Monthly Archives: December 2015

Time To Make Lemonade!


Well, posse, who’d have thought it? I keep scratching my head and looking around for someone to explain to me how the hell we got to the end of the year already. I hate to say this with virtual champagne corks popping all around me, but for the longest time this has been my least favourite night in the calendar. I mean sure, back in the day when I could comfortably drink my own bodyweight in champagne and party ’till the cows came home I used to like it, but for at least the last twenty five years New Year’s Eve has been up there with colonic irrigation as one of those things I’d rather have no part of.

I’m planning to retire with a good book way before midnight and just let 2016 settle gently around me, although my four-legged bedfellow will have other ideas once the fireworks start going off at midnight. Considering he’s of working gun-dog descent, he has a real issue with bangs, and he’s usually as miserable as me on old year’s night.

The problem I have with it is twofold. Firstly it’s an opportunity to take stock of where you’re at in your life, what you’ve achieved this year and what your dreams are for the next. I don’t know about you, but during my annual stocktake I’ve never been able to place a tick in the box for being filthy rich, skinny and dating a bloke who’s who’s hung like a donkey. Life gave me lemons, right?

Secondly it’s a date that pretty much demands that you eat, drink and be merry. How arrogant. Let’s revisit yesterday’s post about being stubborn shall we..? I’ll enjoy it on my terms if you don’t mind. And in any event, forget the booze, I’ve been pre-occupied most years by how much I can eat before midnight because the New Year diet is looming.

But this year feels different. Different better. I’m not about to embark on a fresh cycle of failure marked by a succession of false starts because I’m already in the groove. I’m just about three dress sizes down, and this morning I fastened my watch on the next notch on the strap. Such a little thing but a moment, you know? Oh I know I’m still a heifer, and I will be for a good while yet, but before long I’ll be a foxy heifer with bone structure…awesome.

This year when I look back, I smile. I’ve eaten within a food plan for one hundred and thirty six days without stepping a toe out of line, and I feel strong, and sure-footed. I don’t always make the best choices, but I spend my budget, and that’s that. I discovered a love of writing and now I can’t imagine a day when we don’t chat. I’m fitter, and whilst I won’t be winning races anytime soon, I’m moving. And you guys…well, what can I say? One hundred and thirty six days ago I didn’t know you, and now we’re practically family.

2016 is the year when I’m going to get reacquainted with my collar bone. You’ll be able to tell where my shoulders finish and my head starts, imagine that. I’ll be able to get out of my armchair without having to rock myself up. And oh my god, the first time I can sit down and cross my legs…well I think I’ll burst with being giddy. It’s the little things that will mean the most you know? I mean I know I’ve got exciting stuff planned but it’s being able to do things that most folk take for granted which will give me the biggest thrill of all.

I’m excited about the future, and I hope you are too. I’m excited about trying that size 22 top on tomorrow that I’ve been visualising since Vegas. I suspect I might need to breathe in a bit to make it fasten (!) but really, who gives a crap…second skin or not, if the zip fastens it’s a goal, right?

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing on the eve of this clean, bright shiny new slate, I’d like to thank you from the deepest bit of my big fat heart for your company and your unwavering support over the last few months. I wish every single one of you a very healthy, happy and skinny New Year. I hope that we’ll continue this journey together…2016 is our year chaps.

We’ve got this 🙂


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Embracing The Stubborn Gene


Ha! So one or two of my lovely friends and regular contributors to this melting pot of ideas have liberally sprinkled their comments of late with the word ‘stubborn’ and you know what…there’s something in it. Forgive me for being slow on the uptake, personally I blame all this chuffing exercise, I don’t know which way is up. I’m having a day of rest today much to the relief of my aching buns, so my brain has kicked into gear and cottoned on to what might just be a winning strategy.

Success is all about using the tools at hand, right? Well, I’m a Scorpio, and stubborn is in my DNA. I was born stubborn, if fact I’m easier to reason with now than I was at three years old…don’t get me wrong, I might have mellowed with age but I still know how to have a nick nack paddywhack and dig my heels right in when the occasion demands. So, since I’m so good at it, I’m clearly missing a trick if I don’t use it to my advantage.

Hang on a minute though, let’s think about what being stubborn really means. It goes a bit deeper than just saying no…it’s about a deep-down resistance to being forced to do something against your will. The more someone pushes, the more irritated you get and the more likely you are not to comply…why then, when the asshole voice in my head goes on and on about hob-nobs do I find it so difficult to slam the door in his face and dig my heels in with a resounding NO? 

If it was a double glazing salesman trying to sell me windows I didn’t want or need I’d have no hesitation in telling him to bugger off, so why not cut the Asshole dead? Perhaps because the reality is I’m arguing with myself. I’m so used to referring to those bad thoughts by the Asshole name, I sometimes forget that they’re my thoughts.

If you’re anything like me, fighting your way through an all-consuming craving for something you shouldn’t have leaves you exhausted as you come out of the other side, whether you’ve managed to hold the line or not. It’s not a pleasant experience. So despite the negative connotation often associated with someone being of stubborn disposition, there are occasions where it’s a bloody godsend.

If there’s a decision that’s yours to make, and you’re the one who has to live with the consequences, being stubborn is officially okay. And one sniff of someone trying to torpedo your resolve meets all the above criteria, right? Even if that someone is you.

Whether it’s your own asshole voice or someone else’s trying to talk you into scoffing something naughty, or doing a bit of sofa surfing instead of sticking to whatever activity you’d planned to oil the wheels to Skinny Town, it’s okay to holler NO at the top of your lungs…go for it, knock yourself out being stubborn if that’s what it takes.

And here’s the rub…I’m going to take the advice of those bright sparks in the posse who knew when to plant the seed and watch it grow…stubborn is definitely the way forward. No more days like yesterday when I wasted two hours of my life fannying around trying to talk myself into and out of going for a walk. That should have been a swift sod off, slam the door, move on.

It’s a shame the penny didn’t drop earlier in the day today for me…if I’d experienced this particular light bulb moment before the asshole talked me into eating two Jacob’s Mint Club biscuits with a cup of tea mid afternoon I might not have run out of points by 4.30pm. It’s been a long evening and right now I could eat my own arm. But what do we say..?


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Digging In


Today has been a better day – yesterday was impossible. I was in such a contrary mood, I even annoyed myself. I did get dressed and go out and walk in the end, in fact I walked even further than the previous two days just to prove a point. To myself. I’d spent at least a couple of hours beforehand arguing with the asshole back and forth before I shook him off, it was pathetic. And who even knew that so many excuses existed for not getting dressed and going out for a walk…he tried them all. And I ignored them all…I felt euphoric, if a little footsore when I got home. Me: 1- Asshole: 0.

Totting my three expeditions up, I’ve walked just over nine miles in the last three days, and I’m quietly impressed at how this fat old body is responding. I mean I’m not dead for a start…who knew that would happen! I’m still dragging 282lbs of lard around with me so I’m not sashaying up hills with any particular style or grace, but I’m doing it.

What I find rather astonishing is that on the first walk I did, on Boxing Day, I had to stop three times at various points on the hill to catch my breath and rest my legs for a minute. Sunday I did the same walk, but despite setting off with legs and feet which were already a bit sore from the day before, I only had to stop twice, and I did the walk ten minutes faster than the day before. Before you nod off, I swear I’m not about to start listing how far and how fast on a daily basis, but it surprised me. I didn’t expect it to get easier without a fight you know?

This is a first for me, I mean real unchartered territory. I’ve never pushed myself out of my comfort zone before where exercise is concerned. Dieting, yes. I’ve been a dieting Ninja on and off over the years, but exercise, not so much so. I did spend a year or so going to the gym when I was dating Mr Muscle and I did become very fit but I was a skinny string bean back then, and eight years younger to boot so it’s a different ball game. It feels like a lifetime ago, and I don’t remember having to really dig in.

It’s a bit scary to think that the trek I’ve signed up for will involve walking about twelve miles a day over pretty tough terrain, for five days on the bounce. I could honestly shit a brick whenever I think about that, but I tell you what, I am determined not to be the old fat one at the back of the pack. I want to stride off that bloody mountain first like a proper game old bird. That’s what’s driving me…I suspected that having a longer term fitness goal might help me on this journey but I didn’t quite anticipate how much of a fire it was going to light underneath these feet.

Mind you, if you’d seen me climbing the stairs to bed last night after three big walks in as many days you’d have fallen over laughing. Lets just say I’d have made it to the top far more quickly if I’d had a Stannah Stairlift…these old bones in this fat body were creaking with every step.

But it can only get better, right?

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A Day For Locking Horns


So you’ve kind of caught me in a bit of a stand off with the Asshole in my mind as I sit down to write today’s post, in fact it’s safe to say that he’s doing everything within his power to live up to his name. He’s feeling cocky this morning, having scored his second handbag victory in the space of a week late last night when I was chilling out by having a mooch on line. It’s a good job I’m going back to work tomorrow, I’m feeling relaxed and happy with too much time on my hands and it’s proving to be a recipe for disaster.

With one win under his belt he’s clearly got his eye on a hat trick and is coming at me hard on two fronts. Firstly food…it’s late morning and I’ve just eaten a decent brunch by anyone’s standards…skinny bacon, scrambled egg and mushrooms with two small pieces of toast. It was lovely, and it was enough. But he’s insisting that I need something sweet to ‘finish with’. And when I say sweet, I mean like chocolate sweet, or hob-nob sweet. I tried to counter-propose with a clementine but he was having none of it.

He’s got the terminology down pat – and why wouldn’t he, as someone who lives in my head he’s spent the last fifty years hearing it. The minute my Mum or my Grandma laid down their knife and fork, sure as eggs is eggs the first words out of their mouth would be what shall we have to finish with? as though eating a meal in itself wasn’t enough. So it was something accepted as the norm you know? My mum, in her eighty third year still says it now, and plays by those rules and yet she’s the size of a sparrow, how does that work?!

A big fat cookie or a piece of homemade cake always materialised after every meal, and the Asshole sees it as an opportunity to push on an open door, since no matter how much time has elapsed between then and now, to me a meal always feels incomplete without something to finish with. Most of the time I don’t think too much about it, but today I’m obsessing about it, and he isn’t helping.

He’s also trying his level best to persuade me to have a total lazy-bum pyjama day. Yesterday and the day before I did a couple of really long walks with Charlie the dog – I posted a picture on our Facebook page showing just how far, did you see it? It was a little under three miles, with some long steep hills thrown in for good measure. Now I appreciate that to anyone who’s moderately fit, that’s child’s play, but genuinely it’s not very long since I couldn’t walk a hundred yards without getting screaming back ache, swollen ankles and a red hot poker through my knee. So to me, it’s a big deal.

And boy do I know about it today, every muscle in my lower body is hollering at me. My feet ache, my calves ache and I have a blister. And I know my son would happily walk the dog today if I asked, seeing as he’s off work. So I could have a pyjama day…the conditions are right and I have no other need to go out.

I really really want to do that. I’ve got stuff on sky+ that I’ve had on series record and I want to build a huge plate of something to finish with, lay back in my big fat leather recliner and watch TV, all day, in pyjamas. I’ve spent many happy hours doing exactly that. To be fair that’s probably why I’m the size of a moose, right?

Once I’ve written this I’m going to find a plaster for my blister, stretch my calf muscles a little bit and quit moaning, Days like this really suck but I just need to pull on my big girl pants and get on with it. I might be locked horns with the asshole but over my dead body is he going to emerge the victor. No way.

Just so you know, me getting my shit together and going out with the dog is being driven by 25% wanting to build on the good stuff I’ve pulled off this week and 75% not wanting to have to ‘fess up to you guys that I’ve spent the day in my armchair surrounded by cake.

So thank you…you continue to work miracles 🙂


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Shopping Up A Storm


So I had several friends yesterday who did battle with the post-Christmas sales so they could snap up some bargains. Me, I love the idea of it, and God knows I love a good deal but the reality of joining thousands of other bargain hunters in the annual bunfight is just something I can’t contemplate. I mean, if they’d be happy to open up the store an hour before everyone else and let me quietly swan around picking off all the good stuff, well I’d be all over that…sadly I wasn’t born to that life.

But I did want to grab a bargain of my own…I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been mooching on line for a few weeks hoping to spot an exercise bike. I have to get fit this year if I’m going to conquer those mountains in Cuba and I sort of know that’s not going to happen of it’s own accord so I’ve been keeping my eyes open you know, for a bargain. I’ve trawled eBay and other similar resale sites and nothing’s really come up so I thought I’d chance my arm in the on-line January sales.

Now I approached this particular bargain hunt with extreme caution. For those of you who have read my ‘Exercise In The Home’ blog post from way back in August, you’ll understand my propensity for getting totally carried away in the moment, and buying something that isn’t what I think it is, and which has a lifetime use of zilch. I’m thinking of the treadmill that wasn’t a treadmill and the power plate in particular, but over the years there have been many. They come, they go. They get assembled, admired, occasionally dusted but rarely used. Not this time…this time is different.

Let’s recap. I wanted a cheap exercise bike, to help me get fit. Is that what I bought..? No of course that’s not what I fucking bought, that would be way too easy, right? What I bought was a state of the art elliptical cross trainer. Yes, I’m shaking my head right along with you. FFS!

So let me try and explain, as much for my benefit as yours because as of right now I’ve woken up and put myself in the doghouse. As part of my cautious approach (stop laughing) I wanted to do my homework. So I had a look on line at what kind of equipment gives you a good all over workout, helps to build stamina, doesn’t put too much strain on your joints, all that good stuff.

To be honest, the exercise bike idea came pretty low down the table. Great for legs, and good cardio but not too hot on upper body, and the bingo wings wouldn’t even get a look in. So I started mooching more widely and the general consensus was that an elliptical cross-trainer would tick pretty much all boxes. Right then…I’ll get me one of them. A cheap one.

Apparently, the cheap ones are perfectly fine for servicing a skinny string bean who doesn’t weigh more than a helium balloon. If you have so much as one toe in sumo it’s a different story. Seemingly, to avoid it all going horribly wrong and ending up tangled in a machine that’s collapsed around you as you work up a sweat, you have to spend more. A fair bit more as it turns out. Ker-ching!

On reflection, I’m slowly inching my way out of the doghouse. It’s an investment in my commitment to this journey and to the longer term abolition of these bingo wings which have to be tucked into my sleeves on a daily basis. Yes, I could have bought an annual membership to a fancy gym for the same money, but I don’t think I could make that fit into my life. I’m time poor, and there’s no sense in setting myself up to fail.

It’s going to look ridiculous in my bedroom, a big shiny steel monster amongst the shabby chic of patchwork, stone and beams, but I can fall out of bed and get at it before I shower in the morning. Crap. I’m going to hate it aren’t I? But you know what, that’s ok…I’m mentally preparing myself. I’ve no doubt that I will wear my very best ‘bulldog chewing a wasp’ face as I get to grips with it and I’m pretty sure I’ll turn the air blue by effing and jeffing on a daily basis. At first. But I’m going to make damned sure this one doesn’t end up as a clothes stand. That’s my promise to myself, and you all heard me, right?

It gets delivered sometime next week…I’m excited with a touch of trepidation but 2016 starts here, and I’m ready 🙂

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