Friday, 29 February 2008

Feeding up

I'm in the interesting situation of cooking meals for a friend who's just come out of hospital, eats like a bird at the best of times and needs to pick up a bit of weight, and feeding myself so as not to put on weight. I've decided she'll just have to have plenty of bread and butter and add butter to her baked potatoes. Of course, I have baked potato plain. I have for years. I don't even add butter to asparagus or artichokes. I'm so virtuous, me, how did I get in this state?

Yesterday, I made leek and potato soup with home-made ham stock and some milk added at the end - no other ingredients except seasoning, I didn't even sweat the veg in butter first. After it was cooked it was still slightly salty from the stock, which is the reason for the milk, though I'd have added it to her portion anyway, for the added nutrition. I also made a fish pie, topped with mashed potato. Instead of cream and lemon juice, I added greek yoghurt to the sauce. She had enough, with a chicken salad, to last her for today, but I've been making a pot of minestrone soup today to send round, and will think of some sort of casserole as well. And then there's Sunday. Hm. At present, Ro is planning to cook Sunday lunch, because I'm looking after the grandbabies all morning.

Hm again. I need to do quite a lot of cooking tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Z weighs herself again (2)

It's only a fortnight since the last time, but I started this diet at the end of October, so the end of the month seems neater than the middle.

10 stone 4.5 pounds, which is about a pound and a half down.

Half an inch off my bust measurement, no other change.

This is fine - I'd like to lose a couple of pounds a month on average, and I realise that I'm likely to lose weight quicker at the start, so I'm glad that my slightly casual attitude isn't taking me off track.

At home, it's easy to plan low fat meals and, having cooked for my mother for years, who eventually needed a very low fat diet, I'm adept at adapting recipes and cooking methods to shave off the oil without anyone noticing. When I'm out, it's often difficult to know quite how much hidden fat there is in a meal. Once I start eating, I'm usually aware of it, however, and the simplest thing to do is to eat slower and not to finish the plateful. I make a point of it, in fact. If everyone else is having cakes in a tea-shop, I'll have one too, but I'll only have a couple of bites. If I'm given a plate of lasagne, I leave some. If I'm at someone's house and trouble has been gone to, then I do try to eat it all - far easier if I can serve myself, or at least if the food is served at the table. One friend always dishes up in the kitchen and is generous with helpings, but I know that now and simply explain. It's easier not to sound rude or picky because I can say, regretfully, 'doctor's orders'. People accept that more readily than a 'vanity' diet, because I'm not (and Badgerdaddy has backed me up here) visibly obese, though not by any means slender.

In addition, it helps not to make other people self-conscious about what they are eating. I've always been aware that, because of my small frame, I need to eat less than many people do. There's nothing wrong with a hearty appetite and everything right about appreciating and enjoying food. I don't want to draw attention to myself in either a martyrish or a self-satisfied way.

Actually, a very large friend asked me, the other day, how I'm getting on with my diet. I wouldn't dream of mentioning food or size to her, and I felt a little awkward even talking about the subject in relation to myself, but she started the conversation. It was generous of her to do it, I thought.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Z plumbs the shallows again

So, what really got to me was the humiliation of the doctor advising me to lose weight. Splendid chap, yes he's right and all that, but it wasn't very polite of him, was it? I've known him for years, our children went to school together and we meet at parties and stuff. And I'm not that fat. Not really. Am I? Tell me, Badgerdaddy, am I really that fat?*

So, I sniffled miserably for a bit - confirmation of the arthritis added to the gloom a bit, and it wasn't until the middle of the night that determination set in, which was when I decided to go and buy the bike. It had to be new and expensive, because I don't waste money, so I would then have to use it.

I will say, having moaned mightily in my last post, that the Sage appreciates me no end. He is reet proud. Not that he says so. He tells other people though - not about the diet, that'd be rudely personal and he's vastly polite, but that he's proud of me for doing something actively about my hip. They tell me. They also tell me that Al boasts about me. This is sweet. In other respects, the Sage makes clear his appreciation. He can hardly keep his hands off me. This is splendid and most enjoyable, even with my present lack of flexibility.

I'm wondering - jesus, I can never resist planning ahead - what excuse I can formulate for going to the doctor in another six or nine months. You know, when the weight loss will be very noticeable and I can slink in through a crack in the door hinge. I don't want to be ill, obviously. I just want him to weigh me and change my medical record, without having to embarrass myself again and ask him to.

Right, I'm just off to buy the day's vegetables. Got to keep a good supply of carrots, or I might eat something foolish.

*honesty is appreciated, darling boy, if I do strike you as an absolute porkster you can tell me. After all, I'm half a stone lighter than when you last saw me, so I'll take that into account.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

I don't know, I've never kippled.

I got home from church tired, hungry and in want of a square meal. I'm cooking roast chicken tonight, however, and had intended to have salad. I really wanted something hot and comforting to eat.

It's just as well I didn't have a pizza in the freezer, because I'd have eaten it. As it is, I had scrambled eggs. A dab of butter for cooking, none on the toast. I don't know which, pizza or eggs, has more calories and I don't care, because that's not how I reckon food (though I do check the backs of packets sometimes, just to know how much I'm saving by being shocked into not eating the food in question) - but it must be better to eat a couple of eggs once in a while, than a bought pizza loaded with uninteresting cheese, which comes out of the oven with a puddle of grease on top.

This whole thing is so boring. I feel very disheartened. I can see why people go on crash diets, because quick results are something to be pleased about. And indeed, some real rigour at the start of a diet, while you are full of determination and need the spur of that first couple of pounds lost, is not a bad plan. I know I'll keep up this diet, pretty well, forever. Give or take the occasional sausage roll or chocolate biscuit, that's fine with me. I accepted at the start, not least because the doctor instructed me to be content with losing at the rate of a stone a year, that this is a long haul. But, whilst I didn't argue with him, it's very hard to manage that. If I don't take it pretty seriously, it's too easy to think that 'just a little' won't hurt.

I'm not being that rigorous. I'm keeping that for if Plan A doesn't work. But I'm bored already, after nearly four months, of thinking about food all the time. And I can't help it.

A few weeks ago, I was encouraged that I felt a bit thinner. But now I'm used to that, and already impatient that I am not nearer the size that is (poor foolish Z) what I think of as the 'real me'. My waist is smaller and so are my thighs. But not small enough for me, and I'm nowhere near dropping a dress size, although my clothes are becoming looser.

I'm complaining about nothing, I know. I'm already worrying about the next time I weigh myself, in case I'm no smaller. But the purpose of this blog, to some extent anyway, is to whinge. Sorry. I don't do it anywhere else, or to anyone else. This blog is where I don't treat triumph and disaster just the same.

I broke my arse...

...falling off the wagon.

Friday night, myself and SLW decided to have a few drinks. We were watching a movie – an old favourite, The Frighteners, which SLW had not seen – and chilling. A friend came over, and we ended up staying up til 1:30 drinking and chatting. A fine, fine night indeed, and really relaxing after what was a hard week for both of us.

Between the three of us, though, we demolished 4.25 bottles of wine. That's quite a lot, though I'm delighted to report that I got drunk on far less than I had been of late.

Saturday, I had a bit of a hangover, as did SLW. I felt pretty rough, and consequently went shopping for meat. I bought 3lbs of sausages (the local ones are amazing, though I had consciously been eating less saturated fat so not so many sausages...), some rump steak and a pound of bacon. And a Scotch egg, and a large pork pie.

We went 'meatatarian' Saturday night, I think it's fair to say, and I ate 4.5 sausages, a reasonable sized rump steak and three slices of bacon, and a load of fried onions. Lunch was half the pork pie, and breakfast was a few packets of cheese and onion crisps.

Well, I'll be in the gym this afternoon for certain; the Carling Cup Final is one, Chelsea v Tottenham, and I thought that as they have Sky down the leisure centre, I might go and exercise for the entire 105+ minutes of the final. 45 minutes first half on the treadmill, 15 minutes core strength training on the ball at half time, then the final 45 on the cross trainer, so it's 100 per cent cardio training.

Should be fun, and hard, and I'll get to watch the footie. And I might, just might, make up a little bit for yesterday.

PS: Weighed mysefl on parents' scales, and it said I was about 16st 12lbs, which I'm certain can't be right – two members of my notoriously scathing family said I looked like I had lost weight, y'see. They NEVER say things like that. I think their scales are fucked...

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Z's sin is pride, not gluttony. YES IT IS

It's not been a particularly good week, food'n'exercise-wise. I can't remember Monday; that is, bits stand out, but I don't know why I didn't cycle to the high school, though it wasn't mere laziness *cough*. I was out all day Tuesday in Norwich, I did cycle on Wednesday (bloody early too, whatever possessed me to make an 8.30 am appointment at the hairdresser?), I was out again on Thursday in Norwich and it was wet and windy yesterday.

Food wasn't much better. I had leek soup and bread when I went out for a snack lunch with friends one day, but the soup turned out to be full of cream. Thursday's lunch was roast chicken and vegetables (including fried potatoes) and a lemon mousse. Not too bad; I left the accompanying cream, but I ate the chocolate that came with coffee. Fuckit, life's too short.

It's been general slight overeating and not doing enough - not a week I will have lost weight, which doesn't really matter as such, but I don't want to start taking as the status quo. It's all too boring at the best of times. And I've eaten all those ruddy ricecakes. Really, no one needs to eat a whole packet of ricecakes in two days - it's not as if one salivates helplessly at the sight of them.

I've redeemed myself somewhat today though. Porridge for breakfast, a tiny piece of Stilton (really, it was) with dry bread and cucumber for lunch, and yoghurt to follow. Since then, a few ricecakes - no need to go cold turkey here, and the packet is still half-full after two days - and lots of raw vegetables. Tonight, I'm cooking a gammon joint, mashed potatoes, sprouting broccoli, turnips and carrots, which is virtue personified. And wine. Jesus, darlings, I've stopped cutting down on wine. I'd rather eliminate the ricecakes. Oh, and I did cycle in to town. I also spent the morning working in the shop and I didn't half ache at the end.

If only it were vanity that had put me on this diet. It'll be pride that keeps me on it, however.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Never an empty mouth

I've gained a worrying addiction to rice cakes. They may only be 17 calories each, but they still are food. It's my own fault of course, for bringing the packet in here.

A friend said 'but they taste like cotton-wool'. Well, so what's wrong with that? Quite toasty cotton-wool, after all.

It's having something to nibble that is irresistible. If there's no food, I don't think about it. I must remember to make bowlfuls of raw vegetables to keep in here instead. I don't believe raw vegetables have any fattening properties whatsoever, however many of them I eat.

Right. I'm going out to lunch. It'll be a set lunch and I don't know what will face me. Think of me. I may be gone some time and return two pounds heavier.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

And the winner of the best scales award is…

...the ones at the gym, which claim I am 15st 13lbs.

Which is a load of old bollocks.

It's not the diet, it's the long-term

I should have said that, when I was at my lowest weight of 7 stone 12 lbs, I couldn't keep to it without effort and great care in what I ate. It wasn't realistic as a long-term proposition. An extra half stone may be, if I can ever get there.

I'm still uncomfortably aware that I'm sounding like a smug git before I start. There's such a wide range of what is a 'healthy' weight. I've got a couple of friends who are very slim and about my age - a couple of years older, perhaps - but actually they have gone past the stage of elegant slenderness and look a bit too thin and drawn. Other people, just as thin, look fine. And weight isn't everything - it's how you feel that matters. I think we do know what size we 'should' be, and it may be bigger or smaller than what the books say (obviously, I'm not talking about someone with an eating disorder) and is best, in the long term, governed by what we can stick to with a normal, but good, diet.

In my case, it's my shoulders that govern what size I should be. If I wear a tailored jacket or coat any bigger than size 12, I gain a pin-head. Last time I bought a suit, I had to get a 14 skirt and a 12 jacket, even though I could hardly do the jacket up, because the rather short and boxy jacket looked absurd in the larger size. "Hmm" said the assistant. "D'you think you'll want to do the buttons up?" We agreed that it was better to leave it open and look better than do anything silly like try to keep warm. A 10 is better again for my proportions, but that's a year off yet.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Eating less, enjoying more.

I am, too. I'm sure I haven't lost a bit of weight, but I'm eating more slowly, and eating smaller portions too.

I'm also trying to make sure I don't miss meals, and also am enjoying reading the ingredients of what I buy.

Most interesting in this was looking at the ingredients of a cereal bar TS wanted. I read the list in disbelief – you'd think with a name like Nutri-Grain it would have something good in it… But it's only 34 per cent cereal, if I remember correct – and it counts rice flour as a cereal in this context.


Worse, there are six different types of processed sugar in it. Six!

I had a cereal bar on a flight back from Germany a week or so ago and it really was outstanding. Dense, chewy, tasted like shit and there was not one bad ingredient in it. Bulking these things out is usually done with trashy ingredients, but this seemed to use quinoa, which was a nice surprise. And it took me three quarter of the flight to eat the fucker, too. I'm going to have to email them (EasyJet, of all companies!) to find out the manufacturer of that wonderful bar...

Mmmmmm, food. Gym tomorrow, and we shall see what happens with their scales. Which, let's not forget, I like quite a lot.

Slightly porky?

I'm looking ahead to when I've magically lost all this weight, and wondering when it'll feel right to stop. The doctor suggests I get down to 9 stone, or just below, which was what I was when he last weighed me, around 10 years ago. But, although I didn't mention it then or now, I was already on the way up by then.

When I was young, my 'natural' weight seemed to be about 8 stone 4 pounds (this was weight without clothes). But actually, I felt a bit fat then and I was awkwardly between a size 10 and 12. I'd probably not have that problem now, as clothes sizes have got bigger. I felt, and thought I looked, slim at around 7 stone 12 pounds - although I still believed I had fat legs.

What is it with body image? I remember once bringing in the clothes from the washing line, leaving them in a pile and, the next morning, grabbing a pair of jeans and putting them on. I did them up all right, but they felt wrong. I looked down and they were distinctly drainpipey. I'd put on Al's. At the time, he was in his early teens and stick thin - but this was not enough to make me realise I was skinny too.

So, shall I aim for a little under 8 and a half stone?

But there again, is it healthier to be a little fatter as you age? Have a bit more in reserve, perhaps. I know that, at my thinnest, I had to take a little care. I didn't have all that much stamina, although I was physically stronger, in that I was more muscular, than I am now. But once my strength was used up, I was useless for a few days. Now, I am resilient and recover quickly, however hard I work. And if I got up quickly, sometimes my head would swim. In fact, sometimes I felt so faint that I had to lie on the floor for several minutes. I do still have to take care of myself there and make sure I have breakfast - high blood pressure is not one of my problems - but it's much better.

I appreciate this extra resilience and it has been one of the things that had reconciled me to being overweight. Another bonus, I believed, was that eating fairly well what I wanted (I've always had a pretty healthy diet) would help to protect me against osteoporosis. My mother lost several inches in height in her 60s and more in her 70s and I'm more concerned about this than anything, including arthritis. I can have new hips but not renewed bone.

So maybe I could be sensible, and satisfied with just under 9. But if, at that weight, I still feel that I'm overweight, will I be sufficiently motivated to stay there?

Do I need a goal at all? Maybe it's best to get the eating right and let my weight settle naturally. But I've kidded myself for too long and it'd be easy to be complacent.

Damn this whole body-image thing. The truth is, I've always looked in the mirror and seen myself unrealistically. I was talking to a friend, some while ago, and we agreed that whilst, when slimmer, we thought we were fatter than we were, now we're overweight we see ourselves as much the same size we always were. That is, slightly porky.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Z weighs herself

Right, it worked. I didn't even have to reread the post to strengthen my resolve. In the night I decided to weigh and measure myself and come clean about it.

And darlings, I'm rewarded for my courage, because I've lost another pound and a half since the end of last month.

So. Weight: 10 stone 6 lbs (actually, with my ultra-efficient Victorian scales which weigh in 2oz increments, it's really 5 3/4 lbs but that sounds just too desperate, so let's stick with the 6)

I'm weighing myself with my clothes on, because the scales are in the glass porch (my mother in law used to call it the loggia, but I'd rather ... well, I'd rather not).

Measurements: 37" 28" 39.5"

I can see that you might say why am I calling myself fat? That's not so bad. But the thing is, I am 5' 2.5" tall and I have a small frame. For me, this is pretty porky - although more than half a stone less porky than it was at the end of October - I suspect I've lost at least half an inch all round since then. And it redistributes itself as you get older. When I was young, my thighs and hips would get bigger. Now, it spreads nicely, on the back, the arms, over the ribs - evens up and makes me more in proportion, but it's deceptive.

Anyway, from now on I'll weigh and measure myself about once a month. And write it down.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Z fears the consequences

Eating out is the difficult bit, isn't it? Sometimes there isn't anything that you 'should' have. And I hate being fussy and making a thing about what I eat, especially if it makes other people feel they shouldn't be enjoying their meal. What I generally do is simply leave some food. In London this week, I never cleared a plateful.

Conveniently, I don't include meat, fish, simply prepared vegetables, rice or potatoes as foods to avoid, this time round. Nor wine. At my age, I need wine. And whisky. And the occasional beer. So I have a fair bit of scope. And eating slowly because I'm talking so much is useful - gives other people plenty of time to fill their faces while I have a couple of forkfuls. On the other hand, of course, I'm paying for this delicious and expensive food, so have to remind myself that food I don't really want is just as much wasted by being eaten as by being left on the plate, where at least it does no harm.

Fell down a bit in London, I must say, though I did have the least decadent pudding on the menu, which was poached rhubarb with basil ice-cream. Very good it was too and I ate three-quarters of it and passed the rest to my daughter. I have no idea if I'm up or down or what, as a consequence. I'm - this is going to look really silly - I'm afraid to weigh myself. What if I've put any weight on? I'd be really fed up if I had to start again and lose 3 months of being careful (careful by my standards, I mean of course).

I'll read this again tomorrow and be so disgusted by my silliness that I'll weigh myself at once. Before breakfast, of course.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

How did I do it? Couldn't now.

I've been thinking more about why I didn't make an effort to lose weight before. I know how I came to put it on - three or four pounds in a year is not that much, but when it goes on for seven or eight years, that's a different matter - but the reasons no longer existed, and yet if anything there was still a small weight gain - the odd pound here and there. I think that it has something to do with the last (and only) time I dieted.

My weight had crept above nine stone, and I had that trip to London, where I lost several pounds in a few days and decided to consolidate that loss. I dieted strictly and managed to lose a pound a week for about three months. By that time, I was around eight stone, which was fine.

But it was a very restricted diet, really. And I don't think I could cope with it any more. And on it I only lost a pound a week, which seemed not that much for how little I ate.

At its most basic, here it is -

Breakfast. 1 or 2 slices of dry toast
Mid-morning. 1 item of fruit
Lunch. A salad sandwich, made of 2 or 3 (depending on breakfast) slices of wholemeal bread and lots of salad. No dressing at all. Just plain lettuce, tomato, cucumber etc. To follow, a small pot of plain yoghurt.
Tea. 2 Rich Tea (or similar) biscuits
Dinner. Mostly vegetables. For example, I might do a stir-fry (minimal oil), with a lot of different vegetables and a piece of steak; half a pound between the five of us. Then I'd pick out the meat for the rest of the family, maybe leaving a sliver for me, and have loads of veg. I'd have plain rice, pasta or potato as well.

I already drank tea without milk and I gave up milk in coffee too. I only drank one or two glasses of wine in a week.

I thought of days as 'losing weight', 'holding steady' or 'gaining weight' and the rule was that the first of these had to outnumber the other two. So that basic diet would be all I had for four days, for another two I might have one more small indulgence - for example, if we had roast chicken, I'd have a slice of breast, a small roast potato and a glass of wine, and that would count as a 'no gain, no loss' day. If I ate out, I had much less control and so it would be bound to be a 'weight gain' day - but I still ate very carefully. A ham sandwich, or a salad with dressing, or anything with a sauce was enough to be counted in that category.

I didn't actually take extra exercise, although I was very active at that time. I had three children, one at the village school - that in itself was a mile's walk every day and I walked a lot more too; or, more likely, ran. I didn't go for a run, but I trotted everywhere. I did a lot of gardening and in those days some pretty energetic housework (I blame blogging for the casual nature of my house cleaning these days).

So that, pathetic as it sounds, is much of the reason that I hadn't dieted. I didn't think I could bear the restrictions I'd have to make on my food. Indeed, I didn't think it would be healthy, at the age I am now, to cut down so much. It was only when the doctor said that losing a pound a week was too much for me and that a pound a month was quite good enough that I thought I'd have a go.

I have a feeling, though, that as time goes by I'll find it harder to lose weight on what I eat now. I hope my appetite diminishes as I become smaller, but I suspect that sooner or later I'll reach a plateau and find it hard to get going again.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Diets are in the air

Everyone seems to be dieting or thinking about it at present. A Lard off my Mind is written by the always-excellent Katy, Anna, Wendy (actually, I haven't read Wendy's main blog yet) and NWM, and even Dandelion, whom we both know and love, has mentioned the subject. Wendz is watching her weight too, although she's on a semi-blog-break so I don't know how that's coming on. I hope to meet her on Monday, BTW.

The ever-slender Ro, like Dandelion, doesn't quite see the difficulty in deciding to lose weight and actually doing it, nor the possibility of a few stone creeping up on you without you really noticing it. I see their point, I do really, but it's only too apparent that it's extremely common. Most people, I suggest, would like to lose a bit of weight, or have firmer bodies or smaller bums. And most of us don't really address the fact, or not until something happens to make us, that skipping a couple of pies and running to the postbox a couple of times may make us feel that we're doing something, but actually once we've got a solid spare tyre then it is pretty hard to shift it without more exercise and less food.

Yes, sure, we know we're putting on a pound or two, but it's easy to ignore. It's even harder to do something about it when we're eating because we feel stressed or unhappy - or, conversely, happy and sociable and in the habit of converging with friends down at the pub or cooking a delicious meal for our darling, who seems to be able to eat a whole dish of chocolate mousse without putting on an ounce, but who kindly leaves a portion which goes straight to our hips.

I've a friend who is very overweight. She's in her early thirties; I've known her for about ten years and she has put on weight in that time - but she was fat when I met her. I should think she weighs nearly twice what I do. Now, where does she start? It'll affect her health in the long run, she hasn't got a boyfriend - I wonder if she's ever had one - she's a lovely person and very good at her job, but I know she's been looking for a new one without success for some time. I can't help feeling that someone of her size will be at a disadvantage at an interview.

Some people diet, then relax and put the weight back on. Actually, if you are very overweight and manage to diet successfully, I think you really have to identify your weak points and eliminate the triggers. We think that we can go back to just having a little chocolate or the occasional pie. But if you can't eat one small bar of chocolate without spending the next week craving another, it's better to say you don't eat chocolate and not touch it ever again. It's like cigarettes or being alcoholic. Much easier to have none than just a little, if you are addicted (I use this in a non-clinical sense) to it.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Still feeling like undrawn curtains

I caught myself this evening with a piece of bread in one hand and, in the other, a knife plunging into butter. Dear oh dear. Sheer absent-mindedness. I ate the bread without the butter.

I've been feeling fat and lugubrious all week, but I can't think there's any reason. I didn't get the bike out today, but I didn't have time - I was interviewing at the high school in the morning so needed to look quite tidy and then hurry back to babysit. The children took up the rest of the day, but at least we went along to the playground, and I left them on the baby swings and had a jolly few minutes on the, um, older children's swing. We're going to the swimming pool on Friday.

I've been really busy and it's been difficult to focus on myself. I did make that soup - there was a little butter in it, but otherwise it was just leeks, a little potato and the stock, with a little milk - about 100mlat the most, which I added as it was a little salty from the stock. I liquidised it and it was lovely.

I'm planning a couple of days in London next week. I usually walk for miles and don't eat much during the day. In fact, the last time I dieted, nineteen years ago (there's a reason for remembering) it was kicked off by a long weekend in London, during which I lost several pounds and was encouraged to keep going. After three months I'd lost another stone and kept it off for several years, until I became both complacent and harrassed. And over forty, which is a total bugger as far as potential weight gain in concerned.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Twice, you say?

Well, I finally made it to the gym again on Sunday, and had a lovely workout. I also like the scales there very much, as they say I'm 16st 2lbs, which is great. I have no idea what I really weigh, of course. But I like those scales best, and the bloke that weighed himself after me swore they were fine.

I also went to the gym this morning, and got in 19 minutes of running, which was in two chunks... And a very intense 12 minutes on a cross trainer, plus some core strength work, weights, rowing, all kinds of crap. It was good. I also discovered the wicking technical top I was wearing couldn't cope with the volume of sweat I was producing, so fuck you, Nike!

In short, the exercise is going fabulously, and I feel great. No idea if I'll be able to do a marathon, but I'll give it a good go.

Food is also going well – last night's tea, cooked by me, was haddock cooked in foil with some lemon and spring onions, and steamed rice with spinach. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad at all. And it felt suitably healthy.

I think tonight holds pasta in store.

Monday, 4 February 2008

A bit of a tantrum

I felt that I could easily slip back into old ways today. I suspect that slight despondency (and therefore a disinclination to bother) can be blamed on the knuckle of my middle left finger, which has ached all day. So has my knee, and my hip is sore. Bugger and *insert filthy word of choice*. It doesn't matter, it doesn't exactly have me writing in agony, but it's made me a bit fed up and lazy.

I was nearly home when the Sage rang. Of course, my bag was in my pannier and it took a while to get the phone out - he was reminding me I needed to buy butter and cheese. I couldn't be arsed to turn round again.

I wanted some of the ham left from the weekend gammon joint for lunch, but I didn't have it. I knew that I'd make it into a hulking great sandwich and I'll be having fish tonight and didn't need it. I opened a tin of chickpeas, added tomatoes. cucumber, a chilli and the juice of half a lemon, spooned half of it on a plate and topped it with plain yoghurt. After I'd eaten that, I got back on the bike and went and posted a letter and bought the butter and cheese. And some Chinese noodles, more yoghurt and chickpeas and some excellent apple juice with ginger. I don't drink much fruit juice as I think it's better to eat fruit but this was my act of rebellion against sodding dieting.

Oh for goodness sake. That's so absolutely drippy. What do we want? Fruit juice. When do we want it? When I've biked home and got out a nice wine glass.

I'm going to the kitchen now to eat an almond.

The Sage has dug up some lovely leeks, so I'm making soup with them, a couple of potatoes and the ham stock.