Friday, 22 April 2016

Springing Back

I'm sure you'll all be very relieved to hear that I'm starting to feel a lot brighter ..... at bloody last I hear you all shout at your screens :o)

Whilst my stomach problems are continuing, IBS is causing the problems, plus my gall bladder is packed with stones, which is nice, in a lot of ways, the rest of my life and health is starting to slowly fall back into place.

This is my 3rd week back at work, and although I have a disciplinary awaiting me next week due to my absence, I'm hoping I'll be given the chance to show that when I'm healthy I'm a good employee - only time will tell if that give me that last chance....fingers crossed eh? My anxiety is definitely a lot better, no panic attacks for a while, which is good, and low moods, whilst still a menace, are not as frequent as they were. Would be rather marvelous to feel 100%, but for now I'll settle for being healthy enough to be at work every day!

Weight wise, I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped on the scales a few days ago, my eating is still a bit haphazard, and whilst I haven't  been eating huge amounts, what I have been eating isn't particularly healthy, and that combination has seen me settle at 20st 12lbs at the moment, so not as bad as I was expecting! The plan is to get back to eating proper food soon, but I have a reason for enjoying my food at the moment......

....I finally have someone to share with :o)

As many of you have commented,  my smile is back! This does mean, however, that much time is being spent snuggled up on the sofa with take aways or munchies. Bad Karen! Anyway, I'm sure you all want to know how I met this gorgeous hunk of a man!

We've know each other since 1986 when we both started at Hainault High - yep, it's taken me 30 years to get my man! I fancied the arse off him at school, and we even went out on a date when we were both 14 - something we both remembered - to the cinema to watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where we pretty much sat in silence and held hands.....ah the joys of being a smitten teenager! Neither of us can remember who actually plucked up the courage to ask who out at the time, and we're pretty sure crippling shyness then prevented anything more happening. So, I've always had a soft spot for Jay, and of course we were friends on Facebook as you tend to be with old school friends, we started chatting when he was going through a tough time, and things have progressed from a rekindled friendship to love - which is rather marvellous! So there you go, good things DO come to those who wait! 

Strange how someone you haven't seen since school turns out to be someone you can be utterly yourself with, open and honest with and feel so damn right and comfortable with. Life is a funny old thing.

So, with a sparkly new relationship (which feels as close and relaxed as a long standing one) and a new future to start planning for, my spirits are definitely up! He's even got me spring cleaning - so my Mum certainly approves so far :o) He's supportive of me losing weight too, and can't wait to go out on bike rides together, so there's a good incentive eh?

I'll be trying to blog more as I get myself back into the swing of looking after what I eat and shifting this weight again. Thank you all, as always, for the comments and messages, they help me so much when I'm feeling useless and worthless - your support (all of you) is priceless!

Oh, and a little P.S. for those of you who were upset at the news of me and Hague splitting up - we're still fantastic friends, more brother and sister now, and he's now engaged to his lovely lady Rach....guess who's going to be Best Man? :o) 


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Is Anybody Out There?

Well, hello there....

You might remember me from my last blog about a zillion years ago, when my life was going a bit off the rails. Unfortunately, since then, things went from bad, to worse, to really, surely that's enough now FFS!

I won't bore you with lengthy details about this year, suffice to say the optimism about dating didn't last long, with every single bloke I met, without exception, being a cockwomble, so the less said about that the better.
I finally went back to work after the episode of ME/CFS in late May, but had a total meltdown at work in September and went off again. Just to make that all the more fun, I wasn't getting paid either, and had to wait until the end of November for an ESA payment.
I also lost my Nan in September, it was a sudden loss and obviously hit me quite badly, and to be honest, nothing much about this year has given me anything to feel positive about whatsover. I spent the last 3 weeks of 2015 just willing the year to be over.

So, now, here we are, January 5th (as I'm writing, as I'm on a night shift), and whilst this year started off with a close to perfect New Year's Day, things are now right back where they were in 2015, although I'm doing my absolute damndest to not let anything drag me back down to the depths of despair I reached last year.

Weight loss wise, it's not been a great year, I'm heavier than I was this time last year, but only by a stone or so, and I'm actually not too upset about that as eating is pretty low on my agenda right now....yep, you read that correctly! For someone who has spent their whole life turning to food for all the things it can't give me, like comfort, my body seems to have gone in totally the other direction. I have barely any appetite, and quite often, when I do eat, I feel sick, sometimes I am sick. I have to force myself to eat, and the list of things I can stomach isn't exactly healthy. I need to start focusing on eating properly, getting small, healthy meals down me, but whilst that might sound easy, I was given a diet sheet by the health trainer at my Dr's and the amount of food on it almost made me feel ill. It's not a great situation at all, and for the first time, I'm having to try and sort out a very new problem with food, one I haven't dealt with before. I'm still logging my food diaries on MFP, but I'm afraid for the moment it won't be much use to any one else!!

I wanted to at least get a brief update out there to you all, as so many of you have messaged and commented asking how I am, just taking a moment out to show you care, and it genuinely means so very much to me, especially when I am struggling to deal with life, so a huge thank you to you all. You've helped more than you know.

Briefly down to business then, I'm currently making the scales weep at 22st dead. I know I need to get my eating sorted, sooner rather than later. I want to lose at least 5stone this year so I can get back to jogging, as after so much time off work, and so much energy wasted dealing with my depression and anxiety, I couldn't even walk 5k, let along jog it! Plus, I felt so much happier just being able to wear clothes that actually reflect who I am, rather than what fits! When I have some time, I think it might just be time for another list :o)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

So Many Changes.....

As you all know, life hasn't been too great over the last few months, and I think it's not too much of an exaggeration to say that my life has pretty much fallen apart. I'm still off work, and was told yesterday that I'm not well enough to go back despite me wanting to give it a go and my pay stopping on May 18th. Myself and Hague have separated and whilst my health is improving, I'm still not great - add into that the fact that practically all of that weight I worked so hard to get rid of is back, and the Dr's still don't really know what's wrong and I'm sure you can see why I feel like my world has just dropped away.


Not great news really eh? Still, life must go on, and you must try your hardest to look on the bright side, and I shall. I am getting a bit better, me and Hague are now roomies rather than a couple so we still get to be silly and see each other every day and I've now managed 2 whole days on my latest weight loss kick - which is seeing me calorie counting.

With you pretty much up to date, I'll get onto the food! I'm trying calorie counting as I feel after so long following Slimming World, and with the demise in all but name of the Green plan I need a change. Right now, I'm finding it not too bad, I have the freedom to use those calories however I like, eat whatever bread and cheese I like and am thinking a lot more before I eat - no more frivolity of unlimited foods, which is definitely reigning in the snacking, which can only be a good thing!

Today started quite late as when my alarm went off at 10, I turned it straight off as I'd still been awake at 4am and so didn't crawl out of bed until gone 1. As I had a few things to do I had a quick breakfast of gingerbread flavoured Ready Brek (2 sachets) with a banana.

 On SW that would have been 11 syns and a HeA, calorie wise it came in at a reasonable 394 calories. With that eaten I headed to the library, which I have just re-discovered, to pick up some books before heading off to stock up on food. It's quite freeing to have the information you need about a food on the front of the wrapper in the form of calories, rather than looking up the syns! Anyway, with a boot load of shopping I got back home and started to read my new books whilst covered in Pugs.

Lunch was courtesy of those good old yellow stickers as I'd picked up some ready to roast veg for 80p and so mixed that in with some gnocchi and salad, topped with a rather lush dressing that was also reduced!

SW wise, we're talking 5½ at least, as the veg had dressing on, calorie wise it came in at 526. With not a lot planned for today Netflix provided us with some viewing in the form of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which we've been watching before I then embarking on the rather scary task of doing some tidying and sorting. This has become rather a regular occurrence and I can only put that down to this illness - whatever it may be! I suppose being forced to stay off work for a bit longer will give me time to do more sorting anyway! 

Dinner was quite late, and quite simple.

In dinner and my snacks I put away 667, I'm unsure of the syns as the bread wasn't a HeB (I'm such a rebel) and the yogurt wasn't fat free! Leaving me with 12 calories left from my allowance of 1600 that MyFitnessPal gives me.

If you want to have a nosey at my food diaries, my MFP profile is here  It is a bit of a change from Slimming World, but as I've said earlier, it's really made me cut back on all my snacks, and really focus on whether I'm hungry or not, which is a good thing.

I shall say farewell for now, as with my new singledom comes such joys as Tinder, wondering why men my age look "old", pondering if it's wrong to date a 20 something and enquiries as to whether I'd be interested in a random willy pic.... methinks singledom might be the way to go for a wee while though as I've been single for around 4 months since I was 18! It's a strange new world out there! O.O


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Short and Sweet!

I want to get a blog up tonight, but I'm also very weary despite some good attempts at pacing today, with only a couple of hours between my rest periods. It's all a rather steep learning curve for me at the moment.

Today has been reasonably busy - for me - with a start not long after midday, where I got a Buttermint tea down myself before having breakfast.

Yes, I was actually organised enough to get some overnight oats in the fridge last night! Go me! With breakfast eaten, I commenced the ever ongoing text with TOK whilst colouring in some cats before heading for relax number 1.

When I'd had my 30 minutes of chilling out, I had an itch to get out as the sky was a stunning blue colour and as on top of everything else, my Vitamin D levels have been low, I figured some sunshine would help. Hence I headed out for a small womble around town, just perusing the charity shops and slowly meandering around. Somehow I ended up buying 5's a very real hazard of being a bookworm you know!

With just £6.75 splashed out, and 5 more books added to my To Be Read pile, I grabbed a quick Starbucks - Maple Macchiato with skimmed milk - for 4 syns and a HeA before heading home to once more relax for a little while. Suitably refreshed it was time for lunch, and as Hague had sorted out a spag bol whilst I was in town, all I had to do was cook some pasta and lunch was good to go :o)

I threw some rocket in with the pasta, because you can't have enough veg eh? After that I tidied for a bit, chatted for a bit and watched a bit of TV before relaxamundo number 3, after which I decided it was finally time to use my latest BzzAgent vouchers to try the new Arla Protein tubs, so off to Tesco we headed, where I also picked up some more Buttermint tea, some strawberries and a pack of reduced jacket spuds as the hungries were hitting once more. Once indoors, I sorted out dinner by bunging the spuds in the oven and then topping them with my last HeB of cheese.

The potatoes were a rather frivolous 7 syns for both, and the Arla was a single syn - so I'm now happily full, hopefully full enough for me not to wake up hungry, and about to head upstairs with yet more tea and a book. Of course it's not one of the books I bought today, they'll have to wait their turn....


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Trying and Trying and Trying!

Oh it's been a while since I got my blog on hasn't it? Despite being on plan some of the time, most of my time has been spent feeling sorry for myself, being in pain, being unable to do bugger all and eating crap as I don't have to prepare crap :o( Not good, obviously :o(

So...I find myself back up to 23stone and 2lbs - such a waste of all my efforts to reach those heady heights (or lows) of sz12 and sz14 clothes. The extent of my stupidity was shown today when a charity shop dress, in a sz26 wouldn't do up.

I could kick myself into next year - I'm so frustrated with how much I've lost my way. I know that my quite serious health issues haven't helped, but ice-cream doesn't help with possible M.E. neither do chocolate HobNobs, who knew??

Anyway, today has seen me once again step on my scales, face up to the damage I've done and get myself back on track. It's not been the easiest of times, but feeling terrible about myself, and giving my poor exhausted, aching body even more weight to deal with won't make it easier....with that in mind, today has been on plan. I have been pacing myself quite well, and so have managed to have the energy to get a blog up, albeit it a rather small one. Go me.

Breakfast was a grab and go affair, just a couple of persimmons and Alpen Lights, with that eaten we headed into town, and whilst there visited Starbucks, I resisted trying the delicious sounding maple macchiato and instead polished my halo with a Chai tea.

Chai was actually needed as I'd run out yesterday, so had to resort to normal teabags, shocking example of a first world problem there! So once we were done in town, off to Tesco it was for a rather worrying stock up....please tell me I'm not alone in my tea addiction?

 A lot of this was down to the enabling powers of a Facebook group, where it had been said that Twinings Buttermint tea tastes like Murray Mints, and so they had to be tried, as well as stocking up on my Chai, and then spotting Cherry Bakewell and Fudge Melt tea - so all were purchased. I can at least manage to make a cuppa with my depleted energy levels :o)

Once home, we were both rather hungry and so Hague got to work on a mammoth roast dinner. Sod convention, we wanted a roast and we didn't care it was Tuesday. We are such rebels....

Three syns for gravy and another ½ for the yogurt - note the Buttermint tea in the background, it's gorgeous!

As is now normal for me, my day has been split with activity and relaxing, this is due to a technique called pacing, where I have to ensure I get enough rest between doing just about anything. Even reading a new book is a high impact activity :o( Not good news for a book worm! So after suitable intervals of relaxing and minor activity I was hungry once more and managed to make myself dinner! A huge achievement, believe me!

Just an omelette and salad, but all made by me :o) Dessert was a tropical combination of a Shape pineapple and coconut yogurt with prunes and a Graze punnet with mango, coconut and pineapple. This was accompanied by the Cherry Bakewell tea, which was a tad under whelming :o(

I am ending the day having used 8½ syns, and feeling like I can do this again. There's nothing like sorting out all your clothes and realising that 98% of the gorgeous clothes busting out of the wardrobe don't  bloody fit!

Hopefully I'll have the energy to at least blog every day. I know it does help keep me on plan, and so I should do my best to make it a part of my day. Thanks for sticking with me, hopefully I can stick with it this time eh?


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Very Grown Up Day....

Today I have mostly retreated from the adult world. As you do....To be honest, I was shocked to be awake at just after 10am as it hadn't been a great night, with me and Hague both unable to sleep and so a lot of the night was spent chatting and reading rather than sleeping. So when I woke up just after 10 actually feeling okay, it was a huge shock! Perhaps there's something in this pacing lark...except for the not sleeping bit, that wasn't so great....

Anyway...I got up, and had myself a pretty fuss free breakfast.

Muesli, fruit and yogurt, job done. I had a cuppa or two, and as I was ahead of schedule decided to jig around my daily timetable and got one horrible job out of the way with a quick phone call to my mortgage company to ask (very nicely) for a bit of leeway as I'm now on half pay, with that successfully out of the way, next on the agenda was heading into town, for some very essential purchases...

Told you they were essentials ;o) To be fair, we did also get some dog food too before heading home for me to have a relax/meditation session whilst Hague cooked lunch.

No superfree, but it was damn fine! I then got onto my main task of the day, colouring. Assisted by Ms Tinkerbell...

Unfortunately, she tends to smudge! Hague also managed to coax our new family member out for a quick cuddle and a bit of reassurance before she decided to hide behind the sofa again. Poor sausage, hopefully she'll feel more settled soon, as I'm sure you'll agree that she is a very beautiful Pussmph.

Bless her nervous little socks! The rest of the evening has pretty much been spent ignoring the tasks on my phone as they popped up, preferring to carry on with my colouring rather than the cleaning the loo and bedroom tidying I had planned for the day. 

When it comes to pacing though, any task uses energy, be it physical or mental, and so I still need to watch myself as too much colouring, as it does need concentration, could cause as much harm as overdoing it on anything physical. A break ensues in the shape of the Comic Relief Bake Off, a double portion, as seeing as Hague enjoyed tonight's I forced asked him if he wanted to watch the first episode with Dame Edna.....comedy gold, if you've not seen it yet, get thee to iPlayer and get it watched, it's fantastic.

I digress, dinner happened too, followed by a very lazy dessert...

Pasta salad, followed by some cherries and my HeB. I'll probably end the day with a hot chocolate again, which pushes my syns up to a whopping 6 for the day. I must bid you farewell for now, as my fairies just won't colour themselves! 


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Planning and Pacing

Once more it's been an age since I blogged, my 40th has been and gone, my health is still shocking and we've had to say goodbye to my precious JadeyPuss too.

I miss her terribly, and the house doesn't seem right without a cat. Life really does seem to be intent on kicking us whilst we're down at the moment, and so for budgetary reasons - half pay is now looming as I've been off work for too long - when we made the decision to get back on plan, we decided to plan our meals out.

It meant our food bill came in at £27 this week, which is marvellous, and whilst I didn't eat too much yesterday as I spent most of the day sleeping, what I did eat was on plan. I finally got some information through yesterday from the local ME/CFS clinic, which contained some ways to help combat the extreme tiredness that I'm suffering. One of the tools was pacing, where you plan out your day to include specific rest times. Times when you are literally doing nothing but relaxing, so not even reading or watching TV as all will "drain your battery" as it were. So today was entirely mapped out, here's hoping it helps!

So, as per my plan, I set my alarm for midday and got up and sorted out my breakfast, just something light as Hague was already thinking about lunch!

As pacing means that any activities deemed "high energy" which can vary from going for a walk, going shopping or watching a new film or reading a new book, needs to be sandwiched by rest, after breakfast and a bit of TV I had my first relaxation moment, spending 20 minutes listening to a meditation app I'd downloaded. We then headed off to pick up our new addition. Much as losing Jadey broke my heart, and she can never be replaced, our home just doesn't seem right now without a cat, and so when a friend reached out to us, looking for a new home for her bullied cat.....we couldn't say no....

So now, our menagerie has a new member:

This little sweetheart is Phoenix, who has spent the last few months being bullied by another cat and so we've welcomed her into our home, although right now she's hiding under the sofa - who can blame her? Hopefully she'll settle in soon enough so she can start getting smothered with love and spoilt rotten :o)

After picking her up it was time to chill out a bit before lunch.

A bloody gorgeous cheesey pasta bake made my Hague! In my strictly planned day, more TV then happened (as well as texting TOK, can't really plan in something you do practically all day) before I had a hour to do some tidying. This is where I've been going wrong with trying to push through my tiredness. When I feel quite awake and lively I try and cram in doing everything that I'm normally too tired to do, all this does is delay that tiredness and so when I do sleep I will sleep for far, far too long - the leaflet calls this boom and bust and it's what I've been mistakenly doing for many months trying to force myself better. It doesn't work! I've been getting frustrated with not being able to do things, and so tidying will feature a lot in my planning, just in small chunks, I did an hour today, and followed it with relaxation.

Slight hiccup with my 5pm relaxation as Hague came bounding upstairs, shouting at me to let me know it was time to relax, when I'd already started my meditation lol! I must admit the meditation apps do seem to chill me out, but I'll be varying them with other things like audio books too. They also make me hungry, as I needed a snack once I was done!

Then it was time for the general TV/Internet/Reading trinity which marks my days, followed by colouring, I don't care that I'm 40.

Hague had put dinner in the slow cooker before he went kickboxing, so at 8pm sharp it was time to eat, a simple mix of stock, mixed veggies and lentils.

Once I'd put bread fishies in there, I was stuffed and so the other slice, rather than being eaten  because it was there, was put back *polishes halo*

I'm actually ahead of my schedule, blogging now, but I figured I'd get it down before I was too tired, and that leaves more time spare to plan tomorrow and do me some more colouring ;o)

Food diary has shifted to MyFitnessPal, to save my fingers, so feel free to add me on there, and I also post up my food pics during the day on Instagram if you want to find me there too!

Here's hoping that my scary new starting weight of 22st 10lbs is soon just a blot on the horizon as I head back down to target once more :o) Thanks for staying with me through thick and thin (and thick again) Your support is fabulous.