This time next year, Rodney….

Those of us of a certain age all know the sitcom with its famous strap line except when I said it to my husband I changed the wording slightly to: ‘This time next year Rodney, we’ll be thin!” It’s not the right wording but then again hubby’s name isn’t Rodney either πŸ˜‚. 

It’s been 6 months since I last wrote on here letting you all know about my success but just like Del Boy never retained his wealth, I have not maintained my weight loss. In fairness the last few months have been stressful beyond belief with ailing parents, incorrect medication, an exercise ban and generally living in a very stressful extended family circle. Dieting was the last thing on mind, I was happy to be surviving from day to day!

It turns out that despite being on thyroxine, my thyroid gland was still under active as my dose wasn’t high enough. The locum Dr wanted to wait before increasing it again but I managed to get my regular GP to increase the dosage. This combined with a restricted diet should help reduce the weight gain.  I think I’m back at being the heaviest I have ever been and am finding it so tricky to stay focused. I don’t feel I’ve failed though as it’s not entirely been in my hands. Having had serious chest pains and an increased pulse rate the Dr has forbidden me from going to the gym. I am having a 24 hour ECG tomorrow so hopefully after those results are through I can get the all clear for exercising again.

So here I am again….fat in my forties πŸ™

I’m  sure I’ll get there one day, after all a great man once said ‘He who dares……’.

Mange tout peeps


Progress, At Last!

So I haven’t been on here for a while but I thought it was the time for actions rather than words. I have actually lost weight and no one is more surprised than me 😁!

It has been a hard slog over the last couple of months but when you see a weight loss graph like this then it’s all worth it.

I’ve had a couple of rises at the beginning as I was still getting used to my self-created plan but now it isn’t too difficult to follow. The line for the last couple of weeks is more like this:

My husband has joined weight watchers and he has also got some great results. My weight loss takes longer because of my hypothyroidism but it’s slow and steady.

When I used to go to weight watchers or slimming world then I felt accountable, I knew I had my weigh-in on a certain day and that if I didn’t lose weight then someone else would know about my failings. When you diet at home on your own then you’re only accountable to yourself which is when you can fail. No one else knows that you have had a rubbish week and you don’t have to explain why your weight has gone up. Going to a group helps with staying on track and provides you with a supportive network. Going it alone doesn’t give you any safety nets, I have failed loads of times when I’ve gone it alone, apart from this current time.

So what have I done differently this time? I thought about what going to group gave me and I decided to emulate that scenario. I have a little record book in which I record my weight every week on a designated date and time. I don’t deter from this and ensure I only record my weight in the book once a week, same time, same type of clothes. Then I have a column showing loss or gain and then a final column for cumulative loss or gain.  For those of us who have been to slimming clubs you will realise that this is exactly what they do. I’m doing the same but saving myself the Β£5 weekly fee πŸ˜€.

The only thing that is pissing me off is the fact that I’ve lost over a stone and not one person has noticed! A whole bloody stone and no comments, nothing. It makes you think of how much a heifer you just really be though if even a stone hasn’t made a dent in your appearance!  In a way I suppose it’s good that no one has noticed as as soon as someone comments it can lead to complacency. You feel people have noticed that you look good so maybe you don’t need to try as hard. I still have just a over 1.5 stones to go before I am no longer officially overweight (according to my BMI) but thankfully I’m no where near obese so that’s fabulous πŸ˜€. 

I still have a long slog ahead of me but I’ve got past the stage of wanting to overindulge as I’m seeing results. It’s always hard to stay on track when you don’t see any improvement, that can be very demotivating. When you stick with it and see results then you don’t want to jeopardise your progress, especially when you have a designated weigh-in day.  The next time I’m allowing myself some time off my plan is on Mothers Day, where I’m going away for afternoon tea and intend to enjoy everything that’s offered!

My plan isn’t complicated, it’s just good old fashioned calorie counting. It means I can enjoy some chocolate and a small glass of something if I want to. It does make you realise how many calories you can waste on things like a pack of crisps and it makes you use your calories more efficiently. Eventually your taste buds change and your stomach shrinks. This is the time you have to carry on as it’s far too easy to dip back into your old habits.  I’m using the My Fitness Pal to log my calories and find it much easier than logging points or syns. Every food item will have calories so it’s easy to still cook your own dishes and work out the calories per portion. This is the part I like the most as I love cooking my own food and it means I can still enjoy my Indian food.  I don’t cope too well if I don’t have my roti πŸ˜€.

Everyone needs treats now and again so I’ve come to the hairdressers today to treat myself.  It’s always important to reward your hard work.

Good luck with your weight loss and fingers crossed I don’t fall back into my old ways 😬.

Couch to 5k – Week 6

Before I start to discuss Week 6 of c25k, can we take a moment to acknowledge that yours truly managed to ‘run’ for 20 minutes without stopping!!!! I am so pleased that I did it as I was feeling poorly last week and was worried I wouldn’t be able to complete the 20 minute run but lo and behold it’s in the bag πŸ˜€

This week felt a bit weird as after completing a non stop 20 minutes run last week (yes I will mention that again 😜) the program tells you to go back to interval running for the first two sessions this week.  The first run is  for 5, 8 and then 8 minutes with breaks of 3 minutes in between, the second run is for 2 x 10 minute runs split with a 3 minute break.  Tomorrow’s run is back to non stop running of 25 minutes, which I’m actually looking forward to, I’m finding that I want to carry on running rather than take the walking breaks in between, which is a good sign.  I’m not sure if I’ll manage the 25 minutes tomorrow but I’m not at all daunted about it, which in itself is encouraging.

I think the next thing I need to look at is increasing my speed as even though I am ‘running’now, I’m no where near running 5k.  The program does say you will be able to either run for 30 minutes or 5k by the end of it, so it’s doing what it says on the tin but I would like to cover a greater distance as well as running for 30 minutes.  I suppose that is something I will accomplish with continued practice.  I do want to run outside eventually but at the moment I am enjoying running on the treadmill as I find the ability to see the time go by quite motivating.

Health wise, I have noticed that my resting heart rate is going down and my blood pressure has gone back to normal.  Last nights reading was around 99/76 which is ideal! A few weeks of exercise, less salt, better diet and the results are brilliant.  My chest pains have also reduced significantly (still there but not as intense or frequent) and physically I just feel so much better.  I am weighing myself once a week and the weight is going down gradually as opposed to the high peaks and troughs that I usually have.  Gradual is good as hopefully it means it stays off for good this time and isn’t the result of some faddy diet.

Xmas celebrations are around the corner but I’m not concerned about weight this time as the equation is simple, eat less and move more.  If I can manage running then anyone can and I really mean that, read through the C25k information page and download the pod casts, you don’t even have to go outside if you don’t want to.  Give it a go the only thing you have to lose is your fear of running 😊

Couch to 5k – Week 5

I can’t believe that I’m on week 5 of the c25k program, and I’m actually running! The only time I used to run was when the pizza man was knocking and my Veggie Hot One had arrived (no innuendo at all, I do actually mean pizza). Now I run because I actually want to and to be honest I was mildly panicked when I began week 5 as my treadmill had stopped functioning.  For some strange reason it wouldn’t start and I was full of worry that I wouldn’t be able to do my workout, I even contemplated actually running outside (obviously heavily disguised) just so I could carry on with my training.  I think that was a turning point for me as to actually think about running outside rather than give up, is something I’m rather proud of.  Ok, I didn’t actually do it and the treadmill did start, but hey the thought and determination were both there.

Week 5 is split into three different runs and I have completed the first one where I run for 5 minutes then walk for 3 minutes and repeat this pattern 3 times.  In the end I end up running for basically 15 minutes in total, which I managed comfortably.  I’m finding that the more I train the easier and quicker I recover.  I still remember Week 1 of this program when I struggled to run for 60 seconds and now I’m running for 5 minutes at a time!

Eating wise I have made some changes and start each morning with lemon in hot water, I have chopped up a a few lemons and have frozen them so it’s easy to just grab a pre cut slice and add some hot water.  I then have a menu planner for the week, for all of my meals.  I know on training days I can eat a few more calories than on non training days, but it isn’t calorie based.  I’m not counting every calorie in every meal but the majority of the food is good, wholesome and home cooked.  I’ve also done a menu planner for the kids and popped it on the whiteboard, “Mama Cafe”, as it’s called informs them what they’ll be having for lunch and dinner each day.  This ensures that they are prepared beforehand even if it’s a meal they may not like and it seems to be working well.  Kids are eating healthily and so are we, where possible we all try to eat the same meal as well. 

My next c25k run will need me to be able to run two 8 minute runs with a 5 minute break in between, this will be the longest I have ever run since primary school.  Then my final run this week, jumps straight to running for 20 minutes 😳 I don’t even want to think about that one at the moment!

I’m eating better, I’m exercising more and the happy endorphins are going mental πŸ˜€, enjoy the rest of your week guys.

Matters Of The Heart

Since having my chest pains a month ago, I have started the Couch to 5K (c25k) NHS program and I am now on Week 4!  I never thought I could run but it appears that it’s possible, even for an elephant like me πŸ™„.  Of course I’m doing it in the privacy of my own home on a treadmill and not out in public, I don’t think the world is ready to see my lardy arse wobbling on the pavements πŸ˜‚.

The program started off really gently and I have progressed during the last month as follows:

  • Week 1: 1 minute of running and  1.5 minutes of walking
  • Week 2: 1.5 minutes running and 2 minutes walking
  • Week 3: 1.5 minutes running, 1.5 minutes walking, 3 minutes running and 3 minutes walking.

After completing the above three weeks I really expected to struggle to do Week 4 as it moves on quite a bit:

  • Week 4: 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking, 5 minutes running, 2 minutes walking and finally another 5 minutes running.

I really didn’t think I could run for 5 minutes and the thought of doing it was quite worrying.  This session called out for the lycra to be dusted off and donned once again.  Normally I just exercise in comfortable clothes but this time I really wanted to focus on my form and be able to concentrate on the exercise rather than my hair is in my eyes or my t-shirt is flapping about.  Weirdly it helped me to focus more, even though I looked like a sausage wanting to burst out of its skin, I was suitably supported and ran much better.  For the last 5 minute run I even added on an extra two minutes so that I would be more prepared for next weeks 8 minute run!

When I say ‘run’ you have to bear in mind that I’m no Paula Radcliffe, (even though I did need a wee whilst trying to finish my last session and now totally get her ‘little incident’ in the London Marathon of 2005) running to me is probably like a fast walk to most of you.  But hey, here I am Fat at Forty and trying to put things right.

I had my cardiology appointment at the hospital this morning, I went and sat in the waiting room and even though it was totally empty the next patient came and sat right next to me.  Why do people feel the need to do that? I joked on Facebook that I’d obviously used my husband’s Lynx by mistake and now ladies were flocking to me.  Joking apart though I did find it really odd and even had difficulty moving my arm at one stage but if I’d have moved then I might have offended her so I did the English thing of pretending it was totally normal that she was practically sitting on my lap in an empty waiting room!

Anyway once I’d managed to escape my new best friend I went through to see the cardiologist who offered me a CT Scan to check my arteries but also insisted on telling me there was a possibility of radiation and it was my choice whether I went for it or not.  The doctor also suggested a treadmill test to check my blood pressure and chest pains during exercise.  I opted for the treadmill test because now I’m obviously an ‘experienced runner’ having completed a month of c25k πŸ˜‰ I told the staff that I was currently doing the c25k training at home since the chest pains started and not one of them knew what it was!  It’s a NHS tool that they should be promoting but they didn’t have any clue about it which I found quite alarming.

The nurse told me to take my top off so that she could attach all the ECG wires to me whilst I exercised.  No one had warned me that this was going to happen so I got onto the treadmill in my leggings, bra and UGGs – no supportive clothing or sports bra.  I looked awful and even said to the nurse that I hoped no one would walk in as the thought of having this put on You Tube would be mortifying.  If they had warned me in advance then I could have worn something more suitable 😩She suggested that I walk at an incline of 10 until my heart rate got to 86%, it wasn’t a problem to get there and they said I could stop whenever I wanted to but I suggested we carry on to 100%, just so that I know how far I can push myself at home now without worrying about keeling over.  The results were good and the doctor is happy that I don’t have angina, my blood pressure is a little high so it’s up to me to manage that with good diet and exercise.  So 1st November is the day that the diet starts again.  I have no weight goal in mind, I just need to get my blood pressure to normal or I will be put on medication, which I don’t want.  How the diet and my thyroid is going to work (or not) I have no idea but I have to try as now I have the all clear for angina, I don’t want to go through that again.  I know hereditary conditions can’t be avoided but I can at least try to do the best I can, I would have liked more advice from the Dr of what I should do but the internet is a brilliant place to start.  Cutting out salt, reducing stress, increased exercise, moderate drinking and eating more fruit and vegetables – it sounds so easy when it’s written down like that!


Getting It Off My Chest

chest-painI’ve always maintained that I’m overweight but not a burden to the NHS well guess who had to wait for 6 hours in A & E last week with chest pains?  πŸ˜¬

No one has said that it’s the weight and no one has told me to lose weight, they all seem to be putting it down to possible hereditary heart problems.  I had an ECG and the Troponin Test to ensure that I hadn’t had a heart attack, luckily it came back negative and I have been referred to a specialist clinic.  It looks like it could be angina but then again no one really knows at the moment, it’s a case of wait and see.  I have been given a spray (Nitromin Glyceryl Trinitrate) which I must carry around with me at all times, it’s used to help you with the onset of an angina attack.

I would like to say that the incident spurred me into action and I have done nothing but eat lettuce and exercise since.  Alas, this isn’t the case, I spent the first couple of days in shock that my risk of having a heart attack was more real than I’d ever experienced before.  I knew the family history and I knew that I could be at risk but it was all something in the back of my head to worry about ‘when I got older’.  Well it looks like I am older now and this is something I have to deal with.

Yesterday I went for my ‘You’ve turned 40 let’s check nothing has dropped off’ check at the Dr’s surgery.  All she did was check my blood pressure, I felt a bit short changed as she hadn’t done my weight or any other measurements.  She was about 20 years old and obviously thought I was some sort of geriatric.  My blood pressure was a little high and so I told her about the chest pains and A&E visit; her empathy level stayed where it was and she did absolutely nothing.  I walked out of the surgery knowing I had high blood pressure and chest pains and no further advice except see Dr next week and go A&E if it gets too bad.

I never quite understood the readings of blood pressure apart from it must 120/80, whatever that means so I searched online and found this really cool NHS Blood Pressure site.  You just add in your numbers and it tells you how good or bad your blood pressure is.  I had kept a record of my readings since the chest pains had started two weeks ago and I entered the reading they took when I went to A&E, it says I had high blood pressure! The hospital put the reading down to my being worried about the pain but surely they should have taken another reading during the 6 hours I was there?  Maybe it isn’t angina and just chest pain as a consequence of high blood pressure?  How would I know?

Having looked online I have worked out what I can do to reduce my blood pressure and it means:

  • Losing weight
  • Reducing salt in my diet
  • Cutting down on alcohol
  • Eating more healthily

Exercising whilst having high blood pressure can be tricky and because I still don’t know if it’s high blood pressure or angina I need to be careful.  Ideal exercise for me is walking, swimming and cycling.  I looked online and have found the Couch to 5K app (c25k).  It’s a nine week course for people who have never run before (that’ll be me πŸ™„)  I would love to go running but have always been self conscious of my size, so I have started this course but I’m doing it at home on my treadmill before I have the confidence to go outside.  I’m only on week 1 which means I walk and run at 60-90 intervals for 20 minutes which  results in a total run of 8 minutes.  I have done this twice this week now and I’m feeling good, I’m not doing any drastic changes but little steps to get myself better.
If any of you guys are going through anything similar please check with your Dr before you start exercising as I’m obviously not medically trained πŸ˜€ A great source of information is the British Heart Foundation site.

Sleeping Lardy

As I was getting the kids ready for school yesterday I pricked my finger on a badge-pin. Kids went to school and I felt exhausted so I fell back into bed, it reminded me a bit of Sleeping Beauty. She pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep, elegantly dressed with an unblemished, perfect complexion she lies down with her arms folded and sleeps. I, however pricked my finger and collapsed like a sack of spuds into the bed, sprawled  like I’d had a very heavy drinking session the night before (I hadn’t). Elegant isn’t the word I’d use and I was no ‘Sleeping Beauty’, in fact ‘Sleeping Lardy’ is far more accurate.  Almost comatose with my muffin/full bakery top trying to escape over my ill fitting pyjamas. No, Sleeping Beauty – I was not!

I seem to have no energy and there was more hair than usual in the shower plug hole this morning. My guess is that the hypothyroidism medication needs a review πŸ™„ . It would be great if the medication just worked without having to have these reviews and the dosage having to be changed about. Irregular periods, stress, thinning hair and weight gain are all things that come as part and parcel of this condition. 

Each morning I have a list of what I need to get done and it’s getting to be more and more of a struggle to do anything at all. I was hoping to start a new exercise regime but I seriously haven’t got the energy for it 😩

The only way to fix things is to make a Dr appointment which is a battle itself as appointments are like gold dust. Anyway, it’s a battle for another a day, when I’m slightly less tired. Nap time now!

The Roti Diet

Nearly three weeks in India and despite my fears of putting on anymore weight the holiday has gone well.  I spent the majority of the first two weeks eating Parantha for breakfast and roti for dinner and lunch.  I usually eat one roti at home but over there I ate two rotis and no snacks or puddings etc.  In the last week we decided to move into a hotel in Ludhiana where of course the wine and junk food was reintroduced and I embraced it all like the long lost friend that it was!  We ate pizza, KFC, McDonalds and lots of other treats in that final week and it was great!

After returning to the UK I weighed myself in the morning and I had only put on 0.1kg and a couple of days later when I weighed myself I had actually lost 0.3kg.  So, if I hadn’t gone mad on the final week in India then I would probably have come back with an overall weight loss but as it happens I’ve now pretty much stayed the same as I was before going – which is excellent!

It has made me realise though, to lose weight you don’t need to have any gimmicks or special pills, it really is a case of three square meals a day.  Cut out the snacks and alcohol and the weight should come off. I wasn’t eating any ‘diet’ or ‘low fat’ food during my 3-meals-a-day diet, just traditional Punjabi food.  The yoghurt was undoubtedly full fat and there was no sign of any olive oil – just ghee.  All the ingredients were natural and fresh and there was absolutely no snacking in between meals and no desserts.  I’m kicking myself that I went a little mad on the last week as it would have been good to see how much I had actually lost.

The kids went back to school today so I can now concentrate on myself again and the plan is to simply cut out the snacks and reduce the alcohol and see how things go.  I haven’t got time for exercise at the moment but I am trying to introduce some walking into my day.  It would be nice to lose another stone by Christmas and I know my husband will be joining me in eating healthier, which always makes things easier.  It also makes things annoying as my weight loss is always slower than his because of my hypothyroidism 😐