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!



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


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 :).


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 …


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.

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 …