No rest for the wicked!

Another busy activity weekend. When am I ever going to get a lie-in??  Are those days over for good?

The boys have swimming lessons at 8.45 am at the Valley and they have a birthday party this afternoon at 3pm. We were supposed to collect our new hedge trimmers from Lisburn but David’s still snoring and sounds like he’s no intentions of getting up anytime soon!  I’m happy to let him get on with it – he was out last night and it must be months since he did. We had peace to watch the X Factor last night, snuggled up on the sofa without the remote snatcher flicking channels during the breaks!

But while the cat’s away, the meeces will play!! The kids and I decided to treat ourselves to a meal at the Harmony Chinese in Glengormley. I’m not a big fan of Chinese restaurant food, it has to be said. The vegetarian dishes are almost an afterthought.  The boys loved it. Corrado had honey chilli chicken (they didn’t have the beef version he asked for), Sam was boring and had “chicken balls” and chips and I had to settle for salt and chilli vegetable chow mien. My tofu version was substituted because they didn’t have any tofu! The noodles were nice but the vegetables were all welded together in a claggy lump.  However, all was not lost – we had two very well behaved children at our table (is dad the real messer in restaurants?? lol!) and they even got to feed the koi carp in the fish tanks – the staff were very indulgent 😀  No photos – duh – left the mobile charging in the car which was parked too far away to go back to!

Up to Ballyclare immediately after for Corrado’s tag rugby training and it was a great session – the first they’ve played under the floodlights, which seem to make the whole hour great fun! Sam even joined in by having a separate practice session with two volunteer coaches and his wee friend Sam G.

Oh, I almost forgot ME! I got the wig attended to yesterday morning. I had a home hair dye malfunction a few weeks ago when I bought a colour that was much darker than I was used to. It was so dark, it was almost blue-black! It faded with time and now that school is back I had time to go back to the professionals to get it done properly. I had also intended to get a short back and sides (well, shorter anyway) but then decided to work with my natural wavy hair and keep it just below chin length and get it thinned out to allow me to dry it “au natural” without it looking like a hedge that hasn’t been trimmed all summer.  No selfies though, I should have taken one yesterday but I’ve slept on it now and it’s a completely different style now! Katie is doing a good job at looking like me yesterday – good woman Kate!

This is how my hair looked leaving the salon yesterday. Unfortunately they couldn't do anything this good with the rest of me!
This is how my hair looked leaving the salon yesterday. Unfortunately they couldn’t do anything this good with the rest of me!

So last night is bound to have an impact on the diet – I helped Sam out with his chips and then took the bad look off Corrado’s plate by clearing off some of the giant rice portion. I did resist the biccies with my rugby coffee though!

I am going to be saintly for the rest of the weekend though. There’s an extra rugby training session tomorrow at Ballymena RFC from 10am, so another early weekend start. No time for traditional fry up or indulgent croissants with “proper” coffee. Standing around and periodically clapping and cheering will distract me from any “hard done by” feelings 😀

Am I on track for another 1.5lbs off this week to stick to my mini-goal? I think I am, but sometimes those scales are just so rude to me.

images (4)

 

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Free fruit is so much tastier!

After a couple of days of barking and with a fuzzy head, I’m finally starting to feel human again. I always seem to get a chesty cough with a cold and nothing clears it until the antibiotics are needed. But this time, only two days on, I don’t think that’s going to happen this time (fingers crossed!). Benylin Chesty Cough saved the day … and nights. It knocks me out, so I only take it at bedtime. During the day I take the children’s version. Works for me!

Have to be honest, calorie counting and exercise weren’t even on the peripheral of the radar. Mind you, I don’t believe I overdid it with food. Toast for breakfast, soup or sandwich for lunch and loads of veg with baby potatoes for dinner. The temptation wasn’t there because I had Old Ma Hubbard’s cupboards until yesterday afternoon.

As well as the above though, I have a new addiction – Activia Fruit Fusions. Can’t decide which is my favourite – prune or blueberry with acai.  125 calories per pot and I’ve eaten two a day for 3 days! Probably should cut back now I’m feeling better, but they were a delicious indulgence when I was feeling rough – and a lot healthier than Dr Marion’s red wine cure!!

We did go blackberry picking on Monday evening – I had the kids decked out in black t-shirts as a precautionary measure and thank goodness I did! The juice was everywhere!  We walked up a local hill, Knockagh, and once we got past the carefully manicured lower hedges, my impatient children spotted an overgrown gateway to nowhere that was blackberry heaven. It got quite competitive and we came home with 4lbs 9oz of free fruit! Even Sam, who is an expert fruit-avoider, loved this activity and couldn’t get enough of these squidgy messy berries.

Foraging for free fruit!
Foraging for free fruit!
Only a fraction of our haul!
Only a fraction of our haul!

I knew the kids wouldn’t eat any of their own suggestions (blackberry pie, jam, muffins) as the seeds would put them off. So we agreed on sorbet. They absolutely love raspberry sorbet, probably more than they love ice cream. So the fruit was washed, boiled, strained, heated up with sugar, cooled, whipped up with (half fat) creme fraiche and frozen. The result – happy purple faces :D. We’ve enough to do a regular family until next blackberry season but with my sorbet guzzlers maybe a week at most!

Homemade blackberry sorbet
Homemade blackberry sorbet

I got what I said I wanted but I actually hoped for more :)

Oh no! I have a cold coming on 😦 😦 .  Pesky kids and their germs from school. No doubt, as it always does, the cold will increase my appetite. I’ll need to stock up on healthy snacks and soup ingredients if I’m to fight this without running down to the charity shop to reclaim all my larger clothes!

There’s only one cure, according to my older sister, Marion – a spicy curry and lots of red wine! As much as I’d love to follow doctors orders on this one, I’ll have to skip the calorific red wine (at least on a school night).

As it’s Monday and it’s Weigh-in-Day! I have to be honest and say that, although I plan to lose just 1.5lb a week to meet my next target by my birthday, I was slightly put out that I only did just that – exactly -1.5lb! I asked for it, I wanted it and I got it, but now I want more! No pleasing some people :D.

I didn’t have much of an appetite yesterday, so the cold obviously hadn’t really kicked in. I had two vegetarian sausages with bread for lunch and nothing until a bowl of vegetable broth at 8.30 pm. I love this soup but I can’t season it enough – it has to have loads of pepper and perhaps a smidgeon too much salt!

soup

Not good, I only consumed 900 calories or thereabouts. It won’t become a habit, I can assure you! Back to normal today – boiled egg and two pieces of granary toast for breakfast and a slice of quiche with salad for lunch. I haven’t checked, but I’ve probably had my egg allowance for the week!

David joined me for Playball at school today and the kids were so excited to see him there :D.  You wouldn’t know they’d only seen him 2 hours earlier!! It wasn’t as energetic as last week’s, it was more about practising balance and improving throwing skills – compared with last week’s running about it was a gentle stroll in the park!

I’m planning to take the kids blackberry picking after homework is done – the weather’s far too nice to hang around the house. Corrado picked apples with Granda Paddy on Saturday – all the low hanging fruit was already gone so having an agile willing accomplice to get the higher apples was an opportunity Granda wasn’t going to miss. So hopefully blackberry picking (no branches to climb) won’t be a come down for him!

We’re going to have a go at making sorbet from the fruit, the kids love raspberry sorbet. Hopefully they’ll love this more and it will be all their own work!

life-apple-blackberry

The best laid plans …

Poor Sam. He grazed his knee the other day and he was very brave, complained little. Today, however, he was in agony after his swimming lesson. The water/chlorine created a flap of loose skin which made the wee man panic. But (for the first time ever!) he let me put a sticking plaster over it so it wouldn’t rub against his trouser leg.  After a couple of hours, however, there were blood stains on his cream cords and screaming ensued. The Teddy Bear picnic was abandoned and poor Polar Bear became Public Enemy No 1 (PB must have touched his leg, bad bear).

My poor mum was treated to a very loud visit from us as this all unfolded. She’s only out of hospital herself and is getting used to her freedom when we invade her peaceful routine!

So no Subway (Eat Fresh!). Instead we went to Frankie and Benny’s in Lisburn for a treat/distraction. I was really tempted to have a calzone. And the Mediterranean Vegetable Burger sounded great. But I opted for a Citrus Salad (served without the chicken or salmon options). A bit vinegary for my tastes, but it met the brief for a low-calorie lunch.  F&B has changed its menu recently and no longer does the wraps in the children’s menu – Corrado’s favourite. But after a quick chat with our server, the Chicken Pitta was quickly adapted to exactly resemble its predecessor! Result! My self discipline didn’t last though – Sam’s (very tiny) chocolate brownie icecream sundae was abandoned (leg giving him jip) and I didn’t want to upset the lovely kind kitchen staff after they went to all that trouble to make Corrado’s lunch. So I ate it.  Oops!

f&b salad

Apart from getting up at silly o’clock on a Saturday morning and hanging two washes out on the line, I did little in the way of exercise today. Shame on me 😦

Dinner last night was one of our favourites – Chicken Bhuna (Hairy Dieters “Eat for Life”page 104). I had planned on making a sweet potato version for myself but the single orange spud I had left was rotten inside :(.  As every vegetarian kitchen always has a tin of chickpeas in the cupboard, I used those instead.  My veggie version brought the calories per portion down to 210 from the chicken thigh version of 305.

chickpea

Rice added 170 calories to the meal, along with a very small piece of home made naan (I’ll be realistic and call it 200 cals).

How did I do?

(the lips are moving and I’m counting on my fingers …)

Woo hoo! I’m 36 calories under budget for yesterday!! Go me!

I finally made the peanut butter and banana smoothie this morning – one tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter, one medium ripe banana and 150ml semi skimmed milk. Delicious! 224 calories but worth it. A great weekend treat.

smoothie

It set me up for my marshalling duties at the triathalon where Karen M and I, along with loads of Newtownabbey Racers athletes and coaches, counted swimmers lengths – they had to do 30 lengths before cycling and running events! I was in awe! Early start for a Sunday so I’m hoping to chill for the rest of the day. Ha!

Newtownabbey Triathalon
Newtownabbey Triathalon

Eat Fresh!

Yum yum. Those veggie burgers are the best. I made them exactly to the recipe except (there’s always one!) I didn’t have ground cumin (empty jar – I knew there was something I mean to buy!) and couldn’t be bothered with the pestle and mortar so chucked in cumin seeds instead. Loved it. And do you know what? No chips! Decided against them, just bulked the salad out a bit. Pacing myself for the weekend!!

The yogurt and  chutney  relish is simple but effective, I’ve used that combo for other things since originally finding this recipe.

veg burgers

Had a kinda lazy day. Just wasn’t on form for the garden. Completed admin tasks instead – boring but necessary!

My tongue got a good workout though! I didn’t notice the hour of rugby training go by while I chatted with (or was it AT!) Ali – poor woman, had to listen to me for a whole 60 minutes lol!

So, how is my “new start” going to survive the weekend? Well, there are no lie-ins – swimming lessons started at 8.45 am (how cruel, Newtownabbey Council!). So was up and active and burning calories while most respectable people get to recharge their batteries. Sunday is no better – I’ve volunteered to be a marshal at the Newtownabbey Triathalon. Another early start – 9am on a Sunday!

Just saw on Facebook that Karen M enjoyed a banana and peanut butter smoothie last night – I love the combo of banana and peanut butter! At only 303 calories, that’s breakfast sorted. Sunday, that is – I’d no bananas left this morning.

There’s a Teddy Bear’s Picnic in Antrim, which we’re planning to go to (right up Sam’s street, and Polar Bear will love it!) but that means we’ll be out around lunchtime. No doubt Subway Eat Fresh (the kids have to say the whole strapline, they know it winds me up) will be the choice du jour, as it usually is. I’ll let you know tomorrow if I’m right, but here’s what I think will happen … David – BMT and Diet Pespi, Corrado – Big Beef Melt on 9 Grain Honey Oat with all salads except jalapeños and olives and a coating of southwest sauce and an orange Fanta followed by a rainbow cookie, Sam – Tuna, one slice of cucumber, on white bread and a bottle of water and a choc chip cookie for him. They are creatures of habit! In fact, when Corrado couldn’t make a decision on the birthday cake he wanted for 11th celebrations recently, I made this …

Subway eat fresh

He loved it, it was exactly what he didn’t know he wanted! As it was his school cake, the “Fanta” was actually orange jelly. The cookies were proper Subway cookies – I felt I had to buy something when I asked for napkins, paper wrappers and an empty cup for cake props!

As much as I would love to see the back of Subway (from a purely jealous point of view – all those homecooked meals I’ve slaved over and Subway is still their most favourist ever!) I will have mine as a salad in a plastic container. Virtually virtuous!

And dinner? It will be a Hairy Dieter curry of some kind. Just because I have home grown chillis to use – what better excuse?

chilli_ham

 

The scores on the doors for Friday – a grand total of 1392 calories – I had 8 spare so I could have pinched 2 of Corrado’s chocolate raisins, darn!

340 calories over plan? Really??

It must have been the grapes. Once you pop you can’t stop!

I started yesterday with a harmless boiled egg and one slice of toast. And had vegetable broth for lunch – the good old NI “soup” (needs no introduction, if it only says soup on the menu, it’s vegetable broth!). No snacks in between. And a simple (albeit overstuffed) fajita for dinner. But it was only stuffed with veg! Too much spinach and rocket salad, maybe, but I love it. The orange peppers (from my own plant on the doorstep 🙂 ), courgette and onions didn’t appear to be calorific.

Veggie Fajitas
Veggie Fajitas

So what had me overdosing on calories? The Chianti from Castellina – not my fault though, David bought it to remember the fab holiday in the vineyard we enjoyed 7 years ago starting yesterday with his parents and our lovely Linda. Our last holiday before parenthood.

We had a great trip down memory lane. I’m there now in the rolling hills with my favourite Cypress trees. And why aren’t haystacks at home as picturesque as they are in Italy? My favourite memory of that whole holiday is the night we decided to stay in for dinner and I cooked up aubergine parmigiana in a rustic kitchen (ie a temperamental cooker and a single dull lightbulb). The fire was roaring up the chimney and the Chianti had everybody chilled, so a meat-free meal went down a storm with my meat-and-n0-veg in-laws.

Fast forward to the present … I didn’t bother looking up a recipe for fajitas, the popular choice (because it was the only choice offered to the kids). As long as the vegetables are well seasoned with smokey paprika, spicy chilli and earthy ground cumin, it’s a perfect meal. The orange peppers used were actually freshly picked from our doorstep plant too! (£2.50 for the plant in B&Q). Also bought a chilli plant (large chilli peppers) for same price and we’ll use those over the weekend.

Another day of activity. Had a go at scrubbing the patio but wasn’t making a dent in the grey covering of dirt so gave up and painted the playhouse instead. I’m awarding myself the day off hard labour and just doing “normal” stuff around the house in between filling in project grant forms (school garden), pricing plants (same), and nagging all my Facebook friends and Twitter followers to VOTE in the Lloyds Banking Community Fund!!

I know it’s not diet related, but if we win this vote, think of all the exercise I will get helping to dig, level, carry heavy loads, etc to build a great sensory garden for this very special school.  See? It’s not just a random plug for a good cause! Tweet it, text it or enter your email address – or all three!

CLICK ON THIS PICTURE TO START VOTING!
CLICK ON THIS PICTURE TO START VOTING!

You’ll be helping these two wee angels (sniggers) and their friends to have a place to relax and enjoy during the frantic school day.

the boys

😀 Thank you xx

Dinner tonight? A great big plate of burgers and chips. Yeah.

images (3)

I haven’t taken complete leave of my senses though! The burgers (for me) will be Veggie Bean Burgers (page 58 Eat for Life) at only 237 calories per portion. The chips will Paprika Chips (page 36 same book) and about 100 calories.

That’ll have me ready for standing on the sidelines having a good old chin-wag at rugby training tonight. (Corrado has joined a new tag rugby team – Clare Hares and he got to play at Ravenhill in June – it’s brilliant!).

No pain no gain … and no coffee!

Oh my goodness. I am sore in places I didn’t know I had! But I’m not whining about it – it’s good! It means the garden work I did yesterday does count as proper exercise :).

work-gardening-600x579

I pulled, dug, planted, painted (sheds), tidied but it wasn’t enough. I have more to do tomorrow. It’s definitely a good way to lose track of time too. I went in to make a cup of coffee for myself, thinking it was about 11am but it was 1.30pm!!  Not a dish was washed, nor a bed made, never mind my leisurely menu planning. I made a quick sandwich, guzzled a pint of water and opened How to Love Food and Lose Weight (aka “the first book”) at the pasta section and realised I’d never made the Chilli Lemon Tuna and Broccoli Spaghetti! It looked easy, quick and delicious and therefore ticked all the boxes for shopping and cooking as I didn’t have the time or energy left to luxuriate in choices and creating.

My version
As presented by me last night in Mullan Towers
The photo in the book
As presented by the professionals in How to Love Food and Lose Weight

I substituted the tuna with 2 large flat chestnut mushrooms and prepared them in the same way I did David’s tuna steak, except I cooked them longer.  I was delighted with my dish looking almost exactly like the recipe book photograph :D.  Better than that – it was delicious! Maybe I wouldn’t bother with the mushrooms next time, they didn’t add anything to the meal – the spaghetti with the crunchy broccoli and cherry tomatoes with parsely, lemon and chilli oil was enough and satisfied me after a day’s hard graft. David loved his tuna version.

lemon spag mush
And my mushroom version

I’ve just flicked through the whole book again and my mouth is watering. I can’t decide about tonight. Love the idea of the Fennel and Orange Salad with Harissa Dressing but I’d need to serve it with something substantial like a jacket potato. It would also mean making two completely different meals – the kids and David wouldn’t entertain the fennel and orange combo. I think fajitas will go down well with all of us. But I will definitely make the salad for my lunch soon as a treat.

Almost forgot the numbers …

calculator

I got through just under 1400 calories yesterday, despite my best efforts at eating toast with a cup of green tea before bed! I thought it would be a lot more as I did seem to be eating lots.

Despicable Me

I am disgusted at myself. Sort of. I ate half a packet of Haribo Minions. And I enjoyed every one of them. Not the flavour – there were a few dodgy almond flavour ones (I like marzipan but not in a Haribo jelly sweet!) but the sugar hit was great :). Probably loads of e-numbers too seeing as there was loads of blue in the bag. I want to say I didn’t enjoy them. Can’t! Despicable.

 

sweets

Apart from the sugary Minions, I did OK at the diet plan yesterday.  I consumed 1568 calories. OK maybe that’s 68 more than I should have indulged in but hey I needed a wee bit extra – it was Art Club at school and I had to watch Corrado and Sam paint their trousers because the XL mens shirts they wore over their uniforms only reached their knees.

Despite my reservations and lack of some ingredients, I enjoyed last night’s dinner. Pumpkin couscous empty-fridge and cupboard style.  Here’s the recipe ingredients as they should have been:

  • Natural yoghurt, low fat, 1  125g pot(s)
  • Ground cumin, 0.5  teaspoon(s)
  • Honey, any type, 1  teaspoon(s)
  • Pumpkin, 400  g , sliced
  • Olive oil, 1  teaspoon(s)
  • Couscous, raw, 75  g
  • Cherry tomatoes, 8  medium , cut in half
  • Fresh mixed herbs, 20  g , eg. flat leaf parsley, mint, coriander, basil
  • Dates, 5  average, without stone

I didn’t have yoghurt and dates. I didn’t do mixed herbs because I fancied coriander (growing on the window sill) and dry fried some cumin seeds. I ignored the need for yoghurt and substituted the dates with raisins. I also added a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts. I love an excuse for a toasted pine nut – I used the same calorie allowance as should have been with the yoghurt (so there were not that many). Looks like a mess but it was very tasty and filling. But pumpkin is one of the hardest vegetables to prepare – next time I’ll carve it into a lantern and use a butternut squash!

Et voila …

blog pumpkin couscous

So what’s in store today?After a frantic panic over one PE uniform (in the wash after yesterday’s paint-fest), I’ve not long waved off the school bus (it was very late this morning – phew!), watered all the plant pots and planning to pull some weeds before I get sucked into sitting here any longer. Then the diet plan is downloaded, the Hairy Dieter books get consulted and a happy mix of the two sources will be shopped for. As it’s “Racers” night, the boys like to have pasta for their dinner, which is easy.  By the way, I was recently honoured by being given a role on the Committee for Newtownabbey Racers – I’m delighted to give admin support to such a brilliant club! I’m secretly hoping they’ll give me a Coach t-shirt to wear on Wednesday nights, that would be very cool :).

I did a sneaky mid-week weigh-in when I got up and was delighted and excited to see 2lbs off! Since Monday! If I can keep it off before next weigh-in I will be very chuffed with myself.

minion scales

 

A new dress – now that is my kind of motivation!

Some of the plans for yesterday changed but my commitment is still there – especially to the new dress/outfit!

I spend an indulgent 20 minutes online while I drank a green tea and found some initial contenders.  (At the moment) here’s the brief:

  • A “daytime” outfit that will take me through autumn and winter
  • It will be versatile enough to wear with shoes or boots
  • Something midi-length
  • Nothing baggy  – I will have fewer love handles to hide!
  • But nothing figure hugging too – I’m not good at suffering for fashion 😀
  • Avoiding the “mutton dressed as lamb” look – it will be my 48th birthday after all!!

Being a “big tall girl” all my life, I have had to resign myself to having a limited selection of retailers to choose from. The default is to look at the Long Tall Sally website (sadly no local branch in Northern Ireland any longer).  This is my current favourite in their autumn/winter range. What’s your honest opinion?

Blog dress 1

There’re a few lovely dresses in Monsoon that I’m coveting but, sadly, unless it’s a maxi dress, Monsoon goes to the other extreme and shorter dresses and skirts are way too short for me! The hemline I can deal with (up to a point) but nobody wants the waist of their dresses up around their armpits.

What really surprises me “in this day and age” is that Belfast no longer seems to have any tall ranges in any retail stores – if you know different, please please let me know! New Look has removed it’s tall rails, as has Dorothy Perkins. As all my clothes, except jeans and trousers – there’s no shortage of those, I must be honest – have to be ordered online now, impulse buying is a thing of the past – maybe that’s a good idea, keeps me away from temptation.

I could write a blog on the subject!

Back to the diet – without which there will be no dress!

At this rate I might be wearing my pyjamas all winter, I didn’t put much effort into calorie counting yesterday 😦  But temptation was everywhere!! The kids even came home from a conker-gathering trip to the park with their dad with a small tub of Maud’s Choccy Bear ice-cream for me, presenting it with a flourish and grins of delight. They sat one at each elbow and watched me taste every morsel – I couldn’t disappoint them!

But exercise I did do.  Playball at school was fun – lots of dashing about throwing balls at the kids left me puffed! I didn’t get out into the garden, to be honest I forgot. I did an hour of ironing and changed all the beds in 15 minutes flat, despite the cats bouncing about thinking it was a game!

Food. Where do I start? I wish I was in the swing of things but there are so many distractions! I have a fridge full of bits and bobs to use up before I do a big shop otherwise they’ll be pushed to the back and never used. Tonight’s effort will involve pumpkin. I bought one last week when I was in Sainsbury’s with the kids – they think I’m making an early Halloween lantern but I think I’ll roast it. My Hairy Bikers Diet Club programme had a pumpkin couscous listed for yesterday’s dinner and I think I have all the ingredients, if not I’ll substitute and give you my verdict.

I suppose I may go and stick the oven on!

roasted-pumpkin-recipe-9568-3

Hello strangers!

No long explanations, no excuses, no platitudes, no nonsense. I’m back on the blog and I’m going to lose some weight – again!

I really believe winter is my season because that’s when I get my motivation to shift the pounds. I know it’s not winter yet – in fact it seems that summer is back – but I’m going to get a head start.  Before next summer arrives, I will be at my perfect weight so the habits will be ingrained. I will be fit and active and able for the NINE WEEKS (yes people outside Northern Ireland you read it right!!) school summer break and the odd ice cream or egg mayo sandwich on the beach will burn itself off after a quick jog after the kids on their scooters.

Today I am standing at 210.6lbs. Not good. I have yoyo’d up and down but by announcing my weight to the world (well, my little world inside Mullan Towers) I will yoyo no more. I will only bounce one way – down to 180lbs.  My healthy weight on the BMI calculator is actually 170lbs but I’m not sure I should be that skinny at my age.

In the meantime I need a mini-goal.

I celebrate my 48th birthday on 27th October. My goal is to be 200lbs on that day – just 6 weeks away. Not difficult, as it is only 1 . 5lbs a week, or thereabouts.

If I achieve that mini-goal I will deserve a mega treat. I think I’d like a new dress (or outfit) for my birthday celebrations – nothing from the sales rails either!! Must start my window shopping (excited)!

Weight goals

I’m not good at me-time. I have a guilt complex about taking time off from allowing the house to fall down around me (it does that anyway, despite the number of hours I put into trying to keep it tidy!). But by writing it down I feel I have to carry it through. Or David will kick my backside.

I have some exercise planned for this week too – no more trying to pass off ironing as lifting heavy weights or pushing the trolley round Tesco as a 3 mile jog.

Not sure what’s involved, but I am going to school today to do Playball with the boys. This is going to be on every Monday for about 5 weeks. Surely that sounds like exercise? If it isn’t the workout I think it might be, I will definitely be tackling the weeds in the back garden when I get home. That will certainly be an upper body workout – the garden was very neglected this summer so the roots of those weeds will be trying to pull me into the ground!

I made a rod for my own back last Tuesday by allowing the kids to travel to school on their scooters, it was so much fun (according to them) we have to do it every week. That’s the day we do Art Club in school and, as it’s at 9am, there’s no point in them going on the school bus if I’m going to get there before them. So they scooter and I walk fast(ish) after them – 2.6 miles and then I walk/stagger (uphill) home again. 5.2 miles isn’t bad for a fast walk, in my book.

But what about eating? I haven’t organised that yet. As soon as I’m done here, the books are coming out and the planning will begin. Some old favourites from the Hairy Bikers first two diet books, no doubt, but I’m going to mix in some we haven’t yet tried (not that many though!). This will tide us over until the new book is published next month – can’t wait!  If you haven’t heard, where have you been??

I love the title because it’s what David and I always say to the boys when they finish a meal with clean plates!

good eating

Really looking forward to the new book to get new recipes and to hopefully see my name inside it!!  I contributed a short paragraph about the Hairy Dieters and can’t wait to see if they actually use it.

That’ll have to do for now. Phew! I’ve been putting this off for ages, didn’t think I could actually start writing about myself again but now I’ve started, I’m beginning to feel my mojo coming back 😀

I’ve pinned a copy of this to my dressing table mirror …

motivation