Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Winter Solstice, or whatever else people celebrate at this time of the year. We spent Christmas in England this year with James's family and had a wonderful time.

Have been trying to decide whether to continue blogging. The main purpose for starting this blog was to give me incentive to lose some weight. I thought a public forum would help to keep me motivated and on track. That certainly hasn't worked, though I have met lots of wonderful people in the process. I do think it is nice to be able to check in with others who are on the same path I'm on from time to time so maybe I'll limp along a little longer and see how things turn out.

Well, we're at the end of another year. Wow!!! How did that happen??? Can't believe how fast it went. Gosh!!! When I was a kid time dragged, now it flies.

Many thanks to all my faithful readers ... all 2 of you ... ;P and a very Happy 2009!!!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

View from my Elliptical Trainer

I can't believe that the last time I blogged was in October. Where has the time flown? Life has been very good, but I think I've lost the plot weight loss wise. I haven't gained or loss any weight really ... I'm just where I always am - STUCK.

I really think there is something wrong with my body in spite of the fact that my blood work shows nothing, because since January 2005 I have been on a mission to lose weight with 0 to little success. No matter how much effort I've put in, the results I get fall so short that I eventually lose momentum. I'm not ready to accept that I'll be obese for the rest of my life but ... I'm short on hope right now.

I was happy to discover another wonderful weight loss buddy Tracy and found this interesting fill-in exercise on her blog, so I though what the heck.
  1. I give myself permission to fail.
  2. Buying and decorating our Christmas tree is one thing I really looking forward to right now.
  3. If I could change one thing about someone I love I'd give my third sister the courage to be introspect.
  4. I spent the day reading today.
  5. Tomorrow I plan to exercise, write and start a new project that I've been planning for a while.
  6. This week is going to be a lot of fun because I'm on vacation from college and can spend all my time working in my studio.
  7. I feel fortunate.
  8. Spending time alone with my honey doting on me is one of my favourite things.
  9. I want to lose weight.
  10. One of my best memories is driving from New York to Montreal with my honey when we were just good friends.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Weight Gained this Week +.6kgs/+1.3lbs

Prague was great. In exploring the city we walked an average of 16 kilometers/10 miles everyday. Love my pedometer. My food wasn't too bad. I tried to eat consciously and when I wanted to try a sweet I shared it with James. I did end up gaining .6kilos but I'm sure that'll disappear now that I'm back to regular programming.

Now for some titbits about my trip and some photos. Prague is an elegant city built around the Vltava River which I believe runs through the entire Czech Republic. Its architecture combines several periods tastefully and seamlessly.
For the most part, Prague is a pedestrian friendly city with a comprehensive tram system that provides an eco-friendly method of mass transport dating back to the country's communist era.
Prague also has an excellent underground train system which gets high points for being clean, paying attention to design and providing functioning computer terminals where passengers can check location of restaurants, hotels, famous landmarks etc. in a number of languages. How cool is that?
The role of Catholicism in the city's history and culture is manifest in the plethora of beautiful Baroque and Gothic churches to be found everywhere.
and in the many religious statues to be found lining the famous Charles Bridge.
Random sightings: Didn't know there was such a thing as Cannabis Vodka. What a combination and for all you "shots" people out there, why don't you try a couple of Absinthe shots and see how long you'll live.
Visited the Lennon Wall where in the 1980s, young Czechs painted a portrait of John Lennon and began to fill the wall with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics from the Beatles songs. This was a source of immense irritation for the government during the communist era as each time they re-painted the wall it would be filled once again by poems, lyrics, and flowers a few days later. The original portrait of Lennon has been long lost under layers of paint and though there are still a few obvious messages and symbols of peace, the wall seems mostly to be used by Anglophone tourists in a type of "Mike from Liverpool was here" and "Julie loves Ricky" fashion. Pity!!!
How lovely is this money? Made me want to collect it, not spend it.
The thing I liked the most about Prague was the art particularly the sculpture which was really rich and varied. When this piece was the first thing to greet me as I exited the arrival hall at the airport, I knew I was going to like Prague.
One of two Clash of the Titans sculptures that flank the entrance of Prague Castle
Sculpture on a building called "House of the Black Madonna"
Cool Art Deco relief on the wall of a building in Staro Mesto

Temporary installation at the Kempa Museum by a group of young Italian artists called The Cracking Art Group.
Jiří Sozanský, Brainwashing, 1981-2, Permanent collection Kampa Museum
This monument to the victims of communism is by Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek and architects Jan Kerel and Zdenek Hoelzel. It's difficult to see the whole thing clearly here, but it consists of a receding line of statues, each representing different phases of disintegration. At first one part of the body is missing, than another and another until the figure seems to totally disappear into the void. Powerful stuff!!!

This astronomical clock was created in 1410. It is very beautiful but don't ask me what's going on because it's much too complicated for me to read. All I know is that the four figures besides the clock represent the fears and anxieties of 15th century Prague. From left to right there's Vanity with a mirror, Greed with his money bag, then comes death with an hour glass and a grin, and finally, 'pagan' invasion represented by a Turk.
Anyway, on the hour death rings a bell and inverts his hour glass and the 12 apostles parade past the windows above the clock (not pictured here) and nod to the crowd below ... well ... not exactly nod. At the end of the parade, a cock crows and the hour is rung.

Okay so this is the equivalent of a video game or MTV for the folks in the 15th century. Well, call me cynical and jaded but it didn't exactly rock my boat especially as we had to battle through a huge crowd no matter what time of day or night we went, just to catch a glimpse of the most overrated show in town.
On our last day we took a train out to the village of Kutná Hora. I love long distance train journeys. Once I settle in I feel like I could keep going until I reach the end of the earth.
I haven't seen such beautiful fall colours since our last trip to the New England area of the USA ... maybe 4 years ago.
The town of Kutná Hora owes its origin to the discovery of silver mines during the 13th century. From the 13th to 16th centuries the city competed with Prague economically, culturally and politically, but fell into decline when its mines closed and it was hit repeatedly by the plague. Today it is a charming little country town ...
with lots and lots of churches and
a great Czech restaurant which was like a mix between an English pub, an American diner and a high school cafeteria with a medieval like flavour.
The food was very very good. My consort got a big ole' 1/2 liter of beer brewed on the premises and a traditional Czech dish of three different kinds of meat, potato pancakes, two different kinds of dumplings and two different kinds of sauerkraut.
Speaking of food, I discovered a wonderful Czech treat called the Trdelník.
It's essentially a bread roll, scented with slightly sweetened cinnamon, sprinkled with nuts, wound around these cylindrical rods and slowly toasted until brown on the outside.
Not earth shattering but yummy nonetheless!!!
It was a wonderful trip and I was sad when it was over. Thought I'd end with a sign I saw when going into the post office in Kutná Hora to get some stamps.
Don't know which pissed me off more, having to give up my ice-cream or my gun.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Weight Loss this Week -.7kgs/-1.5lbs

This is just a quicky post because I don't have much time. Last week went very well indeed. I maintained my exercise and food sanity and recorded a satisfactory loss.

We are off to Prague, Czech Republic for a vacation this week to celebrate our 8th Anniversary of togetherness. Yeah!!! I intend to do a lot of walking (a minimum of 10,000 steps) and will wear my pedometer everyday so I can keep a record. Will also keep an eye on my food. Wouldn't want that to get out of hand, now would I?

Monday, 29 September 2008

Weight Loss this Week -3kgs/-6.61lbs

I was able to sort my food out this week. Spending a few weeks recording what I ate without changing anything was very helpful. Breakfast was often fine but from there things would go downhill. Instead of having meals I would have sweet snacks. Why? Because they were quick and easy and of course I like them.

This week I made sure everyday I had a good filling breakfast (usually oatmeal with banana/apple, raisins and soymilk which is a big favourite of mine) and I replaced my sweet snacks with fruit. That worked really well for me. I didn't miss the sweet taste in my mouth and I felt quite satisfied. This week I will work on my lunch.

I'm still exercising and weighting myself everyday. I've decided to write what the scale registers here every Monday.

We had a lovely weekend. We went to an area of southwest London called Richmond -upon-Thames and walked along the Thames for about 8 miles. It was one of those rare Autumn days, sunny crisp beautiful.

Life is Good!!!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Just to clarify something in my last post. When I said that I had read somewhere that you have to do something 17 time for it to become a habit, I didn't mean that I had been exercising just 17 times. I started my new regime of exercising 5 days a week on the 7th July right after I had my first appointment with my wonderful new doctor and have not missed a day since then. So this is week 11 and today is day 54 and going strong.

I've been weighing myself everyday for the past week (which is new) and writing down everything I eat (which is not new) without trying to control what I eat (which is new).
Result No 1: I've taken the sting out of the scale. I get on it every morning after I wee and I record the number and I move on with my day. Of course the number is too high and I need to bring it down, but for now I'm grateful that I can weight myself emotionlessly. That in itself is a major breakthrough.
Result No 2: My diet consists mostly of sugar. Left to my own devices I will have Smarties for breakfast, Florentines for lunch and M&M for dinner and the fruit and vegetables will rot in the fridge ... not because I don't like fruit and vegetables you understand,but because I prefer Florentines ;( and probably disease and death.

As I might have mentioned my doctor recommended two strategies to deal with this issue, one of which includes hypnosis. I didn't vibe with the Hypnotist she recommended and she was rather expensive as well. I might try to find and interview some others and/or try a Paul McKenna tape that Barb over at Not Finished Just Yet mentioned worked well for her. Or I could try the other method my Dr. suggested that sounds just too hokey to talk about (even if I can see the logic of it).

So anyway life marches on ... the 'global' banking crisis is a little disconcerting. What will happen next? Perhaps we should keep our money under out beds ... or do like my grandmother did, tie it up in her bra. LOL!!! Unlike my grandmother I never seem to have any money on my person. We tend to use credit cards for everything, but we pay them off at the end of every month. My honey would burst a gasket if we ever paid even the smallest finance charge.

My classes have begun and I just love my students. They are such a wonderful mix and I know it's going to be a fabulous term.

Now if I could just lose some weight ....

Monday, 8 September 2008

After weeks ... months of being too terrified to face the scale I finally weighed myself yesterday. The number was horrible as expected after all the months of unchecked eating.

I've decided to try weighing myself everyday for awhile. I need to get over my terror of the scale and start seeing it as a useful reality checking tool. The idea is not to become obsessed but just to become more aware of how my body's weight fluctuates from day to day in relation to what I eat and my physical activity.

My food is not great but it is definitely getting better.

I'm still doing my stretching, weights and cross trainer for an hour 5 days a week. I read somewhere that you need to do something 17 times before it becomes a habit. I don't know if this is true but exercising is becoming more automatic and less of the tooth pulling struggle it was.

I've noticed some physical benefits as well which I feel good about. e.g. my thighs, arms and torso are looking less lumpy and more smooth and I am becoming more limber and flexible. During the Olympics, I saw the divers bending over and place their palms flat on the ground in front of them in preparation for a handstand and I wanted to be able to do that ... the flat palms not the handstand ... though that would be nice one day too. Anyway, every morning I stretch I try to get my palms closer to the ground and this morning I succeeded in touching it. This made me feel really good.

I started work at the college this week, not teaching yet just meetings and student advisement sessions. I'm really looking forward to this school year. I'm teaching a few new classes that should be a lot of fun ... for me anyway ;P

Monday, 1 September 2008

My niece returned to Barbados on Saturday after what has been a really great visit. When she comes to visit we always do the kind of things that we would never do on our own (like visiting the Science Museum, painting with glitter glue or seeing Kung Fu Panda for instance) and I always make really interesting discoveries. I guess one of the +s of having a child is that she/he gives one permission to be a bit of a child again oneself. Definitely a good thing. Anyway, I was really sad to see her go and am experiencing a bit of what must be a mild case of empty nest syndrome. LOL!!!

On the other hand, boy is it loooovely to have my space back again and what was the first thing I did? Indulged in a great huge dose of me-ness. I stayed in bed allllllllllll freaking day on Sunday ... snoozing, listening to the sound of silence, reading, chatting, snoozing, reading ... and boy was that a DELICIOUS experience.

Autumn is already in the air here, which is really a strange thing to feel since summer never came. While everyone north of the equator has been talking about heat, we've seen the sun probably a total of 5 days for the entire summer and I never got the chance to take our goose down feather duvet off the bed. It's hard to face the prospect of the short, cold, grey, damp days of winter when all you've had is a cold, grey, damp, sunless summer. My poor niece thought she was experiencing winter. When I explained that it was actually summer and that winter gets much colder, she just stared at me in disbelief.

My honey has been shortlisted for another literary prize here, but unfortunately he will be withdrawing himself from the list because it's a prize for unpublished writers and now that he has a publishing contract he's no longer eligible. Pity.

My food has been just horrid but I have managed to keep my exercise routine going. I have now been exercising 5 days a week for 8 weeks. My goals for September are to continue with my exercise routine and start dealing with the food issues.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

With my niece here, the only thing that I have been able to do related to weight loss is my daily morning exercise. This is no small thing (I'm still not loving it, but it's now part of my morning routine which I really wanted it to become and want it to stay) but it is not enough if I want to bring my weight down. I AM stress eating and my food is all over the place.

Over the past three weeks that my 8 year old niece has been visiting me, my days have been consumed with caring for her. She is a bright beautiful curious energetic child and I am really happy to have this time to get to know her better and introducing her to all sorts of new things, but as wonderful as she is and as much as I adore her, I could not imagine being her or anyone else's parent day in day out, year after year after year. It is much too ... well, draining.

This is the biggest problem I have with motherhood. To be a good mother, I think, one has to be prepared to surrender a good part of one's personhood, personal space, time and energy. How on earth do people do that? I need extended periods of alone time to think, dream, ruminate, plan, BE. Without this time I could not function, could not maintain my sanity. Without it I would quickly suffocate and die.

Having my niece here reminds me of just how much I am not cut out for motherhood. This is something that I've always pretty much known about myself. I don't hate kids mind you (though I have to admit I tend to prefer child free zone on any form of public transport or socialising) but bringing a life into the world and being responsible for its emotional, spiritual, physical and social development and well-being is mind bogglingly terrifying to me.

Parenting a child has got to be the most challenging and important job one can ever do in one's life and I am definitely not up for it.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Another week of exercise under my belt. YEAH!!! I haven't exercised like this in years and years, not since I was a healthy weight. Though I'm not exactly feeling love, the overwhelming resistance and resentment I felt when I started is now gone.

Now that I've got my exercise routine on track, I want to start to tackle my food issues. My sugar addiction has been raging. When I told my doctor this week what I've been doing, she almost fell off her seat. I am hesitant to talk about my issues with sugar with people who are not addicts because they just don't get it. Everyone gets alcoholism, drug addiction and nicotine addiction. They understand that one drink for an alcoholic is deadly, that smoking will kill and that drugs are an absolute no no, but few people understand that with a sugar addict one bite of a sugary substance can lead to days, weeks, months, years of life threatening binging. Thank God she got it. Among the things my doctor suggested was hypnosis. I don't know much about hypnosis but Sayre from Finding my Inner, Thinner Person mentioned that it worked for her in helping her kick the smoking habit. Perhaps it will work for me in helping me kick my sugar addiction. God knows I'm willing. I would love to be in the place where the very though of anything sweet leaves me nauseous.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

View From My Elliptical Trainer
I can't believe that I have now completed Week Four of exercising 1 hour 5 mornings a week. It hasn't been fun but it has gotten easier and I feel a great sense of accomplishment.

In the beginning I had a tendency of moving really slowly in level one on the elliptical trainer, but then I got myself a heart rate monitor and that has been very useful in helping me monitor the intensity level of my exercise so that I am exercising within my particular aerobic or anaerobic zones. I've also been doing interval training which I much prefer to simple aerobic exercise.

I noticed this week that I had to work harder just to get my heart rate into the bottom of my aerobic zone (which means that my heart is getting stronger) and that I was able to do my reps with the weights much more easily.

Next I have to work on my food which comes and goes and has mostly been going this week.

On another note my 8 year old niece arrived from Barbados this week to spend August with us. My Dad was supposed to bring her on his way to China for the Olympics, but his company had to route him through Los Angeles instead of London so we had to use the British Airways' special service for children travelling alone. I thought she would freak out a little but she was completely unphased by the experience.

Friday, 25 July 2008

I'm really excited to report that my honey has won a literary prize for unpublished writers which apart from receiving a nice fat check means that he will have one of his four book manuscripts published next year.

We went to the award ceremony yesterday for all the short listed writers and it was very nerve wrecking waiting for the winner to be announced. They were 11 writers short listed from hundred of entries all hoping to win the prize. The MC started by introducing/announcing the runners up from no. 11 and moving forward. Idiot that I am sometimes, I got a little lost with what was happening and when they got to the 2nd runner up and my honey's name hadn't been called, I felt so sad for him and was thinking that I was going to have to do a lot of consoling and shoring up when we got home. I was therefore completely caught off-guard when they actually announced him as the winner. We were the only two people in the room sitting (cowering to one side of the room is more accurate) during the awards, so poor bloke had to struggle to his shaky feet and try to propel himself through a ton of people.

He gave a really lovely acceptance speech talking about always wanting to be a writer and having given up a lot for his dream and how gratifying it was to finally be recognised. It was a really amazing moment.

I am especially proud of him because we've been together for a good part of his journey and I know how hard he works. Here's a little synopsis of his story, after he graduated from Oxford with a very impractical history degree he knew he wanted to write as a career but wasn't sure how to go about it and needed to start earning money, so he took a job with Citigroup, which trained him to be a corporate banker and after a couple of years in London transferred him to Citigroup's Wall Street office in New York.

This is where we met and clicked because among other things we were both creative types who were out of place in that environment. I actually was just passing through on my way to graduate school and encouraged him to chuck banking and do the one year masters in Journalism at Columbia University. He eventually did it and that turned out to be a fantastic program for him because it got him into the discipline and habit of writing.

When he graduated he went to work for the Wall Street Journal. He loved working with them but financial writing was not exactly what he had been yearning to do and during his third year with them, he would get up at 5am every morning and write for two hours before he went to work. Doing this he finished his first novel in a little more than a year. After that he decided that he wanted to dedicate himself to writing fiction. We moved back to London and he took a job as a temp working three 12 hour shifts a week and using the remaining four days of the week to write and send out his writing to try to get it published.

Like all writers, actors, artists he has known some serious rejection and I know many times he looked at the downward trajectory of his life from corporate banker to temp and felt like a victim of his own delusions but he kept his head down and pressed on and now he is at the beginning of what I hope will be a long and fruitful career for him.

I won't tell you much about his book here but if I'm still blogging when it comes out next year, I'll definitely announce it.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Ok, so I HATE exercise. I really really really do.

After that conversation I had with my new doctor a few weeks back, I reached a deeper level of acceptance regarding the role exercise plays in maintaining good health and staving off certain lifestyle illnesses but that didn't make me more eager to exercise though of course it did light a fire under my ass.

When I was looking at the best place to fit exercising into my day, it was clear to me that my problem with exercise was not that I lacked the time to do it, but rather that I lacked the will and that lack of will manifests itself in start stop start stop behaviour.

Now having said this I know it is possible for me to exercise consistently because when I maintained a healthy weight over a 10 year period, I used to run for 1/2 hour 5 days a week and that worked really well for me. Now I can't run anymore because my knees can't take the pounding but I'm now trying to make exercise as non-negotiable as I did back then.

The way I'm trying to think of it is the same way I approach my other self care rituals like brushing my teeth, showering etc. I don't do these things because I like them, I do them because my parents taught me to do them when I was very young and they became a habit before I knew how important they were. Just as I would no more think about leaving home without brushing my teeth, I'm working to make exercise a thing I wouldn't think of starting my day without doing first.

I am now moving towards the end of week three of my new exercise regime. Some mornings, like this one, it takes superhuman strength for me not to blow off exercising, but I do notice that every time I don't give in to this impulse, it makes blowing it off the next morning less likely.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

This is not a swan song by any means, but I have not been at all motivated to blog for quite a while now. Whenever I think of blogging, I just experience it as a drag, which contrasts greatly to when I first began to blog. Then I was a very enthusiastic blogger and commenter.

I thought blogging was going to be the magic weight loss bullet, that my fear of public failure would help to keep me motivated in losing the weight. Well I am coming up next month on the one year anniversary of having started this blog and I am almost in the same place I started in. So much for that idea.

The only reason I haven't just given up the whole blogging thing is because I've met such really wonderful people from around the globe and feel like I'm part of a loose knit community of people who are all struggling to achieve the same goals: weight loss and better health. I want to keep that communication going and I fear that if I stop blogging, I'll stop reading blogs as well and lose connection with all the great people I've gotten to know. So I press on and hopefully will be blogging more than once a week again.

So what's going on for me today? I'm really HATING being overweight. It makes me feel less than. I have been trying to lose weight on and off since January 2005 and haven't gotten pass 179lbs./81kgs before I go back to the 190s. While I was on the elliptical trainer this morning I was wondering what all the years of obesity and yo-yoing have done to my health. I wonder if my inability to be responsible with my diet and exercise has shortened my life span. I wonder if I will ever lose weight or if by my yo-yoing I've locked my body into some sort of weight loss purgatory. I know that I have not been consistent in my weight loss efforts but, when I am consistent I seem to reap minuscule results which simply demoralise me.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Thank you all for checking in on me and for all your wonderful supportive comments. Sorry I've been away for so long. I taught my last class for summer school yesterday and now I am FREE from teaching until mid-September!!! Yeah!!! I love teaching but I also LOVE my breaks from it.

Now I can focus exclusively on working in my studio for the next two weeks until my niece arrives on the 30th August to spend a month with me. She's been coming to visit me during the summer since she was 5 (she's now 8) and I love having her.

Things have been going really well on the food and exercise front. I have been working out consistently for about 1 hour 5 days a week doing a combination of stretching, weights and the elliptical trainer. I'm trying to make that hour of exercise at the beginning of my day as non-negotiable as my daily meditation and so far so good. My food was a little rocky at the beginning of the month but things settled down last week and I now have a good rhythm going there as well. I haven't gotten on the scale recently but I love the way my clothes are fitting again.

Well that's all for now, I'm off to do some visiting since it has been way too long since I've visited my favourite blogs.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

I have just had an appointment with the nicest, kindest, most compassionate, most caring, most efficient, most beautiful doctor I have even met in my life. LOL!!! REALLY!!!

As mentioned before I have been very angry and bitter about my health care. I have a great dentist and eye doctor but have had seen a bunch of cold, incompetent, 'I don't know a fuck and don't give a fuck about you' doctors since we moved to the UK. I kept trying to find a better one in my catchment area, but each was actually worse than the one before.

Then last week, as mentioned in a couple of posts back, I got a recommendation at that weight management meeting I went to and immediately made an appointment for today. I went along this morning. First the receptionist who registered me was warm and friendly, which for me was a good sign since down to the last woman, at all the other practices the desk staff were cold and awful. Then the nurse that did my intake was also warm and friendly ... ohhhh ... I'm on a roll I thought. But none of that could prepare me for this doctor...when my appointment came up, I was escorted upstairs into Dr. W's office.

The minute I entered, she made eye contact, smiled, got up, walked from behind her desk came to me introduced herself and welcomed me. I was floored since the most I've ever gotten in the past is a terse good morning from behind a computer. On top of her warmth and courtesy, she was drop dead gorgeous. She is originally from Greece, is probably in her mid 40s, is about my height but very slim, had a beautiful head of short thick dark glossy hair, a beautiful face and complexion and was dressed like one of the characters from Sex and the City. Not inappropriate, just trendy and hottttt!!! I SWEAR I am not making this up. The overall effect was so stunning that I just blurted out, "oh my God you are SO beautiful and you look amazing!!!

Anyway, she allowed me to talk about all my concerns and issues regarding my health and weight, addressed each one in turn. She examined me physically, ordered blood work, told me she would be in touch if my blood work turned up any red flags and asked me to make an appointment to see her in a month. I have had good doctors before, mostly in the USA, but this woman is head and shoulders above anyone I've ever met. She was caring and compassionate in her response to me, firm when she needed to be, gave me good solid information and has positioned herself as my advocate and support in relation to my weight loss efforts. I was so relieved to find a doctor who cared and was so overwhelmed by her thoroughness, efficiency and compassion that I actually burst into tears towards the end of our session and thanked her a million times before I got out the door. Poor woman, I'm sure she now thinks I'm a basket case ... which come to think about it may not be far from the truth.

Anyway, I now feel so much more confident about my health and am actually optimistic that eventually I will beat this disease of obesity and have a fighting chance of avoiding heart disease, hypertension, diabetes etc.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

I got on the scale this morning and I was 85kgs. That's up 5kgs from when I last weighed two months ago. Yikeees!!! NOT GOOD!!! Nevertheless, I'm not going to get on the pity pot. I'm moving on.

Taking into consideration my lifestyle, I've restructured my food to have my heaviest meal in the morning, a moderate lunch and light portable dinner. My exercise routine for now consists of stretching, light weights and the elliptical for half an hour 5 days a week. I'm also going to weigh myself once a week ... every Tuesday morning. Maybe this will keep me more focused.

On y va!!!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

I've been having a great last couple of days with my food and exercise on track. I'm really giving thought to the things the workshop facilitator talked about regarding lifestyle changes, as I try to figure out what my short term goals are going to be. I think I've been approaching food all wrong. A structured food plan might have worked very well for me in the past but I'm a different person now and I need to think about how I can deal with food differently.

I'm also rethinking my approach to exercise. Instead of just trying to motivate myself to jump on the elliptical trainer every morning, I'm thinking of a goal I can work towards relating to my fitness level which would motivate me. I have some ideas but I'll have to wait until the weekend to research them.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

I went to the weight management group at my local library and it was really really good. The facilitator was fantastic. She talked about how important it was to look at weight loss as a lifestyle change. I have heard this tons of time but what does it really mean? Well, she encouraged the group not to focus exclusively on making changes to our food and exercise but also to look at other areas of our life that need to be managed, areas that may be affecting our ability to achieve our weight and health goals. I though this was brilliant because it's often stuff that has nothing to do with food or exercise that destroy my efforts.

We were also encouraged to start out with a long term goal (we know mine is to achieve and maintain 55kgs.) and then make short term goals that we can achieve day by day week by week that will lead to our long term goal. We were all given a little packet with among other things a sheet to record our goals and indicate whether we've met them or not. We meet once a month, weight and talk about our success and challenges and the facilitator gives us tips and suggestions on how to move ourselves forward. In between the meetings there is email support. There is also a free low impact and two free walking groups which come along with participating.

I think I'm going to try this and see how it works out. The facilitator really gave me some great tips on how to get myself moving more and has helped me to look at my goals differently.

By the way, yesterday and today are fantastic foodwise. I've been doing my own version of a cleanse and my body is thanking me. Also got back on the elliptical trainer. Yeah!!!

Another benefit of going to the meeting is that I got a recommendation for a new GP from two of the women in the meeting. I have been positively bitter about my experiences with doctors since we moved to this area almost two years ago. Hopeful this change will be the start of something new and wonderful.

Monday, 23 June 2008

I can't believe how long I have stayed away from this blog and your blogs. My goals are the same though: To Return to My Ideal Weight of 55kgs. I've gotten mighty distracted over the past two months though. Yikees!!!

My food has been rather 'rich' and I haven't been exercising so undoubtedly I've regained some weight though I don't know how much because you know how much I hate to face the scale. I am still wearing my UK 14 trousers but it isn't loose like it was a few months ago.

Nevertheless, it's time to move forward again, so here I am. I've planned a nice easy week focused on detoxing and cleansing and 1/2 hr daily on my elliptical trainer. James brought home a brochure from the local library advertising a free weight care programme and support group. I might check it out. We'll see ....

Friday, 6 June 2008

I haven't been back to New York since I moved to London with my James a few years ago. At the time of our leaving I had had enough of New York and was happy to move on, but you can't really live in a place for a significant length of time without it becoming a part of you and you a part of it and over the past few years I've been quite nostalgic for certain aspects of my New York life.

This New York visit was not nearly long enough for me to do all the things I wanted to do, but it was certainly a Fabulous trip. I:

chatted endlessly with my sister:

basked in the beautiful spring weather,
New York is at its most gorgeous in April and May and for my entire week there the sunshine was brilliant and the air cool and delicious.

marvelled at all the changes that had taken place during my absence,
There has been a lot of construction going on in New York since I was last here. Seems as though all the little pre-WWII 5 story walk ups and other buildings from the 40s are being replaced by luxury apartments which only the very rich can afford. A very good hospital used to stand in this spot just 3 years ago.

This brand new African Burial Ground Monument commemorates the story of the African Burial Ground, a 6 acre cemetery for free and enslaved Africans dating back to the 17th and 18th century, which only came to light in 1991 during excavation of the site for a new federal building.
New bus stops with seats and new electric bus. 5 stars!!!

indulged in my favourite New York treats (with moderation I should add, no blow out binges for me),
I'd been dreaming of a good old fashion New York diner breakfast for a long time. So I stopped off at the Mansion Diner and Oh My God: THEY'VE RENOVATED. Same layout but brand spanking new everything. It was so early I had the place to myself.

Sorry, but you haven't had a Bagel until you have had a New York Bagel!
So many to choose from!!!

treated my tired and calloused feet to a deep massage and pedicure,
What's a visit to New York without a pedicure. New York has more nail care places per square block than any other city in USA or Europe. I've been going to this tiny one around the corner from my apartment for years.
Ahhh! Now I'm ready to paint the town.

took some long walks down memory lane,

This is the first place I lived when I moved to New York ... well the second if you count the few months I lived in my friend P's grandmother's basement apartment until I got myself set up.

I woke up at dawn on Memorial Day and took a walk through Carl Schultz Park which borders the East River. I used to start my morning with a jog along this river at sunrise for many years. It is such a beautiful and peaceful place.

Citigroup on Wall Street, where James and I met 9 years ago.

Brooklyn Bridge as seen from South Street Seaport, where we spent many an evening after work eating ice cream, chatting and watching the sun set.

James old apartment building in Battery Park City.

savoured all the things that make New York so New York,
Ah, the New York City Subway!!!
I just love New York townhouses better known as brownstones. I used to fantasise about owning one before I realised I'd need to be a millionare.
Harlem, one of the most important social and cultural centers of African life in America.
That dot in the distance is Lady Liberty herself !!!
The Chrysler Building is just spectacular, day or night!!!
Love this sculpture!!!
This one too!!!
Look, there's still debris in his briefcase from when the World Trade Center fell around him!!!
This photo by an old teacher of mine Jeff Mermelstein shows the same statue above in the aftermath of the WTC disaster.

caught a terrific exhibition at the Studio Museum of Harlem called Flow. It showcased the work of emerging artists from Africa,

saw an incredible performance of the New York City Ballet,

took advantage of the super strong ££££ to indulge in some retail therapy (which in my opinion could only really be considered therapy if I had a personal shopper do all my shopping for me),

went to the opening of an En Foco Exhibition,

and then ... all too soon it was time to say au revoir ...

Stay tuned for the next post when Nona discusses what she is doing to lose 25kgs before she turns 90 ....