes, there was that time I had 3 pints of Guinness at three in the afternoon and by the time I got to the station I was ‘drunk hungry’.
Drunk hungry is the type of hungry that causes you to burn your mouth on a Cornish pasty that has a filling as hot as molten lava as you gorge on it near a train station toilet before it is safe to consume and to then wash that down with a sausage roll and a rather large Bounty.
Maybe I should call it ‘Dr-ungry’.
Actually, there was the incident with the salted caramel cheese cake which needed ice cream to make it less sweet. And that sticky toffee pudding that I ordered when I forgot that I am still rather fat. Oh and that time I ate most of a cake. Hey, it was a small one before you get all judgy. Only fed 6 I reckon. 6…pfft.
So, those things aside it was just a case of a bit of this here and a smidgen of that there and before you know it Ive put on maybe 2 pounds (which ain’t much given I have lost over 30 in the preceding 3 months) but I should have done better.
It is November now though and what better than to reboot things on the first of a month right? I’ll let you know how it goes…
I haven’t posted about this for a while have I. To be fair I haven’t really posted much for the last three weeks on my blog generally.
Work and life and just general stuff got in the way of writing so I put writing on hold and with that it seems I did the same with my diet. This is not to say that I blew it, I didn’t, but I did not have the same rigour I had had previously. Where I may have had a salad before I now had a salad sandwich. Where I would have had a diet coke I had a couple of Guinness and oh, there was that day when I ate all the kids pepperami’s and told each of them the other had eaten them and then berated them both for lying. Little buggers.
I did discover that I really like Guinness too though I don’t know why I never tried it before. Perhaps it’s because I prefer my drinks brightly coloured with umbrellas and Guinness seems such a manly drink to me. If you were going to get into a fight and had the choice of having a Guinness or a strawberry daquiri as back up it would be Guinness every time. Guinness probably did karate when it was younger and is a bit lively in a scrap outside of a kebab shop at 2 in the morning. Not that daquiri doesn’t have it’s place, but it’s more of a bitchy cat fight and a good hair pull.
Anyway, whilst I do love the whole 30 thing it does require you to shop and cook properly and if you let things slip and the fridge runs low it is pretty hard to stay on track. I’ve started shopping twice a week to prevent that happening and am now just about back on track.
Oh apart from yesterday when I went to this little place that sells South African stuff an ended up stuffing my face with Tomato Fritos which you cannot get over here. Actually, England has a real dearth of tomato flavoured things in general.
Let’s see how the next week goes shall we. I am still about 33 pounds down on where I started three months ago so still happy with that.
This week seems to have passed me by and I am not sure where it went. I was off work with the boys as it is the last week of the summer holidays. Early on in the week we headed to Wales for a few days and headed up Mount Snowden and had a mooch around Wales. Back end its been back to school shopping and getting all of those things done I wanted to do these 6 weeks.
With everything we had on I’ll admit I haven’t given much thought to food really. We stopped off at a place next to the motorway on the way there and faced with eating something I would likely kick myself for or nothing at all I went for nothing. When we got to the top of the mountain there was mostly pies on offer so I had a bite of each of the boys and that was enough. They had ice cream and I didn’t.
Now in the past this would have felt like a victory, and perhaps it is , but I was actually quite happy waiting until I could get something I really wanted.
There is certainly something of a change in my thinking and whilst there is a long way to go I am happy that for the most part I keep trying to make the right choices.
Oh and then I ate a gigantic gummy worm. I mean freaking huge.
As weeks go this was considerably better than last and I found myself generally not thinking about food much after I ensured I did the shop and made sure there was plenty in to prevent myself feeling peckish.
And then a friend of mine brought around the curry.
He worked for me a couple of years ago and I supported him through some pretty tough times when he had cancer and thankfully he is in remission. His mum was always grateful of how I supported him too and has often expressed that gratitude through the most delicious medium of food.
Given that it was Eid this week she sent what I can only describe as a box of pure bliss. There was no way that I was saying no to any of it and I will happily have my life shortened for the goodness that was inside.
In the first box were the most delightful pieces of chicken, samosas, kebabs, mushroom rice, lamb chops and chicken pasta. The second held a quite fragrant and spicy Thai green curry and in the third was one of the most delicious things (that I had never had before) in sweet rice.
He was barely out of the door before I had the kids downstairs and we were tucking in. We had already had dinner but like hobbits we were most keen on the idea of second dinner and tucked in. All thoughts of calories and points and whole food went out the window and instead I simply enjoyed a meal as delicious as any I have had in a long time and you know what? I am most glad I did.
Well I am nearing the end of another month of Whole30 and whilst the weight loss has not been as good as the first I continue to enjoy it immensely. Well apart from last week at least.
I neglected to go shopping on Sunday for reasons I cannot recall but before I knew it I was running short of all sorts of stuff and time seemed to get away from me. I also started a new job on the Monday so things were just pretty hectic. I wasn’t eating badly, just cobbling things together or compromising here and there and I quite suddenly found myself thinking about food more than I had been.
Well, by Friday I was like a man possessed. By the time I got home from work I could think of nothing but eating. Everything. I didn’t care what it was, I was ready to eat it.
Salsa from the belly button of a syphilitic tramp? Yeah count me in. Horse scrotum hot dogs in week old buns? Yes freaking please. Flame grilled just-about-anything from a sexual deviant’s food truck smothered in his extra sticky ‘special sauce’. I’ll take two with some of those really really dirty fries.
Anyway I think you get the picture.
Fortunately the fridge was empty apart from some past its best garlic bread, a bottle of champagne and some Tiramasu, Now I may have been desperate enough to wolf down a milkshake made with Bridgette Nielsen’s 54 year old breast milk but I have to draw a line somewhere – I’m not a bloody animal and that stuff I cannot abide.
Anyway, by the time I had eaten 6 chicken thighs cooked with chorizo and a packet of Mr Ben’s quite delicious spicy rice the red mist faded and as I licked the last pickings from my fingers a sense of sanity returned.
I have since been shopping and have some fabulously yummy and healthy stuff in and all planned out for the week and feel it was a valuable lesson learned about myself and what triggers me.
Archaeologists recently confirmed my fatness outdates the internet mostly.
I have been fat for as long as I can remember. Or at least I believed I was. There has been the odd occasion where I definitely wasn’t but for the most part I have been.
I have always loved food, and still do, and I am going to assume that had something to do with it. I believe my nick name was officially ‘Fat Kid for a few years amongst a certain crowd when I was younger but if I recall correctly they were actually my closer friends and it didn’t last that long and whilst I would say it never bothered me it has stuck with me.
Thinking back before that I was broad shouldered and pretty handy at rugby growing up and through my teen years, and whilst not massive I always carried extra weight which helped on the pitch. I do remember joining a club after school and hearing one of the players comment in Afrikaans that it was good to have “another nice fat front rower’. Looking back at photos though, I don’t think I was that big. Certainly nowhere near where I am now.
I guess it is something I have always lived with, though I don’t quite recall my first diet. I t must have been quite some time ago because I found this when I was going through stuff in the cellar this week.
The oldies amongst you will recognise a 3.5 Inch drive and it seems that probably 18 years ago I was attempting to do something about things. Made me really question myself because 18 years is a bloody long time to get progressively fatter and fatter. I mean what was the world like in 2000?
Well there was the shenanigans over the Y2K bug – so I must have had that to worry about on top of having hefty man boobs, and I was likely sobbing into my breakfast cake as the final ‘Peanuts’ was published following the death of Charles M Schulz. Oh lordy, Bob The Builder was top of the charts here in the UK. I was likely comfort eating for sure.
I tried to remember making it but cant so am looking forward to firing up an old PC I still have to see what is on it. I do wonder what goal weight I set for myself. I’ll let you know
Now here’s a curious thing. The longer I remain focussed on what I put into my body (no – this is a diet post not one of the weird posts I am prone to do so stay with me) the less interested I become on food in general.
Food for me was a comfort, a reward, a treat but five or six weeks in and I find myself not only considerably less hungry than I have ever been but also less fixated on the deliciousness of it. Perhaps foolishly I watch quite a lot of cooking shows, and mostly ones that focus on desserts, and in the past these would have inspired me to chocolate and cream filled monstrosities of pure delight but now I am mostly filled with something of a sense of indifference. Perhaps at the time I think I might whip up a triple layered mousse cake or a dozen scones to be savoured in the bath or in the middle of the night but it soon passes.
That said, I have been making some ice cream, but that’s just because I am not getting through the milk and don’t have the heart to tell the milk man to deliver less. Oh and there were those cup cakes with the vanilla frosting. But those aside, I do feel generally less compelled to feed my face.
When I set out on this journey I wanted to love better, lose weight, teach my kids to eat better and to sort out my relationship with food. I don’t think I am there yet and would probably still rub Nutella all over myself when the cravings strike but things certainly do seem to be changing.
So the kids are enjoying their summer holiday and I am at home with them and am fast realising that that eating properly when at home all day is going to be quite the challenge. Whilst I have been able to be particularly disciplined when at work those same boundries melt away at home.
I feed the boys pretty healthy stuff for the most part and they are enjoying what I make but I know my youngest rather fancies learning to bake and I am actually pretty good at it. Thing is, fingers and spoons and bowls need to be licked and when I baked cup cakes a few weeks ago I was up to my elbows in butter cream and before I know it I was fingering my own mouth with frosted digits without even realising.
I will do my utmost to resist but there is a lifetime of habits to undo and you’d be surprised how often I have found myself eating cake in bed when all I meant to do was put the cat out.
I am continuing with the whole30 business because I am so enjoying it bit I think I have run into a bot of a problem.
Guacamole and Salsa.
Until recently I had only ever had the stuff you get from the store in small tubs, and it was only when I made it myself did I realise just what it could taste like. I was completely blown away and I actually feel a bit obsessed. For the last fortnight I have been making the stuff non stop and I find myself thinking about it rather more than I ought to. The minute I see a tomato or an avocado it sets me off and I feel qholly out of control for the stuff.
Even right now I am tempted to head downstairs and have a quick finger full.
I guess it’s better than standing in front of the fridge eating cake and stuffing biscuits in my mouth in the wee hours.
How can it be wrong when it feels so right. Right?
So, thirty days in let’s see what the scale has to say shall we.
So that’s it. Thirty days of whole30 done and dusted. It certainly has flown by and was nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be. Once I cracked the shopping bit and realised I might not meet absolutely every strict criteria on the organic front it was much easier.
Now there is so much I cold write about, and I will week by week, but for this post I think there are some high level goals that I would reflect on.
I wanted to generally feel better physically because I was feeling a bit rough and rather old and achy and you know what I do. My knees don’t ache like they did, the walk up the hill to walk no longer leaves me out of breath and overall I just feel far more comfortable in my body. Oh and my blood pressure seems to be improving so that’s a huge plus.
I wanted my family to eat better and they have. They are also more aware of the effects of food and are making their own decisions about what is good for them and which isn’t. They have both also lost a bit of weight whilst eating more than they ever did and seem happier and healthier for it. That isn’t to say they didn’t gobble down the cup cakes I made for them yesterday.
I wanted to lose some weight and I did. I need to lose lots more, and I now have some realistic targets, but losing weight was something I needed to do. I am not getting any younger and fall into the morbidly obese category I think – I probably don’t quite look it but I am. So how much I hear you ask? Well as if this morning I have lost 11.1kg in 30 days. That is just short of 25lbs I believe.
I know losing more wont go as quickly as this has gone and I am happy with that. I am more concerned with changing my lifestyle and my families and losing weight for the last time. I hope to lose another 45KG by the end of the year. I know that seems a lot but I can afford to lose it.
I am going to do another 30 days of this because I have enjoyed it so much and at the end of that I plan to do it again but this time I am going to start introducing things back into my diet. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Did I mention I am addicted to Salsa? Its been a revelation for me. That and Guacamole. I had only ever had stuff from the store and never made it myself. Oh god how good is it and why did no one ever tell me its that amazing!
Oh that bottom photo…I made a kind of coconut milk Ice Cream. Not particularly sweet but just cold enough to give me a bit of a desert when combined with pecans, banana and cinnamon.
Okay so four weeks in and just a couple of days to go until my 30 days is up. This week’s been pretty easy for the most part and things are starting to feel very much habitual and as the cupboards and shelves have been emptied of the things I should not be eating and I have been shopping regularly for the right stuff it has become progressively easier.
I know I am not quite buying all the proper organic stuff and whilst I do so where I can I don’t intend to beat myself up over it. I have eaten well and eaten lots and am starting to feel some real benefits.
I feel less bloated, which I noticed within days, but my energy levels seem to be much improved this last week and my knees are feeling much less painful than they were. The wright loss is starting to show which is always encouraging.
On the downside I am noticing a change in my breath so having to keep an eye on that and I seem to have developed an addiction to homemade salsa which whilst not the end of the world feels rather foreign.
Today was actually probably the only day where I wilfully decided to not be overly strict. We went to a food fair (bad Idea I know) and I ended up eating a slice of wood fired pizza an having a bite of our Toms burger and one of our Sam’s chicken wrap. I rather enjoyed it though I was super chuffed with myself that I didn’t indulge any more and for the rest of the day was back on it (with the exception of I think 4 nacho crisps).
Ill give you the numbers when I do my final weigh in on Tuesday morning…
Okay so three weeks in and still on track. Clothes fit better, my cravings seem to have gone and I am for the most part into the new routines of having to cook and wash up considerably more and go shopping far more than I ever did before.
I did find myself somewhat weary last week and I think my body has been getting used to not eating all the delicious stuff I used to put into it and is adjusting to something just wholly different.
One of the unexpected side effects has been how much I spend on food. I had expected to spend more but because I am now shopping more carefully and throwing very little away I am actually spending less for the family than ever before. I stopped shopping at Tesco (which I had been threatening to do for a while) and started going to Lidl and Aldi. That alone reduced the bill by about 40% and I’m probably another 20% better off because I am far more focussed on what we all eat and planning meals more carefully.
I do find I am not quite able to get all of the grass fed or organic stuff I would like but I am not going to beat myself up over that – I think it is going well regardless.
You’re probably wondering how much weight I have lost right? I will tell you I promise, just not today. 🙂