Monthly Archives: March 2016

Food, Shmood, Whatever!


One of the things that really fascinates me about people is that we’re all different. Each one of us is different in the way we look at the world as well as having different priorities, and different stuff which pushes our buttons. One of the things which intrigues me most of all is how people who are really different often get on incredibly well.

Take my friend for example. She’s one of my special people you know? We’ve been through a lot together over the last twenty-odd years. Our friendship is rooted in mutual affection and respect, although I guess that hardly needs calling out when I’m talking about a friendship which has lasted all this time. And yet, I think you’d struggle to find two more different people.

You know me, I’m an eternal optimist. I look at the world through can-do eyes, and I have an unwavering belief that everything will come good in the end. Looking back I’m not sure why I was blessed with such a sunny disposition, I just can’t remember a time when I didn’t have hope in my heart that even shit would eventually turn to gold if I hung in there long enough.

In the middle of whatever shit-storm has surrounded me, I’ve stubbornly refused to stray anywhere near why me? territory because I just don’t find that it helps. What I do instead, is blithely push through and hope for the best. I’ve always described myself as good in a crisis, and that’s fine and dandy in the moment, but I don’t always cut to the chase and deal with the pain or the fallout because I’m so busy focusing on the positive outcome which I’m sure  will materialize…eventually.

And God forbid I would need to ask anyone for help, I mean it’s just not something I do…I never have. So I emerge from the storm with a smile on my face, and life carries on but there’s often stuff which stays unresolved on the inside. In an indirect way I’m sure that’s contributed to the size of my arse, you know?

My friend’s approach is different. She would look you in the eye and tell you how strong I am, but in reality she’s the strong one. She’s not afraid to have a few why me? moments, but she’ll do it whilst she’s staring down whatever it is that’s causing her pain, and she deals with it there and then. It might take a while to come out the other side, but when she does, it’s resolved in a way that isn’t just skin deep, I mean it’s mended, not ignored.

So we’re like chalk and cheese, but very close non the less. Last time we were chatting we talked about how my diet and exercise regime was going, and reflected on how I’d been up and down the scale a gazillion times over all the years that we’d been friends, and how food had always been my Achilles heel. And then, my friend said something which sort of stopped me in my tracks.

I really only eat because I have to, I wouldn’t care if I never ate again.

HELLO?  I thought I knew about all the ways in which we’re different, but I never knew about that one! I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what she was saying, you know? I mean this is food we’re talking about. It’s the first thing I think about when I open my eyes in the morning, and on Sundays especially when I wake up to a brand new Weight Watchers’ week bursting at the seams with new Smart Points, I get really giddy at how my week is going to pan out and what food I’m going to be able to eat.

It preoccupies me, all the time. Even now I’m losing weight, in fact probably more so now I’m losing weight. My head, to one degree or another, is always overly invested in what I’m going to eat next, where it’s coming from, and how I can absolutely maximize the experience. And we all know by that  I mean how much I can fit on the plate whilst using as few smart points as possible so there’s scope for more  food later.

I suppose I’ve always known that not everyone is as preoccupied with eating stuff as I am, but it never occurred to me before that point that anyone, ever, would almost regard food as an nuisance…necessary to make the wheels go round but serving no purpose other than providing fuel for their body. I mean, it’s food! It tastes good!! What’s not to love?!!!

I can’t begin to understand it, but then I suppose some folk wouldn’t be able to imagine a world without wine, right? My friend is one of them, to be fair.

Me, I’d rather eat the grapes 🙂

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Nothing To See Here


I spent some time in the company of a good friend of mine a couple of weeks ago and we had a long-awaited catch up with each others’ news. Not that I had masses of news to share, to be fair my life revolves around work, family and blog, in that order and almost exclusively. I’m incredibly lucky to have a very tight group of close friends, and whilst I love them all to the moon and back, we don’t actually see each other that often you know? Busy people with busy lives and we’re spread far and wide to boot.

So it’s fair to say my down-time is mainly spent focusing on me. I fill it with a bit of writing, a bit of reading…some walking of course, I guess just burning time in that way that I seem to be able to do effortlessly. I appreciate my life might look a little solitary and introspective to anyone on the outside looking in, but actually after a Monday to Friday full of early starts and late finishes with more than a little bit of madness sandwiched in-between, solitude is generally how I like recharging my batteries, and it works for me. Except I always feel a bit lacking in the news department when eyes turn to me for any kind of update.

My friend, on the other hand was full of news. She’s busy ’till she’s dizzy, all the time. Her work isn’t hugely demanding, in fact she freely admits that she goes to work for a rest from her massively over-stuffed social life. I’m telling you, my ears were exhausted by the time she’d done updating me on everything she’s been up to. As well as side-helpings of who’d done what to who, and what this person and that person thinks about it…I think I was fully appraised of the comings and goings of anyone I’ve ever known by the time she paused for breath. She thrives on being in the thick of everything, not to mention being the glue that holds several different groups of friends together.

And then it was my turn to fill her in on all my stuff…hmm. It didn’t take long! We chatted about my blog, and my diet of course, and how it was all going…it’s the biggest thing in my life right now. We talked about how I can feel my body starting change in response to all these hard yards, and things which felt impossible as I emerged from my fat and painful summer last year are starting to feel not just possible, but like actual plans. We sketched out what my life as a skinny string bean might look like, and reached the conclusion that it would look pretty much like the life I live now, just with smaller pants. I like my life, and I’m not  looking for anything else to change.

I don’t know that I could do what I’m doing, against the backdrop of a hundred other commitments. If I lived my friend’s life, for example…I’m not sure I could get my shit together under that amount of busy. Our conversation, and the opposite nature of our lifestyles made me reflect I suppose, about how lucky I am to be able to dedicate so much time to just me.  I mean, my mum’s quite needy these days and work is busy, but the way I juggle those things with the time I spend in here and focusing on me, is to empty my dance card of as many other commitments as possible, which I guess on the face of it makes me appear quite anti-social.

I’m not, not really. But I am quite selfish of my time, and I’m not inclined to apologise for that. Seriously, I take my hat off to those of you in the posse who manage work and family commitments and an active social life alongside your diet and exercise needs. I mean seriously, bloody good effort…I don’t know that I could juggle all that. Being a single girl, I’m lucky in that it’s okay for me to focus on just me…there’s nobody to get in a strop because I’m only pleasing myself.

It’s an interesting thought though. Maybe I need to learn how to juggle more balls..?


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What Goes In One End…


It’s funny you know, there are so many things that we’ve chatted about over the last few months where I’ve come to realise that life and diet kind of mirror each other, you know? It’s almost like there’s a set of life rules which apply to all situations including food and lifestyle choices, which I always regarded as something completely separate.

I’m going through the process of applying tags to all my posts at the moment so they feed into the tag cloud I made last week, and reading some of the older posts reminded me of some of the moments where things started to fall into place for me. Unpicking the flawed thought patterns in my head is an ongoing process which has been utterly priceless on this journey so far, and I find myself drawing comparisons all over the place now, often subconsciously which goes to show just how determined my head is to weed out all the crap.

This week, out of nowhere, I found myself staring one of my more familiar mantras square between the eyes and wondering how I’d never drawn the parallel before between life and diet. I bang on about it all the time, and yet I’ve never joined the dots.

So one of the things that I live and breathe in my day job is leadership development. When people first start cutting their teeth in leadership roles, one of the things which sometimes trips them up is where they start holding people accountable for the results they get without giving any thought to the input which was at the root of someone’s success or failure in any given project.

Of course you have to measure and evaluate whether someone is achieving results, but you can’t coach and develop their output, can you? What you can do as a leader is coach and support someone in how they do their job, so the quality of their input is better. In turn that has a direct effect on their results, which get better. Every time.

My mantra therefore is that you manage the input, and measure the output. Don’t hold people accountable for just the results, right? The results are what they are, actually they’re just a by-product of what someone has put in at the front end…accountability starts and ends with the behaviours which feed those results at the business end. And I was listening to one of our senior managers playing that back to someone in his team, and the penny dropped…how is that different in the context of our efforts to lose weight? It’s not! Of course it’s not, in fact saying it out loud makes me feel like Queen of stating the bleeding obvious.

I should worry less about what the bitch in the bathroom is going to tell me, and focus all my energies instead on what I’m bringing to the party. The number I drop at the end of the week is a direct result of my input over the last seven days, right? With the odd blip here and there, but by and large there’s a direct correlation. The number is what it is, the bits that I’m accountable for are the choices I’ve made around what I’m putting in my mouth and how far and how fast and how regularly I’m moving my body.

I take care of the input, and the bitch in the bathroom’s only job is to report back on the number. Providing she’s on the correct tile, obviously.

Of course it’s never just that simple is it…if it was I’d have earned my string bean stripes donkey’s years ago. It’s complicated by the Asshole voice who’s on a mission to derail the input and my own occasional willingness to listen to him over holding the line and getting it right every time. However. Instead of saying I’m going for three pounds down this week, what I should be saying is I’m going for a 100% clean eating week with exercise every day and I’m going to resist any asshole suggestions that don’t support the cause.

So…I’m going for a 100% clean eating week with exercise every day and I’m going to resist any asshole suggestions that don’t support the cause.

Watch this space 🙂

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A Debt-Free Easter Monday

eggsI couldn’t help thinking as I came downstairs this Easter Monday morning to find no plundered Easter Egg boxes with I owe you notes hastily scribbled and stuck to the side, how different this year has been to many in the past. To be fair, my boy didn’t have any Easter Eggs this year – he’s not overly bothered by a desire to eat chocolate and I figured that not having any in the house was safer. He’s in his late twenties now so the fact that the Easter Bunny didn’t come calling isn’t going to send him to therapy in later life, you know?

When he was little I was in a particularly bad place where my relationship with food was concerned. I mean, I’d grown up as a fat child and my mum had regularly applied edible band-aids to anything that hurt me, so medicating with food was par for the course. However, in my very early twenties I found myself alone with a new baby having escaped from an abusive marriage, and at times it felt like food was my only companion.

We had a tiny family, even back then. Just the two of us and my mum, who lived nearby, and a handful of extended family who lived much further away. I had a bee in my Easter bonnet about my boy not ‘suffering’ from a lack of Easter eggs due to the fact that our family unit was so small, so I remember buying Easter Eggs for him from long-gone family members…here you go son, this one’s from your great grandma and that one’s from your old Uncle Donald…even I didn’t remember too much about Uncle Donald, who was my mum’s second-cousin-once-removed and who’d been pushing up daisies for a good twenty years before my boy was even born. And he must surely have wondered in his two or three or four-year-old little head who the hell all these relatives were, who sent Easter eggs but never came to visit.

So on Easter Sunday there was always an impressive array of chocolate eggs for my boy, hand delivered by the Easter Bunny. If I’m being completely honest, some of them were the second or even third replacement of the original purchase, depending on how many times I’d been caught in the grip of a binge in the month or so leading up to the big day. And lets not even get started on the post-Easter binges, which were all very well until he got the hang of sums. Then it became a bit more difficult to get away with. But I had four left Mummy and now there’s only three…

I became really adept at fashioning the fancy foil in an Easter Egg sort of shape and arranging them in their boxes on top of the dresser until I had chance to replace them, so he could count them not realising they were empty. And then when he was older, and sussed that out I’d scribble an I owe you, and promise two eggs to replace the one I’d accidentally eaten.

On the surface of it, it’s amusing. Except it’s not, not really…since when is it amusing to lie to your child, and steal from them..? I mean, I know it’s only chocolate but still. That’s the behaviour of an addict, right? I didn’t recognise it back in the day, it’s only now that I can look back retrospectively and feel that hot flush of shame when I realise how messed up it all was.

This year, there is no carnage, not a single creative foil sculpture, and no I owe you notes. Mind you, these days I’d be far more likely to get greeted by an infuriated man-child holding an empty box hollering I can’t believe you’ve eaten my fucking Easter egg again…a bit like me, he calls a spade a spade. But I’m here to tell you that waking up chocolate-debt free on the day after Easter is a good feeling 🙂


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Stone Cold Easter Egg Sober


Happy Easter one and all…I hope you have a wonderful day whatever you’re up to. Me, I have nothing special planned, other than today being the day that I’ll get my fat wardrobe loaded on eBay, as well as walking with Charlie dog and playing host to my mum who will be with us later.

I think it’s only the second time in my life where I haven’t eaten chocolate for breakfast on Easter Sunday. I almost feel like I’m breaking the law. I must admit I had a quick two minute sulk before I emerged from under the duvet this morning at how unfair it all was that more than likely everyone in my neighbourhood except me would be in a sugar-induced coma at that very moment, but then I looked across my bedroom at the mountain of fat clothes which are too big for me to wear now, and I got over myself pretty quickly. See? If I’d moved that pile of stuff when I should have, it wouldn’t have been there to sweeten my mood today.

On our walk yesterday, my thoughts turned to the shopping I needed to do afterwards, and I couldn’t help wondering exactly how many Easter eggs I was going to get mugged by as I walked around the supermarket. Not to mention the fact that currently cheese balls are on offer two for one. It all made me feel a bit under attack, you know like a double-whammy of temptation.

I kicked that one around for ages, before deciding to simply go to a different shop. I’ve already ‘fessed up about my momentary weakness this week with the cheese and pickle sandwich, and fries so I’m not in the mood for flirting with the danger zone. Bargain and cheese balls have proven to be a killer combo in the past and I wasn’t going anywhere near it.

Seriously, earlier this week when I was in there I must have walked past and eyed them up at least half a dozen times, arguing with the Asshole voice the whole time. Thankfully yesterday’s diversionary tactics paid dividends and I came home without either, having treated myself to a pack of the biggest fattest cherries you’ve ever seen.

I did make myself a sweet treat for breakfast this morning though, have any of you tried the skinny banana muffins from the video on my foodie stuff page? I’m not gonna lie, you will have tasted better muffins. But if you steer clear of the butter and icing sugar – neither are needed -they hardly cost any smart points, and they are sweet. To be fair, once you’ve sampled a few batches and gotten over the texture (which is distinctly un-muffinlike) they’re not half bad.

Anyway…for those of you who accepted the three-pound-challenge challenge last Sunday, I hope you did better than me 🙁 Half a poxy pound gone this week…I’m slightly underwhelmed. Still, I started off the week with a bigger promise than I managed to deliver in the end, so I’ve written this week down to experience, and I am about to unfold a beautiful shiny new Weight Watchers week. How did y’all do?

Sod it, I’m having another crack at this. These are the reasons why this week I can do it. The clocks have gone forward overnight therefore I have an extra hour of daylight. That means when I get in from work, it’s not going to be dark and I can do my three mile walk with the dog. No excuses. I have no functions, catered days or days where my schedule is going to be anything other than in my complete control…it’s a golden week and I’m totally up for it.

Knowing you lot are cheerleading on the sidelines will spur me on…no cheese and pickle whoopsies this week m’lud, that’s a promise 🙂

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