My scales hate me!

Okay, I confess, I didn’t exactly bother with healthy eating while I was on holiday. When faced with all the foods I love that are unavailable here, I don’t have much self-control. There were fish and chips, cream teas, Cornish pasties and crumpets. But there were also days we skipped lunch because by the time we had finished whatever thing we were doing it made more sense to go straight to tea (uh, that’s dinner to most of you). And there was walking along beaches and around botanical gardens for miles. Plus we went hiking three times in the Lake District. That’s three four-hour hikes, up and down mountains, clambering over rocks, squelching through bogs… so why do my scales tell me I’ve not only put on all the weight I had lost (which admittedly was only just over a kilogram), but also put on an extra kilogram on top of that? It just goes to show what I already suspected… when it comes to weight loss, exercise is of no use to me. The only way for me to get those scales to be my friend is to cut calories. And with a mere three months to go until I need to fit in a bridesmaid dress, it is a matter of some urgency! So no more crisps, chocolate, cakes and bacon for me… except as a special treat. Healthy eating starts now.

scone
This scone with clotted cream and jam was worth every calorie!
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2017 aims (or something)

basel-rhine

As I mentioned, today is a public holiday in the part of Germany where I work. However, it is not in Switzerland (or at least not in Basel – I don’t know about other cantons), so I took advantage of having the place to myself to get rid of the chaos of Christmas. The decorations are down and have been put away, as have the Christmas papers, ribbons and other embellishments I was using for my cards. I’ve found homes for the last few gifts and even took away some of the glass recycling, which is usually difficult because both my lunch break and the time I finish for the day are during “quiet hours” when you’re not supposed to use the glass bins. Most productive use of my time.

With the final reminders of the holiday period gone, it seemed like a good time to finally start looking forward to 2017. I’m not making resolutions as such, but I do have a few aims… or maybe guidelines… that I want to bear in mind this year. So here they are. By the way, the photo at the top has nothing to do with anything, I just thought the post needed a photo…

  • Get regular exercise, even if it’s just walking into Basel more often instead of taking the tram (I did this today actually, so I’ve started well!). After spending all of October and part of November hobbling around, I was starting to feel a bit sloth-like, so this year I want to try and get out there and move!
  • Eat healthily most days. I don’t want to obsess about it, and if there happens to be cake on the days I have to go into the office I will definitely be having some! But I do want to try and fit in some vegetables every day and try to have some healthier breakfasts on hand (or eat breakfast at all!). My aim is to experiment with more vegetarian recipes at the beginning the year when I’m still motivated so I hopefully find a few quick and easy ones for later on when I can’t be bothered. A simple way of getting into the routine of having vegetables every day πŸ™‚
  • Try not to stress over things I have no control over. What will be will be, and obsessing over things doesn’t make life any easier.
  • Spend more time with Jan without any screens being involved! Most of our evenings seem to end up with us either watching something (be it on TV or a DVD), Jan on his laptop doing more work or both of us sitting in the same room, but mainly looking at our respective devices. I want to try and have at least some time this year where we’re both in the flat and not looking at a screen! I think I’ll start by suggesting we try to eat at the table once or twice a week and go from there.

That’s basically it. Apart from that I plan to continue exploring Switzerland, keep cross stitching, read lots and basically just try to enjoy myself in the moment. With all the terrible things that happened in the world last year and that are set to continue this year (and I don’t mean celebrity deaths! There were many scarier things going on than that last year!) I want to try and keep my little corner of the world positive and happy place. Here’s hoping for good things this year!

Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2017? I hope it’s a fabulous year for all of you, whatever your plans.

July goals

I don’t usually do this kind of post, but this is supposed to be a place for me to gather my thoughts and what I’m thinking about right now is goals for the month πŸ˜‰ Also, our internet has been flaky since we got home, which has kind of thrown a spanner in the works of the Vienna posts. It’s difficult to upload photos when the browser keeps telling you it’s unable to connect!

  • Complete the 30 Day Squat Challenge! I had to restart because I didn’t do any squats in Austria. I’m now back to day 4 and this time I actually want to finish it.
  • Be more careful with my money. I did waaaay too much online shopping last month (mostly buying books and summer clothes), and when I checked my bank balance just before we went to Austria I nearly had a heart attack. Of course, it didn’t help that the TV licence people took their money, which doesn’t happen every month. In July, I need to budget better and actually have some money left when my brother comes to visit!
  • Lose 2 kg before my brother comes. That will put me 2 kg above what I weighed after I had my wisdom teeth out. I can’t believe I’ve actually put on 4 kg since then (almost back up to my original weight!) so I’m determined to get at least halfway back to that weight!
  • Complete the summer reading challenge. I should be able to read 2.5 books by the end of the month, right?
  • Eat fruit! I’m terrible at it because whenever I buy fruit it goes mouldy before I can consume any so I end up not bothering to buy any more. But this month I want to buy some and actually do something with it before it’s too late!

That’s all. Five things sounds like it should be doable. Especially since some of them I’ve already started anyway… I just need to actually stick with them this time!

 

Weigh-in Wednesday (The last time in my 20s!)

I know I’ve already posted today, but it is Wednesday and that means weigh-in time! You can just view the Goslar post as an added bonus…

chips
Naughty… but oh so gooood! (Photo credit: dangermain)

Well, I was doing really well with eating healthily and sticking to my calorie limit until yesterday, when I was just hungry all day! By the time I got to the pub for quiz night, there was no way I was going for the semi-healthy option of breaded chicken breast with salsa and salad. Nope… toasted sandwich and chips all the way! Despite that, my weight is down by 0.8 kg since last week and down 2.3 kg since I started using My Fitness Pal. So about 2 kg left to go until goal weight!

My body fat percentage has been up and down like a yoyo this week! This morning it was 29.6%, which is down on last week at least, although not exactly ideal. It was the chips that did it, obviously! πŸ˜‰

Just look at those fluctuations!
Just look at those fluctuations!

Since last Thursday, I’ve been consistently measuring a waistline of 77 cm! Woo hoo. If it stays that way until my birthday I shall be very happy.

In terms of exercise, I have to confess I’ve been doing extremely badly, partly because I’ve been coming home in the evening then switching the computer on to do more work, but mostly because it’s just been far too hot! I managed some sit ups on Sunday, but that was it. Sorry, but I just can’t bring myself to work out when it’s 38Β°C outside… It’s cooled down a bit now though after yesterday’s thunder storm (which I got soaked in!), so hopefully it will stay like this and I’ll be able to do a few work outs!

Next weigh in will be the day after my birthday, so we’ll see what damage a day of not caring what I eat and drink does for my progress πŸ˜‰

Weigh-in Wednesday: 30 minutes exercise not happening!

So, it’s Wednesday again (how did that happen?!), and that means it’s time for another weigh in.

Despite my plans to treat myself on Saturday, I actually ended up doing pretty well this weekend, mostly because I was so buy preparing for curry night I didn’t have the chance to eat anything else that day! In the end, I was only 10 calories over my daily limit despite the glasses of wine.

My weight has fluctuated a lot since last week, but it hasn’t gone back up to my starting weight at any point, which is good. Last week, I was 0.5 kg down from when I started… this week I’m at roughly the same, although I did record a weight that was 1 kg down from original weight. Only on one day though.

My body fat in percent also fluctuates quite a bit, but it’s only gone above last week’s measurement of 28.5% once. This morning’s result was 27.8%, down 0.7% on last week and 2.2% on my starting percentage. Here’s the graph from MyFitnessPal to show you how much it fluctuates. It’s generally around the 28% mark though… well, apart from that one day where it shot waaay up to 29%!

Fat

After getting stuck at 78 cm for what felt like years, my waistline measurement finally crept down by another half centimetre (yes, I count the halves!) and has been 77.5 cm for the last three mornings in a row. I did measure 77 cm once, but the next day it had gone back up again.

My plan for this week was to try and actually achieve my goal of 30 minutes exercise on 5 days a week. Sadly, this hasn’t happened once so far… since last Wednesday, the most I’ve managed is 15 minutes. It’s just too hot to exercise! And this week I also have far too much to do.

funny-pictures-hamster-worries-about-calories-...
Photo: zebedee.zebedee

On the calories front, I’ve been doing really well! Admittedly, I was 375 above my limit on Friday, but apart from that I’ve been sticking to it pretty well. The last couple of days I’ve felt really hungry and just wanted to eat everything in sight. On Monday I was good and managed to restrict myself to a single serving of dark chocolate peanut M&Ms and a small handfull of spelt snack things from the organic supermarket, but yesterday U was unable to resist the cheesy crisps and eded up around 300 calories over my daily limit. To compensate, I forced myself to jog on the spot past the point where I would normally have given up and managed to make it to a whole 5 minutes on both days. Quite an achievement for me! Not that it helped much… 5 minutes of jogging in place burns a mere 42 calories. *Sigh*

I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to keep up with the healthy eating thing while I’m in England, but I’ll do my best. We’ll see how well I fared in two weeks time…
Wish me luck!

Weigh-in Wednesday: The first week

I joined My Fitness Pal on the recommendation of The Pink Rachael. For the first week, I decided to carry on with what I have been doing anyway – eating as healthily as possible and trying to fit in some exercise between all my other commitments – and see what insights I could gain. Here’s what I’ve discovered:

  • Star jumps (jumping jacks) don’t use up nearly as many calories as I expected. So why exactly have I been jumping around my kitchen like an idiot? πŸ˜‰
  • Pine nuts contain a surprising number of calories!
  • There is far too much sugar in my diet. Most of this comes from yoghurts.
  • I would be much better at sticking to my daily calorie limits if I didn’t have a social life πŸ˜‰
  • I am totally useless at judging correct portion sizes. If I don’t weigh out ingredients, I will automatically make too much!
  • I can currently only jog on the spot for 2 minutes before I have to stop.

All that said, I have been doing pretty well so far. I haven’t always been below the calorie limit that MFP specifies in order for me to achieve my goals, but every day so far I have been below the number of calories it says I would need to maintain my current weight. And now for the numbers…

– I didn’t tell you my original weight (and I’m not going to now ;-)), but this week it is down by 0.5 kg.
– My body fat is down from 30% to 28.5%
– My waist measurement is down from 80 cm to 78 cm (there is some fluctuation, but it tends to be 78 cm in the morning and 79 cm in the evening… the last 6 measurements have all been below 80!)

Here’s a graph showing my morning waist measurements since I started using My Fitness Pal:

waistline

All in all, the first week went pretty well. For next week, I want to try and meet my exercise goals (30 minutes a day on 5 days of the week) and actively plan some meals in advance based on the number of calories they contain – during the first week, I was making our “normal” (but healthy) meals and checking out how many calories they actually contain.Β I already know I will be treating myself on Saturday though… planning onΒ  having friends round for curry. And wine, of course πŸ˜‰

Friday letters

How is it possible that it’s time for Friday letters again already? This week has literally flown by! At this rate, it will be Christmas before I know it. …

I came across this cute letter box in Ireland.
I came across this cute letter box in Ireland.

Dear checkout lady in Rossmann. Was it really necessary to literally snatch my money right out of my hand? Apparantly it was my week for encountering rude Germans

Dear boots. I still think you’re one of the best purchases I ever made, no matter what crazy drunk Germans might have to say on the matter πŸ˜‰

Dear friend’s unborn baby. I can’t believe your due date is only a month and a half away! I really, really need to get on with that cross stitch I’m doing for you…

time flies
Time flies (Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker)

Dear July. PLEASE slow down! There is so much I need to get done this month (like buying a dress for a christening and a gift for my mother’s 50th birthday!) and I already feel like I’m running out of time…

Dear self. You’re doing really well with this exercising lark… keep up the good work!

Dear spare room. Sorry you look like a bomb’s gone off in you. I will do something about that… some day.

Dear shower. I will also clean you soon… honest I will. And yes, I know I’ve been saying that for weeks…

Dear readers. Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

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