Saturday, 28 November 2009

Before and After

Well here they are - my before and afters. 13 weeks later and 54 lbs lighter.

Stir Up Sunday

I know it's supposed to be for making puddings but I reckon Christmas cakes count too. My youngest son and I are making a Christmas cake together. My aged copy of 'Delia's Christmas' was hauled off the bookshelf and fell open at the page I last used when making last year's cake - all sticky fingered and black treacled.

Cooking is a great way to spend time with your children. Of course everything  takes twice as long but what's the rush ? Most of the currents ended up on the floor but then that's what dustpans and brushes are for. We even shelled the almonds from their husks , popping them bullet style into the glass Pyrex bowl just like I would have done with my own Mum forty years ago. Some things never change thankfully and as for the smells , well nothing beats that brandy, nutmeg, raisin combination.

Friday, 27 November 2009

End of Part One

Hard to believe that the first stage of my Lighter Life journey has just reached an end after 13 grueling weeks. Of course now that it's finished I realise that I was just beginning to get the hang of it . So much so in fact that I've decided to continue. Now if I'd heard myself say that a month ago, I never would have believed it.  All I could think of then was the end of the 13 week Foundation stage ... or rather when I could eat real food again. But now I'm there I don't want to eat real food , well not yet anyway.

As a celebration of having lost a grand total of 54 lbs,  just 2 lbs short of a staggering 4 stone,  I treated myself to one glass of champagne. Rather than the fizzing glass of golden loveliness I anticipated , it tasted like a sort of metallic grape juice. And let me tell you , the headache from hell that I felt the following morning was certainly not worth it. What an anti climax. But all good ... I'm certainly not gagging for my next glass.

So I here I go on part 2 of the journey - what they call Developers at Lighter Life. I'm going to take it one week at a time until I lose another stone which would take me up to 5 in total and feel truly comfortable in a size 12. Although I'm wearing a size 12 now I want it to feel loose around the waistband. I reckon I can get there early into the New Year .

I have learnt a great many things about myself in the past 3 months, the most surprising of which was that I have a cast iron determination and can withstand the toughest of temptations. I can be honest now and say that I really didn't think I would last for the whole 13 weeks. Can't tell you how good it feels to know that not only have I succeeded but I have actually surpassed my own targets.

No food can beat how good that feels.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Well, I'm tantalisingly just 1lb away from having lost 50lbs since starting Lighter Life.

And here's me in a pair of size 12 jeans just to prove it. The slightly crazed look on my face is probably due to blood circulation problems as I can't actually breathe or move in them ... but hey , that's a minor inconvenience.

Monday, 16 November 2009

How NOT to have a Perfect Christmas

Easy ... just indulge yourself in every article for the next 6 weeks which include the following 2 words ..... Perfect .....and ..... Christmas. In fact I've just sen the funniest ever Christmas article online entitled ... 'How to Organise Yourself for NEXT Christmas' No kidding.

Magazine editors have reached fever pitch in churning out these travesties. In the weekend's papers I counted no less than 16 articles in one newspaper alone about how to have that elusive Perfect Christmas . The article I want to write is how to have a Good Enough Christmas because good enough is , well, good enough. 

I don't usually do things by halves and I'm not really one for compromise but If there's one thing I have learnt over the years , it is to focus on what counts - people and time. Since having children, our Christmases have changed, for the better by miles.

Christmas lunch is a relaxed affair and one year I even forgot to buy the sprouts but you know what ? .... no-one complained. Presents are fun ( no sets of encyclopedias), walks are compulsory as are Christmas Morning service at church, and large quantities of Quality Street and Baileys.

If I run out of wrapping paper , the present goes unwrapped. I dispensed with Christmas cards years ago - the people that really count know I make time for them during the year. All the fresh food comes from New Lodge Farm and the wine from the local supermarket . Everything chugs along nicely and we still say  "That was the best Christmas EVER " at the end of it all.

So the 'How to Have the Perfect Christmas ' brigade can go take a hike. Ours will be slightly lopsided and I may even dispense with the sprouts agin, if they're very lucky.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

If you're hungry ... look away now

Just got back from a day trip to Greenwich ... you wouldn't want to go there if you're hungry and on a diet and here are the pictures to prove it.

It was so lovely to be back on familiar territory . I bought my very first house in Greenwich over 20 years ago . A little brick terraced docker's cottage in Colomb Street, with an outside loo  all original features intact and a jellied eel stall at the end of the street. My very first home and I adored it.

We took the boat from the South Bank to the Naval College and wandered around Greenwich market taking in all the delicious smells, sights and sounds .. a treat for all the senses. The boys found possibly the best sweet shop in the world and spent their entire week's pocket money there. We played the £2 challenge game and I came off rather well with a bar of rose scented heart shaped soap from my husband. Several shops and coffee stops later, after a rustle through the last of the Autumn leaves in Greenwich park we clambered back onto the boat and savoured the views of London at dusk on the ride home - quite magical.



Friday, 13 November 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Which can only mean one thing - a trip to Fortnum and Mason's to gorge on all the gourmet eye candy . Hampers galore, mile high piles of chocolate bars, exquisite sweet confections, every conceivable flavour in the world all squeezed into one delicious red carpeted department. Lush.
Of course I can't eat any of it but I can still smell it all which is heaven and torture all rolled into one. Roll on Christmas.

At last ...

.... a proper cappuccino. After 11 weeks of eating no real food whatsoever I'm finally allowed to introduce milk back into my diet ... for one week only. The nutritional gurus have decreed that you can't live on starvation rations for longer than 11 weeks so we have to drink milk this week or else we'll die or something like that.
Anyway , I'm making hay whilst the sun shines and drinking my way through South East England's Cappuccino supplies starting with this one. Boy, did it taste good.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Bonfire Night

It's very quiet out there . I suppose fireworks must be the latest casualty of the recession although I thought we were supposed to be out of that now or was that last week ?

Here's my eldest in the garden this evening ... and no that's not me setting light to tenners , although I might as well be , the rate at which they seem to fly out of my wallet .

I'm off to the Dental Hospital ( again) with my youngest tomorrow and dreading it. There's something rather ironic about those sets of ghoulish false teeth that appear around Halloween time . When my youngest son wears them as part of his trick or treat outfit , they're usually an improvement on his own set.

Poor lamb . We've spent the last 2 years trekking up and down to the wretched hospital being told that his jaw will have to broken at some stage and re-set , that's usually the good news , the bad news is what it's going to cost . Anyway I'm hoping that this won't be the case tomorrow , otherwise we'll be spending the night there. I'm not very good in hospitals . I would usually rather be undergoing the treatment myself than watching my children go through it.

So a little light relief from a few Roman candles, a gigantic set of rockets and a packet of sparklers seemed like a small price to pay in return for the huge grin on their faces when they clapped eyes on the Box of Delights I brought home this evening.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Counting the days

It's 54 days until Christmas, 26 days until my eldest son's birthday, 23 days until I start eating real food again and only 1 day until I have to hand in my assignment .

If I were a sensible grown-up I would stop procrastinating and finding a million other things to do other than my homework and get on with it . But I'm not, so I suppose I'll fiddle away on the computer and fritter away the day then leave myself an impossible deadline to get the darned thing done. And I wonder where the boys get it from .