Tag Archives: diet

Blood and Weight Loss

It was blood testing again today. They are bleeding me weekly as my results are failing to impress. There’s probably a pun or two in there somewhere, bearing in mind that I’m not much good at bleeding and am therefore bleeding weakly. I’m also getting bleeding irritated at having to go in every week.

This week I managed to provide a sample after being stabbed in the arm just the twice. This is better than recent results and I’m glad to report I hardly felt a thing.

I thought I’d get weighed while I was there, as I wanted to check if I was actually losing weight or whether the slack trousers were merely an illusion.

It turns out that I have actually lost nine pounds in the last four weeks.

I’ve not used any fancy diets, and done very little exercise, just cut out bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. And cut back severely on chocolate and cakes. I’ve also started cutting down on portion sizes. Simple things, small steps, and so far it’s producing reasonable results.

 

 

 

The Moral Maze

I am in a quandary. When Julia went to work this morning she left five chocolates in the box from yesterday, and a clear explanation of what would happen if there weren’t at least three left when she returned.

An hour or two I found myself looking at an empty box. I’, mot sure what happened, and this isn’t really the place to discuss it, but we seem to have been the victims of some sort of specialist robber.

I bought a replacement box when I shopped this afternoon and the box is sitting on the coffee table waiting to be eaten.

The question is – do I eat most of the chocolates to reduce the numbers to five (and endanger my diet) or do I leave the box full and hope she doesn’t notice?

After all, if she sees it has filled up again she might think it is a magic box and might expect it to fill up every morning…

What would you do?

Julia’s New Project

Julia’s first project of the year was to make me fitter and thinner. I’m going along with it because it’s easier than becoming industrious and efficient.Two months in and I seem to have lost half a stone without inconveniencing myself too much. I can also walk significantly further than I could at Christmas, and my joints are feeling better.

So far it’s down to eating better, rather than eating less. The next stage is to start reducing portion sizes too. You will have to imagine the expression on my face as I type that last bit.

Storm Doris is currently whistling round the house so I’m cutting back on the walking today. I’m in the middle of an Amber Weather Warning at the moment, with gusts of wind of up to 80 mph. That’s the magic of the information age. When I was a lad “windy” would have been the only word I needed. I was certainly never on first name terms with the weather.

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Squirrel stealing bird food

Anyway, now that exercise I am (slightly) smaller and fitter she is transferring her attention to a new project.

The Danes have hygge and the Norwegians have Friluftsliv . Even the Germans have Gemütlichkeit, and they aren’t a famously cheerful nation.

Julia’s new project is to discover a suitable English equivalent. We have mindfulness, though I’m not sure it’s quite the same. I incline to morosity myself, which is about as opposite to hygge as you can get. Yes, it is a word. More than that, it’s a word I’ve never used before.

Looks like we need a new word for English-style happiness. I favour something with a Scandinavian twist, because they seem to be the leaders in the field.

Julia favours something more domestic, something along the lines of “middle aged man snoring in front of the TV, which sounds more like the basis of a haiku to me.

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Can you see it now?

I have translated  “middle aged man snoring in front of the TV” and my favourite (“ducks and sunshine”) into various Scandinavian languages.

English: Middle aged man snoring in front of TV – ducks and sunshine

Danish: Den midaldrende mand snorken foran TV –  ænder og solskin

Norwegian: Middelaldrende mann snorking fra foran TV – ender og solskinn

Swedish: En medelålders man snarkningar framför TV – ankor och solsken

Is there anything there we can use, do you think?

Julia doesn’t seem impressed; she’s just wandered off muttering “idiot with a laptop” and I don’t think it’s a suggestion for translation…

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Julia hiding in shrubbery

Photographs have been selected to show examples of things that make me happy. I don’t have a picture of ice cream.

 

First Lambs

Well, I was right about the sheep being less reliable than a calendar. The first lambs (twins) came a couple of hours after the last post, though only one survived. The other one isn’t looking particularly healthy either. It’s not an upbeat way to start a post, but that’s farming for you.

That’s the problem with sheep, too much drama. Chickens will lay eggs by the hundred and pigs will pump out dozens of piglets, but ask a sheep to drop a couple of lambs and it’s like a Shakespearean tragedy. Royal babies are born with less effort.

Julia and the group collected the eggs, planted bedding and measured the micro-climate in the agroforestry project today. We’ve also been watching the Peregrine Falcons on the Nottingham Trent University webcam.

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Meanwhile I’ve offered encouragement, sent emails, done a couple of bookings, tweeted, blogged, had a neighbour in to discuss the Easter Egg Hunt, helped another with an email account and had half an hour on the phone to the NHS discussing the state of my health. They are convinced that I’m unhealthy because I’m fat, and though it’s true that I could be thinner and fitter I don’t generally feel too bad. However, by the time I’d finished with the telephone consultation I did feel a bit peaky. The NHS tends to have that effect on me.

We did establish one interesting point – I have more units of cake a week than I do of alcohol. Two biscuits is one unit. Two! I admitted to eight units a week. What has it come to when I am completely open about my smoking (gave up 15 years ago), drinking (almost none these days) and exercise (ditto) but find myself lying about my biscuit habit?

It doesn’t look like a particularly industrious day, despite the effort involved in lying about my biscuit intake. It’s certainly not, as the man from the NHS pointed out, been a day of exercise.

Now I’m going to brew tea and have a meeting, and no, I will not be having a biscuit.

 

 

Knitting and stuff

Main feature of the day was the woolly workshop, though the main things that will stick in my mind is the letter from Nottinghamshire County Council wanting to see all our quality assurance documentation and the call from the Fat Police.

NCC, as always, seem to assume that we have a bloated administrative structure with little better to do than produce words and waffle. I will say no more, but you can probably read my mind on that one.

The Fat Police, who aren’t really called that, they are “something for change” or something like that, rang me after the practice ratted me out as a fatty last time I visited. And what did they do? They rang me to make a telephone appointment for somebody else to call me. In two week’s time. It’s a bit of a long drawn out process, but it suits me, as I’m not that keen on the process of starvation that seems to be involved in weight loss. Bit casual for the NHS, considering they keep telling me I’m in danger of dropping dead.

All that plus home baked bread from one of the group, which went down nicely with another version of the cheap orange-coloured soup (carrot, parsnip, onion, potato, black pepper, stock cube). I like white bread, though it seems a bit like a guilty pleasure in these days of wholemeal, sourdough and spelt.

Anyway, as you can see from the pictures Jen Hunter’s woolly workshop was a great success and most of the group, plus some of the village, will be sporting snoods next week. Men in Sheds will be producing the knitting rings in the near future too. She will be talking at the meeting this evening too.

 

 

 

Tantrums and Thunderstorms

It’s been an oppressive day all round, both with temperature, humidity and picky bad temper. We’ve had several arguments amongst members of the group and a variety of bad behaviour. Even so, in keeping with the tetchy atmosphere, it wasn’t that which annoyed me most, it was the reckless use of craft supplies to build Minions. It started with a brief to make an entry for the art competition at Flintham Ploughing Match (theme: Nature). Several hours later (which necessitated not doing any gardening) we ended up with a selection of malformed yellow balls.

You can’t fault the effort that’s gone in, but it’s frustrating to think that it’s all wasted because enthusiasm for Minions seems to have blocked out all mention of “Nature”.

Ah well!

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The chick is still doing well but yet again the mother seems only able to hatch one chick out of a clutch. It’s a mystery to me what’s happening as you ought to be able to hatch more by accident than the one from 12 she seems to manage. She’s still sitting tight but the absence of another chick after three days isn’t looking good. Truth is that we’re not 100% sure where she gathered all the eggs from so as long as she’s happy we’re going to stay patient.

The farm is harvesting at full pelt, thundering past the centre with trailer loads of grain (always when I didn’t have a camera with me) but fortunately always managing to do it when there is nobody in the way. Theoretically I’ve discharged my Health and Safety duties by reminding farm staff that we have a group in and by reminding the group not to cross the yard without us present. In practice we don’t want a flat client so it’s slightly more stressful than that.

It was a fairly flat butterfly day today until I had a walk round in the middle of the afternoon. I managed to get some poor shots of a Common Blue male. It’s not the biggest of targets and now that cameras only have screens, and those screens are always smeared and subject to glare…

You get the picture.

I’m going to borrow Julia’s Canon tomorrow.

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The washing up bowl pond is doing OK, though we keep having to top it up due to the lack of rain. It’s finally got some wildlife in it, though mosquito larvae aren’t really what you want. The water mint is thriving, so that’s another species we have to talk about.

As we walked round the hedge by the allotment we saw what I think was a female Common Blue, which is brown, and then another blue. The latter was by a good growth of ivy, raising hopes that it might be a Holly Blue. I followed, but lost it and got stuck in a patch of thistles whilst a family of wrens tittered at me and a chaffinch looked on in disbelief.

As we got back to the centre my phone rang for the second time of the day (which is unusual, as nobody talks to me unless they really have to). It was the person who had asked me to do the permaculture talk. I’m not needed. I was a little relieved as after agreeing to do it I’d realised that was the weekend we were going to see my cousin in Norfolk. On the other hand my cousin is a doctor and she’s expecting me to have lost weight…

Unfortunately we have a forecast of thunderstorms late tomorrow, which is going to put a stop to combining. Looking on the bright side we may still get some butterfly watching in again.