exercising, fEAsible, hEAlth, healthy eating, my goals

The Healthy Eating Challenge…


Target Date:     31st December 2012

Target Weight:    8st 12lbs (without clothes)

Target waist measurement:     28″

Starting Weight:    9st 5lbs (without clothes)

Starting Waist Measurement:   33″ (yes you have read that correctly!)


Target for 30th September: 

Lose 1lb (this will be measured by staying 1lb lighter for more than 7 consecutive days)

This is a mini target this month to allow for research and implementing ideas

Changes I have made so far –

  • Eating one apple each day:  I have done this religiously on my working days
  • Buying biscuits that are lower in calories: I have bought a supply of Fig Rolls each one is only 61 calories – I ate 4 during the weekend at the cottage but we were doing plenty of manual labour – doesn’t that help burn the extra calories off?
  • Avoiding cakes and biscuits at work:  I have been tempted only 3 times in three weeks – main culprit was the M&S Chocolate Teacakes – 75 calories each.
  • Measuring the amounts of yoghurt and cereal for breakfast
  • Taking my supplements, omega oil and a sprinkle of Flaxseeds
  • Drinking only water at work – partly so I don’t have to go to the kitchen and pass the tempting cake laden table at work


Small and not so small changes I need to address next –

Diet (Food and Drink intake and portion control)

  • Make a snack plan – I need to take another snack to work for the afternoon and add some protein to my apple snack in the morning – as I have read this makes it a more balanced way to eat.
  • Eat 2 Brazil nuts each day this will give me all the Selenium I need for the day
  • Introducing a salad at lunchtime while at work Monday – Thursday
  • Search my recipe books for some quick healthy meals to replace any ready meals that I might be tempted to use when I need a quick meal.
  • Look at using a smaller dinner plate – our cereal bowls are already fairly small and I am weighing my breakfast so they are not a problem.


  • I need to go to bed at 10.30 each night to get a good 8 hours sleep as I usually get up at 6.30am – bearing in mind I am sometimes stumbling into bed at 12.30 I may find this difficult to adjust and get everything done that I want to within waking hours if there are fewer – so bear with me if I do not reply to comments left or indeed comment on your posts whilst the adjustment takes place!


  • This could be my biggest challenge and it really will be little steps as I will struggle to fit in any time for exercising.  At one time I attended a Yoga class every Monday evening and would like to get back to this but I will have to wait until my daughter moves back into her own home (any day week now!) as meal times are a bit frantic at the moment and I can’t cope with any more comings and goings.  So I will practice three yoga exercises in the morning and evening, the Cat Pose, the Tree Pose and the Triangle Pose.
  • I will increase my number of steps in a day – as I don’t know what my average is at the moment I might think about buying a pedometer – until then I will try to go for an evening walk around the block – this however depends on how early we can eat our evening meal, since my daughter and her partner have been here it is approaching 8.30 before we eat.  Once they move out I can aim for 7.15pm when my better half gets home.


  • I have read somewhere that it helps to have a mental picture of what you want to look like and to post pictures of this image around the house – so this is mine – a nice trim waist!

English: Woman Measuring Waist.

My thoughts and intentions –

There are a number of major adjustments to make like going to bed early and making tea earlier so I may do this in gradual 15 minute step reductions every other day over the coming week until I reach the target time.  Life is difficult at work at the moment as my colleague has recently had her breast removed and if she has to have radiotherapy it may be a while until she is back  (she is doing remarkably well though and sailed through the op) but meanwhile I have a heavy work load to keep up with and cannot guarantee getting away at 4pm on the dot.

I need to get down to some serious planning now for the snacks and meals so I have time to prepare and shop for them.

I also want to photocopy the Yoga poses and laminate them A5 size so I can stick them with those yellow sticky pads to the wall where I can see them.

So after a quick roam around my favourite blogs I had better start as I mean to go on and begin preparing for bed and a good LONG nights sleep. 

Night, night everyone x









fEAsible, hEAlth, healthy eating, my goals

An apple a day…

An image of an apple

…keeps me on the right track.

The humble apple has somehow become the symbolic reminder of my Healthy Eating challenge.  Each morning I eagerly collect my organic Braeburn apple from the fridge and take it with me to work, placing it carefully on the white dish in front of me on my window ledge like it has centre stage.  I only drink chilled and filtered water all morning and then at exactly 11 o’clock (wishful thinking here) – at near enough 11 o’clock I eat said apple and feel really smug pleased with myself as my colleagues bite into their alternative snack (a calorie laden piece of cake!)  This one small act sets me up for the rest of the day and even though I may, here and there, once or twice, from time to time succumb to the temptation of an M&S Chocolate Teacake or similar I know that before lunch at least I have been extraordinarily good.

Having said all that I have still to get myself focused on my lunches (which I have bought all week) and evening meals (some good some not so) and organise a regular exercise plan.  I think that my 5 minutes allotted time is now up so further installment tomorrow when I promise I will get down to the nitty-gritty of the measurements and targets.

exercising, fEAsible, hEAlth, healthy eating, my goals, trEAsure, wellbeing

Every step you take…

Sorry for the break in transmission I just had to put my blog ‘categories’ into some kind of order before moving on – I felt they were getting out of control.  When I started my blog I really hadn’t thought about categories or paid much attention to them and then soon realised that some of my headings crossed over making it hard to choose which one to assign a mixed post to.

It is so easy to forget just where I have got to when I have a break from blogging for more than a day or so but I will start with a progress report on my Healthy Eating plan.
On September 3rd, first thing in the morning, I weighed myself and also took a note of my muscle, fat and water content that my scales measure (posh scales reduced from £59.99 to £11.99 a bargain from TK MAX 3 years ago).  I also took a waist measurement (which I won’t go into publicly!!) as this is my worst area and the one that I am hoping will trim down.  It is thirty something inches (which is as revealing as I will go) and I want to get it to 28″ even 30″ would be a massive breakthrough.  I will be posting the results in a later post.

On Thursday morning I took advantage of the free Flora Cholesterol test at my local Sainsbury’s in town (they are running it for the two weeks if you are interested).  I booked in for 8.30am so I could do a fasting test (which is more accurate) before work and then have breakfast afterwards.  I will also post the results from this later.

I found this Bamboo Serving Platter for £15.99 in Wilkinson’s Classic White tableware range and thought it would go very well with my collection of white china for parties.  As it is quite large I have now discovered that it is wider than my cupboard is deep!

So it stayed on my table for a while waiting for a home but when I went and bought the extra fruit for my healthier snacks hey presto!…  it makes a great fruit bowl!!

I have been working on breakfast this week too – I usually take some supplements in the morning.  I have to take Vitamin D as a recent blood test revealed I was very low – I also take a pro-biotic and an oil capsule and at the moment I am using up a bottle of Ginko Biloba before it goes out of date though I can’t say that I have noticed any difference whilst taking this but can’t see them go to waste – supplements are so expensive these days.  In the small container is 25ml of Aloe Vera juice (good for digestion) – and a glass of water to wash the tablets down.

As I mentioned in my last post I am switching the Sainsburys 2% fat natural yoghurt (which I prefer) for the Yeo Valley 0% fat natural yoghurt which I used to eat until they changed the packaging and for some reason it seemed to have a different texture – slightly more slimy than creamy.

So this is breakfast – I whizzed some apricots in the food processor into a puree to have with the yoghurt and weighed out the cereal which is Rude Health mixed flakes in this case, though I also like the Weetabix Oatibix Flakes (shame they don’t do organic).  I often add a bit of wheat free museli in with the flakes and I top them with a dessert spoonful of Flaxseeds and some organic soya milk.

I have been getting a list of snacks together and going by Ian Marber’s book ‘How not to get fat’ you should always eat a complex carbohydrate with a protein.  These are my favourites –

  • Banana with a few Almonds
  • Apple and a few Walnuts / Brazil nuts
  • Apple with a small piece of hard cheese
  • Chopped egg with a small amount of Mayonnaise with Salad Cress on 2 Oatcakes
  • Goats Cheese on a slice of cooked Beetroot on 2 Oatcakes
  • Edam and grated Carrot in a small wholemeal Pitta
  • Cooked Lentils mixed with chopped Tomatoes and Rocket on Oatcakes

So I feel I have dealt with breakfast and snacks and I will begin to put these into practice during next week.  Whilst I am making progress on this aspect I am going to move on and look at how I can introduce more exercise into my daily life as well as more quality sleep.

For every 10,000 steps we take we burn 400 calories.

A small hot Chocolate from Costa has about 121 Calories – so I would need to walk about 2,500 steps to burn this off.  I am not even sure how far that is but I am sure I am not going to be doing many steps sat at my desk!  So I need to think of ways to incorporate more steps which might even include less blogging.  I am of course looking to become healthier as well as a little lighter and I like the fact that I can do both at once.

Lose weight while you sleep – The Dream Diet?

There has been an increasing amount of research suggesting that good sleep and weight loss are connected or rather poor and lack of sleep leading to weight gain due to a disruption of two hormones – (just try Googling it for an explanation)

I have poor sleep since having my Thyroid removed – I wake at around 4am each morning needing to go to the loo and then cannot get back to sleep.  I should drink my cocoa earlier in the evening but always forget (I cannot break away from my cocoa drink at night – it is my Enid Blyton comfort drink before bedtime!)

I should also try to get to bed at a reasonable time and that is why I am going to set myself up to do shorter 5-10 minute posts each evening instead of these essays I seem to keep producing.  Again the health benefits can only do me good.
I am grateful for all your ideas so far and look forward to any comments you might have on exercise and sleep.

fEAsible, hEAlth, healthy eating, my goals, trEAsure

Before beginning plan carefully…

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A. A. Milne

Now I have identified some of the main problems that are keeping me from both losing pounds and gaining £’s I am trying to organise my thoughts to put my plans into some kind of order.

Firstly, I would like to say thank you for all the comments you have left on my post – Think, think, think…with such great ideas – I have taken them all on board because this is going to be a change for life not just for the Christmas as they say.  I don’t want to be coming back to starting over again at some future date.  It is not another diet or budget but a lifestyle I am trying to create that will become as normal to me as having a shower each day.

I decided first of all I must prepare myself for the changes I want to put in place so that I have more of a chance of continuing and don’t stumble at the first hurdle.  What do I mean by prepare myself?  Well there is no point in me wanting to take healthy snacks to work if my cupboards are full of biscuits and crisps.  There is no point in me trying to save money if I have no idea how much I am spending casually each week on daily expenses and so on…

As my health is probably more important to me than my wealth I am going to begin with the losing pounds (although some of the changes I make will indeed apply to both and some of them will have a knock on effect such as taking a healthy packed lunch will probably save me money).

My first task will be to examine one aspect at a time identifying existing habits and systems and then simplify them or maybe modifying them and doing one thing only at once before moving on to the next (the baby steps concept).   For instance, I have been taking an apple to work each day now for the last two weeks and I make sure I eat it at eleven o’clock each day.  This is a low calorie food and has some healthy aspects and is better than a biscuit or cake.  It has quickly become quite habit forming – even I have been surprised – and this could be mainly because it has been my sole focus for the last couple of weeks as I wanted to test out how easy it might be (or not) to change one little thing.

After reading quite a lot over the years on goal setting I believe the ‘Begin with the end in mind’ system to have some credibility.  So I want to lose half a stone (7lbs) by the end of the year and this exercise is as much about eating healthily and exercising as it is losing weight  So I have 4 months and my goals look like this.

September – lose 1lb (to allow for building up my new healthy eating habits)

October – lose 2lbs

November – lose 2lbs

December – lose 2lbs

So by December 31st I will weigh 8st 12lbs my optimum weight for my height and hopefully a waist measurement considerably smaller by at least 3″.

Two pounds each month or half a pound each week.  This shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish and my thoughts are to try a combination of tactics.

  1. Calorific value – having more awareness of the calories in anything that is not a vegetable or fruit
  2. Exchanging foods – buying the lower fat therefore lower calorie alternative as well as exchanging an unhealthy food for an healthier option
  3. Portion size – being more aware of portion size and maybe buying a slightly smaller plate.

So for instance if I am tempted into eating a biscuit then I should only buy the lower calorie ones (I think Fig rolls – one of my favourite fall into this category as do Garibaldi).  I should revert back to buying the 0% fat yoghurt rather than the creamier 2% that I prefer.  If I add in a little pureed raspberries from the freezer I won’t even taste the difference.

Yesterday as another experiment I weighed my yoghurt and oat flakes cereal just to get an idea of what a reasonable serving actually looked like.  Fourty-five gram of yoghurt was about three dessertspoonfuls and 100gram of cereal just filled a ramekin pot – by sticking to these amounts each day I will be able to see if this makes any difference over time.  Of course if I begin to feel hungry before mid morning I will review this.

So one of the areas I am focusing on at the moment is snacks – both at home and at work and I will apply the 3 points mentioned above to this.

Now if you are still with me so far let me introduce my two new snack pots for work…

 they are actually quite small about 3″ square and just the right size for a few nuts or a couple of oatcakes and a small cube of cheese or some chopped fruit.  One for the morning and one for the afternoon.  I will make a snack plan so I can buy the foods in advance and then there will be no excuse and I will prepare them each evening starting on Sunday night.

So there you have it I intend, but can’t promise, to post a little 5 minute piece each day charting my progress on the task in hand and also establishing the plans for putting my subsequent changes in place.

Any comments, advice and ideas gratefully welcomed.