The last weigh-in Wednesday

I have to admit, I’m bored of weigh-in Wednesdays now… and I’m sure you are too! So I’ve decided to make this the last one. It was only supposed to be a summer thing anyway, and by this time next week it will be September (eep, where has the time gone?!). Even if it isn’t officially autumn until the 22nd of September, it’s still an autumn month… and that was a long-winded explanation for something so simple! I think I’d better get on with the post…

weight 2.0
Photo credit: Esthr

I’ve almost reached goal weight now (still not telling you what it is though. Ha!). I’m 1.3 kg down on last week, and weigh a whole 3.6 kg less than when I started the challenge. Go me!

I’ve only been weighing in every other day for the past two weeks, but my body fat percentage has been up and down just as much as when I was doing it every day. The ups have been lower as time goes on though, and today’s percentage is 28.3 %, down by 0.8% compared with last week!

Today’s waist line measurement was 76 cm (following on from 76.5 the last two times), which is 4 cm less than my starting measurement of 80 cm and puts me well below the unhealthy boundary. Phew!

[108/365] Ill-advised
I suspect I may look something like this… (Photo credit: pasukaru76)
Exercise has been… wellll, non-existent to be honest. I did do some walking (more than the usual tram stop to work and back, which I don’t count), but that’s about it. However, my local supermarket currently have fitness products on offer, so I took advantage and finally bought myself some hand weights… which means no more lifting tins of mangos! I might get my Jillian Michaels DVD out again this week and see how I fare doing a workout with actual weights…

And that’s my last weigh-in Wednesday for the time being. I might mention my measurements as part of another post in future, but I don’t intend to dedicate any more entire posts to weight loss… at least not until next summer when it’s time to stop hiding under stomach-shaping tights and baggy jumpers again!

Weigh-in Wednesday: The post birthday edition

Well, it’s been two weeks since my last weigh in, and since then I’ve not only celebrated my birthday with delicious cakes in Strasbourg, but also had my proper birthday party (which involved more cake, nachos (mmm cheese!) and cocktails. Then there was the Mississippi Mud Pie, which I obviously had to try to make sure the rain hadn’t completely killed it…

Needless to say, I haven’t been doing particularly well on my calroie goals recently. So it’s quite surprising that my weight this morning was pretty much exactly the same as it was two weeks ago. I was actually down almost a kilo on my current weight between the last weigh in and my birthday, but sadly it all came back. And I fear this delicious birthday gift from my uncle is not going to help me get back on track…

Sweet hamper
30th birthday sweetie hamper

Never mind, on with the measurements. Body fat percentage this morning was at 29.1%, which is 0.5% less than two weeks ago at least. Still only about one percent away from the danger zone though…
And as for the waistline… it’s the same as two weeks ago on 77 cm. I actually measured 76 cm the day before my birthday, but there was obviously no way that was going to last…

On the exercise front, I have nothing to report. As in I have done nothing in the way of exercise for the past two weeks. First it was too hot, then it was my birthday… and the past few days I’ve just plain been too tired! Work has had me stupidly busy this week… to the extent that I was convinced yesterday was Thursday… I’d been so busy that my brain simply couldn’t believe I’d fit all that work into a mere two days!

I will try to be better over the next week, but with the sweetie hamper to tempt me I’m not promising anything!

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˜‰

Time to lose the belly!

For about two months, I’ve been complaining that I’ve out on weight, and for that same amount of time the boyfriend has been telling me that “I’ve been that shape ever since he’s known me. Well… maybe a little thinner, but not much. Not noticeably so…”. Then, last weekend, I put on a dress that I hadn’t worn for almost a year. You know… the last time the weather was actually warm! I immediately noticed that it didn’t fit the same way it used to. There’s a definite bulge in the belly area. I pointed it out to the boyfriend, and this time his response was different. “Oh yeah… that dress didn’t used to do that on you.” At that moment, it became official. Even Jan has noticed that I’ve put on weight! It’s most definitely time for operation lose the belly fat!

Tape measure
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Since I don’t actually have any scales here in Germany (GASP! I know.. terrible, isn’t it?),Β  I decided I was going to measure the size of my waist instead. After measuring between 2 and 3 times a day for around a week, I’ve discovered that my waist size fluctuates between 79 cm and 82 cm. Whether that’s due to genuine fluctuations (I’m convinced my stomach is flatter beofre breakfast!) or my inability to measure correctly, this still means I have a waist size of around 80cm. The only problem was, that didn’t actually mean anything to me! I know what weight range I’m supposed to stay within the be considered healthy, but waist size? Not a clue! Time to check in with my good friend Google. I entered “waist to height ratio” and found the following:

On the NHS website:
You have a higher risk of health problems if your waist size is:

  • more than 94cm (37 inches), if you’re a man
  • more than 80cm (31.5 inches), if you’re a woman

80cm? Eeeep! That means I’m way up at the top the scale. In fact, depending on which measurements were correct, I may even already be at risk of health problems!

Next, I clicked on a waist to height calculator on shapefit.com.
http://www.shapefit.com/calculators/waist-to-height-ratio-calculator.html

According to that, my ratio is 48.8, which, for women, falls under category 4: Ratio 46 to 49: Healthy and Attractive. Yay, healthy and attractive! But what’s that I see… only 0.2 off the next category… “Ratio 49 to 54: Overweight”. Uh oh!

A second waist to height calculator, this time at a site called Weight Loss Ladder (http://www.weightlossladder.com/waist-to-height-calculator-372/) gave my ratio as 0.49, healthy. But by adding on a mere two centimetres, I can change the result to “overweight”.

fat pig
fat pig (Photo credit: nishwater)

Ironically, most of the people who see me regularly would probably tell you I’m still as skinny as I always was. I’m usually pretty good at dressing to hide the belly bulge, and with it being cold for so long, I’ve been able to disguise it under bulky jumpers for longer than usual. But three websites and my pretty summer dress can’t all be lying… the fat explosion is real, and it’s here. Operation get thin for christening starts now!

Oh, just go away (no, not you dear readers!)

My cough has almost gone.
The key word in the above sentence is almost. I am now able to go hours at a time without coughing. I can fall asleep at night and actually stay asleep. My throat no longer feels like someone’s been at it with a cheese grater thanks to being constantly attacked.Β  These are all good things, of course. But I am out of cough medicine and I am still not entirely free of the dreaded tickle in my throat.

Cough and the Common Cold
I wish MY cough was as cute as this one! – Cough and the Common Cold (Photo credit: RobertFrancis)

The other day, I had a coughing fit on the train. I’m talking the full works here – tickle in the throat that would not go away, check. Red face, check. Tears streaming from my eyes, check. Runny nose (caused by said tears), check. Oh yes, I was a sight to behold. And I didn’t even have any water on me to attempt to soothe my poor throat (I now have a large bottle of water in my work bag – lesson learned!). When I told this story to the boyfriend, I finished it with the words “it was so embarrassing”. “Why would that be embarrassing?” he asked. Well, it could just have had something to do with me having wrenched a dozen commuters away from their books/dreams of tonight’s meal/whatever with my racket and I could feel all their eyes on me. Not to mention the fact that I looked like some kind of red-faced, watery eyed freak. Not exactly how I want to appear to a bunch of complete strangers. But what could possibly be embarrassing about that? Hmm, I wonder… I then arrived home and had another coughing fit, which almost made me throw up on my living room floor. Hmm, nice.

 

Dear cough, I am definitely over you now, so please do us both a favour and GET LOST!

 

Real medicine!

β™ͺ Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme  β™ͺ
β™ͺ Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme β™ͺ (Photo credit: Jill Clardy)

After an entire week of trying the German solution to colds – basically lots of hot drinks and throat sweets made with natural ingredients like sage (just add some onion and you could call me a Christmas turkey!) – and feeling absolutely no better and if anything slightly worse, I finally caved and sent the boyfriend out to get me some real medicine. I mean, I’m sure the tea drinking thing would have cured my cold eventually (if only because my immune system finally won the battle) but when I’m ill I want medicine, not parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme! (Actually, only sage and thyme were included in my many “natural” remedies but I couldn’t resist gettng that in there).

After some searching on the Internet (not sure why it took me 6 years to think of it?!), I discovered that Germany does sell a hot drink that contains actual medicine, like paracetamol and some other stuff that I can neither spell nor pronounce but basically one thing to help with coughs plus something to clear the nose. It’s called Cetebe – for those of you who speak German, it’s pronounced like the letters c, t, b auf Deutsch, as the boyfriend informed me after my failed attempt to say it. Cetebe also do other products, such as some capsules to help the immune system. The cold powder stuff is called antiGrippal. So, fellow British expats in Germany, if you ever find yourself in the grips of cold/flu and don’t have any Lemsip/Beechams cold and flu powder, this is what you need to look out for! As is usual with anything that contains even the merest hint of something that is actually medicinal and not something that is actually meant for cooking with, it’s “Apothekenpflichtig” (i.e. can only be bought at pharmacies).

Apart from Cebete, the other thing I asked the boyfriend to purchase for me was cough medicine. The one I still had from last time I had a cough was out of date, plus it was not from the chemist and therefore again contained no actual medicine – the active ingredient in that particular one is Spitzwegerich (ribwort in English apparantly – not that the translation helps, I’ve still never heard of it!), which I cannot stand the taste of! Not that cough medicines in England taste particularly nice, but I can put up with the horridness if I know there is actual medicine in that is going to make me feel better! So I got Jan to buy me some medicine from the chemist’s. It doesn’t taste all that nice, but it isn’t awful either.

I can’t say the medicines worked instantly, but it’s not like I was expecting them to! But within an hour I had a throat that only hurt when I swallowed, eather than constantly, my coughing fits had become less frquent and I was coughing for shorter stretches at a time and, for the first time in days, my nose was clear enough for me to be able to taste. Woo hoo! I celebrated by making myself a cheese toastie. After being woken up by a coughing fit at 6 o’clock this morning, I got out of bed, took my medicine and then actually managed to fall back to sleep until 11 (I know, sooo lazy! But it is Sunday and I am still ill, albeit recovering). And today even the boyfriend has commented that he hasn’t heard me cough as much. Real medicine! You can’t beat it.

So remember, if you’re ever feeling coldy/fluey in Germany and find yourself wishing for Lemsip, the equivalent is called Cetebe.