Ice cream addict!

As I’ve said before, school holidays and exercise/diet plans aren’t a marriage made in heaven.  Unpredictable weather, unpredictable behaviour and unpredictable moods (my own, if I’m honest!) plus lack of energy, irregular bedtimes and an absolute NEED for ice cream (again, me) means I just don’t get to lose weight or get fit.

But just over one month left before I get back into my routine.  I am the kind of person who gets so very tired of routine but as soon as everything like school and clubs finish, I go crazy with lack of direction!

I got to go to the gym last week.  Just the once, but it was ok.  I’ve been suffering from very painful ankles and have a GP appointment in the pipeline to try to find out what is going on.

Diet-wise, things haven’t been too bad.  I haven’t gained anything.  That’s a positive!  I suppose I do more walking now because there is a lot of exploring to be done on the beaches and in the parks we visit.

I would love to have the confidence to go into the sea with the boys.  Not so sure about jumping off the pier with them though (that’s Sam doing just that below)!  Maybe next year when I’ve dropped a couple of stone in weight.  Might even have a go at making a wetsuit before then!  (As I’m 6ft tall, it’s very difficult to get a woman’s wetsuit that doesn’t have me doubled over and those designed for men are not only in boring colours, but just don’t have the space for curves!).

sam jumping off pier 24 July 2017

Social life struggles

I won’t be weighing-in this week.  Just as I was getting into the swing of this weight loss malarky, along comes a social life – something we had quite forgotten about.

In the space of a week we will have been out for an Indian meal to celebrate 24 years of wedded bliss, had two days of picnicking while cheering on the kids at their Special Olympics events (1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze between them), Father’s Day lunch, Open Farm weekend where the only veggie option was chips, end of summer term lunch with RDA – fish suppers all round and a fundraising night out. Before this week?  Nothing for months!

At the restaurant on Saturday night, we skipped starters, I had a glass of prosecco and a jug of water, shared a portion of rice, and enjoyed a dish that consisted mainly of spinach (but probably drenched in ghee) and no dessert.  HOWEVER, we got a bit carried away at the pub after.  Finally realising we didn’t have to wrestle the kids into bed, we relaxed.  Oh oh.

So, tomorrow starts a new week.  Not today.  Today is the actual date of our anniversary.  We’re heading out to lunch shortly.  And I’ve gone to all this trouble to wash my hair and put on makeup, so no gym today either!

 

 

Sleep, Exercise and Weight Loss

Sleep.  Yes please.  I’d love more but at the moment that’s not so easy.  If left to my own devices, I’d win gold at the Sleeping Olympics, but the brighter nights are playing havoc with the kids’ bedtimes.

With the gorgeous weather we’re having, there are more efforts made to wear them out. We are hopeful of getting more sleep soon.

I’m eagerly researching the topic of sleep for weight loss and I like the simplicity of the explanation from Men’s Fitness (which I assume works for both men and women!!). Genes probably do play a role in my current weight.  I was very slim in my early twenties and, thinking back, I went to the gym and was usually in bed by 11pm on a work night and at weekends I more often had brunch than breakfast!

After reading about the subject on Eat This,  I’m on the look out for mint scented candles; will have a serious word with myself about late night snacks, no matter how healthy; and will keep the bedroom windows open every night, no matter the weather.

I’m getting plenty of exercise with the gym most days, walking the dog and DIY, I have been eating less so sleep is the next step in the new healthier me.

Night night!

sleep-and-weight-loss

 

Next time … Back to Hairy Dieter (Hairy Bikers) recipes

It’s all in the jeans

… so I bought myself a pair today – size (UK) 14 tall from New Look. Only £12.99. Not exactly designer label but they are my new measuring stick. As soon as I can get into them and they feel comfortable, I will have reached my ideal weight. At age 47 and almost 6ft tall, I don’t think I want to be any skinnier than that. The fat might be holding a few wrinkles at bay!! It’s just within the upper range of the NHS’s healthy weight on their BMI scale, so that’s a bonus.

I’m getting excited now – I think I’m only about 30lbs away from my target, that’s almost half way! If I reach the finish line in the same time I took to get this far, I will have those jeans on by early June! Wow, must start looking at nice little vest tops too. And I wonder what the 47 year old size 14 woman around town will be wearing on her feet in the summer season 2014?

I suppose this is when exercising becomes really important. I don’t want flappy bingo wings and a saggy belly to fall over the waistband. I have that Groupon voucher for the private Pilates session and I was given a 3-day pass for a local gym. I suppose I have no excuse now!

The diet has been going well this week, half term ensures I don’t have much time to relax with a cuppa and be tempted with a few biscuits. I’ve been on the go most of the time, ferrying the kids around town to keep them busy.

OK, I’ve a confession to make – we went to the local garden centre for a treat after a morning of excellent behaviour and they had a range of new to-die-for cakes. I tried to resist but I really couldn’t insult the very lovely staff who are always so friendly and helpful. I couldn’t! I had a (skinny) latte and a slice of layered Black Forest cake. The kids had muffins but were happy to help their old mother out with the cake. Thank goodness! It was heaven on a plate.

This is what I left for the kids - honest!
This is what I left for the kids – honest!

A few recipes didn’t go according to plan. Last night’s Mince and Vegetable Pie with Tumbled Spuds went down a treat with the family but my vegetarian version was just OK. In place of the mince I used black beans and a tin of tomatoes to give it some moisture (the original recipe has tomato puree, which is why I thought of the tomatoes). I will have to think about how to make it again.

Hairy Dieters' Mince and Vegetable Pie with Tumbled Spuds (front) and Black Bean and Vegetable Pie with Tumbled Spuds (small white dish)
Hairy Dieters’ Mince and Vegetable Pie with Tumbled Spuds (front) and Black Bean and Vegetable Pie with Tumbled Spuds (small white dish)

Tonight, we invented our own recipe, loosely based on the Hairy Dieters’ Spanish-style Chicken Bake. Corrado is a big fan of chorizo and he loves the all-in-the-oven dish meals. So it was time to raid the fridge and we came up with a lovely tasty meal that kept everybody happy. Fresh haddock fillets were used with the chorizo to flavour the vegetables. For Sam’s plate, I fished out potatoes, carrots and haddock only, otherwise there would have been a screaming match! For my meat-free version, I roasted everything in the oven, then just before end of cooking, topped it with wilted spinach and crumbled over feta, sprinkled on smoked paprika and stuck it back in the oven to brown.

A very successful low-fat own invention recipe!
A very successful low-fat own invention recipe!

It was delicious. Clean plates all round. Happy faces to go with happy tummies – every home cook’s dream.

And for the rest of the week it might be an Asian food odyssey as, with great excitement, the postman delivered a copy of the Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure, a beautiful gift from the HB Diet Club management team. (Thank you so much guys, it’s really appreciated). It’s a lovely book – great photography and brilliant writing. The first thing we (Corrado and myself – Sam’s interest in cooking only goes as far as opening a packet of biscuits!) looked for was the Hong Kong recipes from last week’s show and only then did I get permission to flick through the rest of the book. I was delighted to see a Thai Vegetable Curry – that will be on my first menu. There are colourful and exciting salads too, which will be perfect as part of my diet.

My sous chef who wants us to holiday in Asia next year!
My sous chef who wants us to holiday in Asia next year!

David is currently pouring over the book, so he will no doubt chip in with his own ideas for the first recipe we try. Or recipes, to be exact – in his mind it’s not worth doing unless it’s done in the style of a feast!

Can’t wait to get started. But first I’ll have to calculate the calories 😦