Sunday, June 27, 2010


Just a quick one - mum's over and I don't get much computer time - but wanted to show the photos of her wearing Aestlight - pleased I made the effort to get it finished on time and she's so happy with it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I did it!

I went to weigh-in last night, not really wanting to go, as you sometimes don't when you've not had a good week. Imagine my surprise when I found I'd lost 3 lbs!

I lost 2.5 stone with WeightWatchers 6 years ago. I've followed their system on and off since then. It just works, it's sensible eating with the emphasis on increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat, as well as eating more 'filling foods' as they call them (wholemeal). No food is forbidden, they don't rule out certain food groups. They have loads of recipes - in magazines, in books, on the internet. I remember thinking after a few weeks that I had never eaten so well, and when I follow the system properly, I still think that. When I keep track of what I eat, I regularly end up with having eaten 7 or 8 pieces of fruit and veg.
Last summer I thought I was a stone over where I should be, and hadn't been to weigh-in for a long time. So I plucked up the courage and went back, only to find that I was only 4 lbs over my goal weight (the scales at home were very inaccurate and I've not used them since). But because you have to have at least 5 lbs to lose, I had to lower my goal weight a bit in order to be allowed to join.
Next followed a year of yoyo-ing. I'd get close, then something would happen and I'd put several pounds back on again. But a few weeks ago I got fed up with having to pay (you stop paying when you reach goal), I'd gone almost a stone over where I should be, and we have a party in July where I want to wear a rather slinky dress, and as said previously, I can use the money I save to help pay for some riding lessons for I. It suddenly seemed enough incentive and I found my motivation back.
B. took a few photos of me last weekend and one of them frightened me a bit - I was almost beginning to look too thin. So when I was weighed yesterday and found that I was back at my original goal weight, I had a word with my leader and said I didn't want to lose anymore. So she went off and came back with a gold envelope, meaning I'm at goal....
I'm very very pleased, I feel just right with this weight, I look at myself and don't think 'I could do with losing a bit here or there'.
Now the hard work starts though: maintenance. And often that is actually harder than losing the weight in the first place! At the moment I'm feeling very determined...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Wednesday 16 June (yes it's a day late!)

Outside my window... everything is growing so fast at this time of year and as well as the plants I've planted doing well, the weeds are growing fast too. Despite having made a start on the garden this year, there is still so much to do. I take heart from the knowledge that the best gardeners spend years on perfecting their garden.

I am thinking... that I need to find a way to cope a bit better with the increase in work hours. I'm struggling a bit at the moment. Tonight we ended up eating garlic bread, pizza and banoffee dessert. For once, that's not the end of the world, but I know why it happened: I have so very little me time at the moment, that the last thing I feel like is spending an hour in the (very untidy) kitchen, and food like that feels like I'm spoiling myself. Those last 4 lbs aren't shifting and I know exactly why. I'm also missing knitting time, just half an hour here or there, but there doesn't seem to be half an hour here or there at the moment. I'm not quite sure how to sort all this, but it does need sorting, that's for sure.

I am thankful for... a very relaxed and fun weekend last weekend with B.

From the kitchen... comes garlic bread, pizza and banoffee pie dessert ;-) O but also banana bread as I had a serious surplus of bananas.

I am wearing... trying on my hand knitted sock for size. I should be knitting something else but it requires concentration and silence, and I wanted to knit so desperately tonight that I picked up my sock while watching Three in a bed with I. tonight.

I am creating... lots of things in my mind. And not enough in real life.

I am going... to think about how create a bit more me time, to bake a lemon cake for B's sister's birthday this weekend, to send a magazine to a friend in Australia, and to practise my tractor driving skills a bit more this weekend.

I am reading... The Friday Night Knitting Club. Not high-brow literature but entertaining enough to have kept me up reading far too late. And while I was looking up the link to this book, I found there is a sequel. That will be on my list of books to borrow from the library then!

I am hoping... that things will seem a little less frantic soon.

I am hearing... the dishwasher running in the kitchen.

Around the house... is slightly tidier. I feel that at 11 and 8, the children are perfectly capable of helping out a bit more often. So tonight I. had to empty the dishwasher, N. had to get the laundry off the line and I. had to tidy up the front room. She does a very good job at tidying up, specially if it isn't her own stuff! So it does look a bit better here.

One of my favourite things... is having to got to know some people better in the last few weeks.

A few plans for the rest of the week... a day in the office, the car going to the garage to have its alarm sorted (it goes off randomly at all times of day and night. I am sure I'll get a phonecall from the neighbours soon begging me to sort it out), a day with the kids.

A picture for thought I'm sharing...

We visited some friends in Lancashire last weekend. They'd gone out for a birthday lunch and weren't back yet when we arrived, so we stopped at the village before theirs and walked down to the river. It was lovely weather, it was very quiet and peaceful down there, it had one of those little iron bridges that we both like so much, we had a paddle (and B. almost had a swim!), and we just had a lovely time together. The sort of time that you treasure the memory of.
Now if only I could squeeze everything I want to do, in the short time that is the weekend!

Instructions for the Simple Woman's Daybook can be found here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Tuesday 8 June

Outside my window... everything looks green. We've had rain since last night, on and off, and it makes everything look very green.

I am thinking... what I'll do tonight. I'd normally go and see B. but it's been a busy few days and my body is good at telling me that I need a bit of time to unwind. Or rather, maybe I'm getting better at recognising the signs. It's taking a bit of time to find a new routine now that I'm stuck behind the computer while the children are at school, and so far I haven't found much free time. So tonight is just for me.

I am thankful for... a lovely Sunday with B. last weekend. We went to look at a lorry, then drove to the coast and went for a swim, despite it being cloudy. We warmed up with egg, chips and ham and tea and coffee at the very old-fashioned beach cafe, then drove back home. It was lovely to have some time just to enjoy each other.

From the kitchen... have recently come very decadent Nutella and peanut butter cookies, and this afternoon it's going to be ciabatta pizza for lunch.

I am wearing... socks again. With the rain, the temperature has dropped too and when you sit still all day, it's my feet that get cold first.

I am creating... not a lot at the moment. I managed to knit a few rows during N's swimming lesson on Saturday and nothing since. My new car is very solid and I noticed last Sunday I can mapread without feeling nauseous. We're travelling quite a distance this weekend, so maybe I can knit a few rows then...

I am going... to see an old friend this weekend in Lancashire and I'm really looking forward to it.

I am reading... again nothing. I crawl into bed at 10.3o pm, drink my hot chocolate drink and read a couple of pages in the WeightWatchers magazine to keep me on the straight and narrow, and then fall asleep as soon as I set my radio to go off after 30 mins.

I am hoping... that my sweet pea will flower soon. They're growing really fast but I don't think there are any flowerbuds yet. Also, that the butternut squash will produce something - one leaf has been half eaten by something or other but the plant is growing.

I am hearing... raindrops on my conservatory roof. It's a plastic roof and in the rest of the house, you can't hear if it's raining unless it's raining really hard. In the conservatory, you can hear it drizzle.

Around the house... is lots of mud from two 8 year old boys' footsteps. N. had a PD day (teachers training day) yesterday so he had a friend over to stay for the day. Obviously 8 year old boys don't think to remove their (muddy) shoes before they run upstairs to play hide and seek...

One of my favourite things... is how well the cucumber plant is doing up on the landing at B's house. It's sitting under some large windows, it's very dry and warm up there and it loves it. Long tendrils and several mini cucumbers! O and the little rag doll that I bought from M&S on Saturday - yes, she was for me ;-)

A few plans for the rest of the week... trying to raise a bit more money for my ladies' tractor road run; a visit to Lancashire; trying to carve out a bit of me time...

A picture for thought I'm sharing...

The river Rijn close to where I lived for a couple of years. This was taken back in January I believe, during a very cold spell. One of my friends is moving to a house soon that they had built. I think that maybe it's time to go to Holland again...

Instructions for the Simple Woman's Daybook can be found here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A promise

Not sure that's the right word!

I have just switched WeightWatchers meetings. I used to go on Monday mornings and have really enjoyed that group, making friends along the way. But my increased hours at work meant I couldn't go to that one anymore. So I searched for another meeting and found one which I can attend after work if there are no hold-ups on the road.

I went for the first time tonight and it was a nice, small, friendly meeting. I'd lost a pound which I was pleased about (I'd lost the plot a bit over the Easter holidays and ended up having almost a stone to lose). I'm now 4.5 lbs off my goal weight. I'd already set myself a target of being at goal on 24 July, when we have a party to go to. I pay for WeightWatchers by Monthly Pass, which is cheaper than paying every week, plus you get access to lots of resources on their website. Every month, they send you a new pass, and while it doesn't cost much, if I reach goal weight, I don't need to pay again - and I'm quite looking forward to that.

So, I'm now officially declaring here that the pass I've just received in the post and that runs out on 4 July, is the last one I'll have in the post. 4.5 lbs in 4 weeks - that should be easy. By the time the next pass will be sent out, I want to be able to cancel the direct debit.
You can all email me on 4 July and hold me accountable. Please do. It will help spur me on.

(and if I do, I will cancel my gym membership too, where I've been for 6 years and still pay through the nose, despite me being a loyal member for years, and still have to pay for the kids to go swimming. And I'll use the money I'll save to get some riding lessons for I. who's come back from Wales loving horses even more than she did before. So there. You're all witness.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Wednesday 2 June

Outside my window.... the sun is shining again after a few very miserable, grey and wet days. And we've been promised nice weather all the way to the weekend.

I am thinking... is it time for my cup of tea yet? Normally the children set the rhythm of my day. N. comes home from school at 3.30 pm, followed by big sister I. at 3.50, which is my signal to stop working and get the kettle on. This week is halfterm and they're away with their father to see their grandmother on the Isle of Wight. The days take on a very different character without the children there.

I am thankful for... having been given the opportunity to increase my hours at work.

From the kitchen... will hopefully come a healthy carrot cake (is there such a thing as healthy cake?)

I am wearing... clothes which are slightly too warm, but the sudden rise in temperature has taken me by surprise.

I am creating... still Aestlight. The yarn for Cerisara arrived a while back and I'm itching to cast on, but mum will be coming over for a weekend at the end of the month and I'm adamant Aestlight will be finished. The increased hours at work are wreaking havoc with any knitting time though!

I am going... to the seaside on Saturday evening. B. is going to look at a lorry for the tractor and it's in Kings Lynn, which is on the Norfolk coast. If the weather is as promised, I'm hoping we'll get to go on the beach. If he's lucky, I might treat him to fish and chips!

I am reading... still nothing. I still fall in bed at 10.30 in the evening and am asleep long before my radio switches itself off.

I am hoping... that the weather is going to be warm enough for me to wear my new skirt again.

I am hearing... a financial programme on the radio. I am hearing it but not really listening to it.

Around the house... it's staying incredibly tidy without two children to mess it up again! (shame about the muddy footprints from yesterday's rainy day).

One of my favourite things... has to be my new car. It's a dream. I should have bought it years ago. The best bit is how economical it is. It's such a challenge to drive as economically as possible.

A few plans for the rest of the week... couple of days in the office, with hopefully a quick visit to Starbucks thrown in, hugs for the children on Saturday when they return, and then back to normal routine next week when they're back at school.

A picture for thought I am sharing...

One of my favourite spots in Amsterdam: the cactus greenhouse in the Hortus.

Instructions for the Simple Woman's Daybook can be found here.