Handbag-Fat, Resistance Weights and Zebra Cakes

So, two items caught my eye in the press this week that  I’d like to pass on in case you missed them.

The first was the headline ‘Is Your Handbag Making You Fat?

My larger handbag

Ok, so I’m thinking of the odd bar of chocolate or bag of sweets secreted in your handbag for ‘emergencies’ that arrive on all too frequent a basis. (Who, me? Ever?)

But it seems that the renowned cosmetic surgeon (Shudder – is this is just me – can’t bear the thought of going under a knife for cosmetic reasons but can cope with the idea for medical…)  Dr Michael Prager had noticed a correlation between fat distribution and the side his clients carried their large handbags. He noticed these things due to the measurements and pictures he took prior to cosmetic reductions. (shudder)

The fat was more heavily distributed on the side that carried the hefty bag.

Now, if I ever get my photos from Fat Woman Thinning? up onto my blog (I’ll do it when I’m sure they will stay on the blog and not appear all over the place at random) it would be noticeable that the Fat on my upper hips is not distributed evenly.

Having said that – my fat has the unfortunate propensity to settle in ‘lumps’ rather than a smooth covering. Way, way back, in the dark ages when I was at college my room mate was a lovely girl who weighed quite a bit more than I did at that time* but really didn’t look it as her layer of fat was smooth and even all over, whereas what fat I did have then sat in lumpy areas looking like .. well .. fat. (*a lot less than I am at the moment and a weight I’m aiming at)

Bonny checks I haven't forgotten anything

So, back to the photos, yes, one hip definitely has a noticeably larger love-handle lump of fat sitting on it than the other, and I’ve often wondered why and how to get rid of it, and YES it is the side I carry my large, very full and heavy handbag. The good doctor was backed up by Postural expert, Ivana Daniell, who claimed that the imbalance caused by toting the heavy handbag built skeletal and muscle imbalance that affected fat distribution.

All I know is that I am going to do two things. 1, even-up the handbag carrying (swapping shoulders if I have to take my larger (this way I don’t forget  anything) handbag with me) and 2, trying to take my smaller ‘back-pack’ type handbag at other times as this is worn on both shoulders evenly.

The second headline (a sub) was ‘Lift Weights for Brain Boost’

 This is more like it, I thought, as you may know from my Fat Woman Thinning? blogs I am Not Dieting but I am following a quick resistance weights programme (less than 15 mins a day)

The gist of this article was that lifting weights as resistance training not only builds and maintain muscle-mass and strength as we grow older but also helps to  prevent cognitive decline.

The same article also advocated Vitamin D to help prevent memory loss and as you’ll know Vitamin D is generated in our bodies through being in the sunshine – however, Eggs are one of the few foods that provide vitamin D – and you know how much I like to advocate an egg for breakfast (3 cheers for Eggs) And, talking of that – the same article pointed out that Cereals were really the worst way to start the day – and that a protein based breakfast would be more healthy for the brain.

Enough! I know you are all really waiting for the ZEBRA CAKE.

Winning Zebra cakes at our WI group meeting

This was set as the competition for our WI group meeting held this week. Here’s a lovely photo of the three winners.  No, none of them was mine, despite being the one who re-engineered the recipe to be UK friendly (and imperial measure friendly) and to fit an 8inch tin (where all the other recipes are for a 9inch – most people asked had 8inch tins)

The ingredients are really simple and probably in your cupboards now – however, the method is the most unusual I have tried.

Ingredients for 8″ Zebra Cake – a fairly dense, moist sponge cake with concentric circles on tops and vertical ‘zebra’ stripes inside:

3 Eggs

155g    / 5 ¼  oz  caster sugar

150ml  / 5 fl oz   whole milk

150ml  / 5 fl oz   vegetable oil (any – your choice)

2 tsp vanilla essence

180g  /    6 ¼  oz Self Raising flour (sieved)

1 level tablespoon Cocoa powder        }

scant ½ level teaspoon baking powder  } sieved together

a little extra milk – if required (about a tablespoon)

For the full recipe WITH METHOD click here to go to Recipes drop down for  Zebra Cake

 So a very mixed bag this blog post (get it) , and I shall finish with another plug for the great Win a Kindle (or one of 4 other great prizes) DRAW that I’m running here on this blog . Just an email-sign-up gets you an entry in this draw, where only one thousand are allowed to enter, and there’s only 429 places left. As soon as 1000 are signed up to this varied blog we call the draw! Free and easy to enter just click HERE for all the information, then I’m sure you’ll want to share it with everyone you know to give them a chance too!

Is your everyday / favourite handbag giant sized  and over-weight – do you think it makes a difference?

Or have you ever made a Zebra Cake using one of the other recipes out there on the Internet (they are widely varied) if so, how did you get on?

Love to hear from you!

 

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What do you get after Week of Feasting? FWT? Week 12

Well, to be honest, it wasn’t quite a whole week of feasting, but when you eat out or eat rather too well for four days out of seven it sure begins to feel like all you have done is eat … rather too well.

As you’ll know if you have been following FWT? I’ve been doing this blog since a few weeks after I started keeping a record on the drop-down pages, from Jan 1st 2012, weighing in at 12 stone and deciding to DO something about it. I am far too busy with my business annmade slateware, and my novel-writing, to take time out to visit a gym or run around the roads, so this is my solution, less than 15 mins of resistance weight training a day and some stretching and aerobics (max half an hour) yes – that’s it, Not Dieting – though not overeating (supposedly) and keeping an eye on the carbohydrate consumption. All details on the drop down pages from Fat Woman Thinning?

The week began as usual with Sunday, which I have noted before is quite food- heavy, right from the fry-up of egg, bacon, mushrooms and tomato followed by (thin) toast butter and marmalade – through a full traditional English Roast dinner with dessert to follow! yep – that’s a full foody day. So when I add to that a meal out with friends on Tuesday evening of a well-endowed mixed grill, even with restricting the chips to 6 [ok – yes – they were large chips 🙁 ] and that after having eaten a main meal at lunch time (though no tea)

As if this were not enough, Wednesday being my parents 59th wedding anniversary we took them out for lunch. I chose wisely – I thought, chicken breast wrapped in bacon and topped with a slab of melted brie. With plenty of salad, a few carrots, calabrese and 2 small new potatoes. Then I came unstuck  as I plumped (get it) for a pavlova! (enough sugar in that to launch a space rocket)

Which brings me to this weekend… family .. I mean FAMILY down for the anniversary. Lunch (mid afternoon type) for 20, Turkey, salmon en croute, new potatoes, calabrese, salad,.. followed by Pavlova (yes I know – but if I say so myself I do make a very nice pavlova) and Mille feuille, and Anniversary cake ( a chocolate and vanilla marbled sponge cake – iced) and clotted cream.

 

Oh and then a wide range of cheeses to select from with crackers and grapes.……

 

 

BTW – all photos of food on Slate – show annmade slate products.

So am I surprised that I did not show any weight loss this week?

No, not really. Especially as, though I kept up most of my weights I had missed more aerobic and stretching sessions than I had completed.

So – still at 10 stone 9lbs.

Waist measurements ?  Well, as you would expect, on the relaxed measurement – no change….. BUT  to my amazement …..

on the pulled in tight measurement  HALF and INCH loss. Now every time I ‘pull in’ as TIGHT as I can .. so last week would have been pulled in tight, I can assure you ..

yet half an inch .. yes I double checked.

I shall hang on to that measurement as a sign! And make sure next week is 1, normal in eating pattern, and 2, well exercised.

Ok, then cheerleaders .. I’d love to hear you comments on this week!

And don’t forget to enter (and tell everyone else to enter) my free and easy-to-enter Win a KINDLE competition – all the details HERE   – don’t leave it too late – only 1,000 allowed to enter – then it must be drawn!

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Have you got Resistance Weights in your fridge?

Inspired by the Kitchen Resistance training video I posted a few weeks ago  I have been thinking about how you could get started on resistance weight training if you didn’t happen to have a son who was, 1, into weight training and 2, had left a load of his weights in the barn where you could ‘borrow’ them. MizFit used soup cans – but at the most these weigh-in at only 500g – and as I started with 2 kg* dumbbells, 500g wouldn’t offer much ‘resistance’.  I could go on ‘forever’ with such light weights and the idea is to achieve over 15 repetitions but ‘fail’ (find it too difficult to go on)  at a number that is not so high that it takes much time to reach. (*True, my work that I do with slate means I have quite strong arm muscles to start with, and many would start with a bit lighter.)

 

I had just come back from the supermarket where I had bought, amongst other things, milk.  Now it is only in the last eighteen months that we have had to actually buy milk. Up until then we kept milking goats – British Saanen. However, home circumstances meant that having to milk every morning was not a viable option anymore so we traded in our milkers and went for Boer Goats instead (more of which elsewhere and later)

 

 

Well, having a ready supply of milk encourages you to drink lots of milk and to use lots of milk in culinary ways. So, now I find myself buying what seem to be vast quantities of milk each week. There I was heaving this bag out of the boot of the car. It contained one 6 pint and three four pint plastic bottles. Wow, I thought, these are heavy! And that was when the little light bulb went on.

I went right in and weighed a 4 pint bottle. 2.430 kg. It has a comfortable handle to hold it with and with one in each hand I performed bicep curls, front raises, lateral raises and triceps extensions.  And, I thought to myself, AND  you could start with them half full of water if you weren’t feeling very strong, and as your strength increased you could add more water to suit.

I next weighed the 6 pint bottle, as good mathematicians will have worked out instantly, this weighed in at 3.6 kg and was still comfortable enough to handle. It might be used for the snatch in the early stages, I thought.

Later I took an empty set (one of each) out to the farmyard and filled them each with sand my other half has waiting to do some building work. Now the 4 pint bottle weighed 3.5 kg and the 6 pt over 5.3 (my scales weren’t man enough to give me the correct weight). Certainly a decent weight to start the snatch with !!

So here it is – use the recommended exercises as on Week 3 page, with the video links on Week 5 page to guide you, and use milk bottles filled with water or sand to create your weights! The only tricky one is the wrist-curl – it still works but the weight is unevenly distributed.

If you don’t consume the quantities of milk we do then I am sure there’ll be someone who you can ask to save you some empty* milk bottles to use. *(WELL washed out!!)

If you try this let me (and everyone else) know – I’d love to see how well it works out!

Have you ever had a ‘light-bulb’ moment – the simple answer to something that has been eluding you? Do share – I love to her from you all! And while you are sharing – don’t forget to enter and share the fantastic draw I am running for one lucky person to Win a Kindle

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Fat Woman Thinning? ‘Don’t count your chickens…’

If you are new to the FWT? blog-posts, welcome to Fat Woman Thinning? – a 52 week blog, which I started as pages to keep myself on-track and so my ‘primary cheerleaders’ (my sons) could keep up with my progress. Then about 5 weeks ago, I felt brave enough to post it as a blog!  If you are one of my new cheerleaders ! Yay! Great to see you again!

What you’ll find here is the distilled notes from my daily log of everything I eat, exercise I do, thoughts and excuses the lot. Losing weight after menopause turned out to be a whole different game to losing weight before. What worked then, didn’t work now. A new strategy had to be found and as a very busy woman I didn’t have time to spend on long gym sessions or runs or cycles. This had to be manageable!  If you want to know what keeps me so busy visit my website where you will also find my novels ‘Divining the Line’, ‘Nothing Ever Happens Here’ and ‘Some Kind Of Synchrony’ just click HERE to be able to read the first 3 chapters in pdf !

Sunday morning first thing each week I weigh myself and measure my waist (level with the belly button) nude. This is my benchmark and so we start with Sunday 19th February…

Sun: No, didn’t do the aerobics this evening — sleep catch-up required! Oh? What do you mean that is no excuse?!

“It’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly,” explains Michael Breus, PhD 

Mon: I’m wondering if it might be an idea to photograph each meal (and snack) next week as evidence ….. ? (note – already forgotten to do this – perhaps next week?)

Tue: 4 pancakes with lemon and sugar ! Too Many!!Felt bloated for the rest of the evening – but hey – it is Shrove Tuesday!

Definitely my ‘hardest’ day on the resistance training – my legs are always trembling by the time I finish and I can feel my heart thumping and as to perspiration… won’t go there – just say ‘time for a shower!’

Wed: Only just got the weight session done half hour before the aerobics. This is not how I like to do it – but on Weds I am off to the market too early to do it before and this afternoon I was busy with making a bespoke clock and this evening with cutting and stapling the WI programme ready to distribute tomorrow.

Thur: Actually got the blog I was writing up and on line — hence running very late for last exercise of the evening – but having been to belly dance I think it qualifies! (yeah… but other weeks I have done both)

Fri: Snatch with the 10 kg plates was getting a bit long-winded as I gained strength so I have upped it to 15 kg – I think this is a bit of a jump but it was what I could find lying around in the barn, ie: two 7.5 kg plates. However, as I managed over 20 both time I think this was right decision. After all part of this whole thing is not to take too much of my time! However, my arms are all of a tremble still as I try to type this – have had to go back and correct so many typos!!

Friday Evening – went to ladies night in – making some lovely jewellery followed by supper – yummm, celery, fennel, carrot and dips. Selection of cheeses. Thin piece of focaccia bread. small bunch grapes. Dried fruit salad and clotted cream (yum) 2 glasses alcoholic ginger punch. Sounds ok .. but it was on top of a Tea – which, in hindsight, I should have just skipped in favour of a nibble to maintain levels. PLUS I was too late home to do aerobics 🙁 after all that extra food too – not looking good for Sunday’s weigh in at this rate!

Sat: Still feeling bloated and lumpy…. not keen to see the results tomorrow really.

RESULTS

Hmmm, last week I was planning what I would treat myself with when I reached the 11 st. mark …. well this is known as counting your chickens (before they hatch) … As here I am and still at the 11st 1 lb. so no move there then 🙁 What about the measurements? – well the relaxed remained the same… but the pulled in waist measurement was down half an inch.

OK, so not very much – but a move, and it is now that I wish I was also measuring other areas, like just beneath the bust – this week I have started having to do my bra-strap up on the next set of hooks in – as this area has definitely reduced and was becoming loose on the hooks setting I usually use. I also noticed (as did some friends I hadn’t seen for a couple of weeks) that my face has ‘planes’ not just rounded. I know, I know, I do worry a little that the face will become haggard – you know the old saying – there comes an age when you have to choose between figure and face. Well, I am hoping that the facial exercises (that are part of my half hour stretching and aerobics) combined with a little two minute face-massage with a light baby lotion before bed, may help prevent the haggard look. This, of course, remains to be seen.

Having popped all my week’s notes in here I don’t think I have to look too far to see what was different in this week in regards to foods consumed and exercises done. This is where the record really helps – as I can pinpoint the difference and what I need to do to remedy it.

Just LOOK at it!  TOO MANY pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (I ought to have limited myself a bit eh? – not cut them out altogether but been more sensible – after all I felt bloated – so not a good sign.

Then extra food intake again on Friday night – it was so yummy, but I ought to have guessed Carolyn’s ‘a few simple nibbles’ would be sumptuous and tempting’ (I did resist the absolutely gorgeous looking cheesy scones – somehow!)

Then I see I skipped 2 whole sets of aerobics and stretching and the stretching part of another evening. Hmm, pretty obvious isn’t it what happened. Yet there was movement, and there is definitely other changes.. so .. on to next week with renewed vigour and conscientiousness over the exercises. (Not withstanding, the item on sleep is also relevant and then, of course, some of it may be that some of the fat was replaced by muscle weight, it could be the ‘fault’ of upping the weights in a variety of areas … I shall consult #3 son on this!

In the meantime the end of the month is coming up fast and with that the next set of photos – and they will tell their own tale.

Motto for next week – ‘don’t count your chickens before they hatch’ and after my last post on will-power perhaps I should add ‘pride comes before a fall’ ? LOL 🙂

What is your reaction to a disappointment or set back. Give in – or get back out there and fight it? Love to hear from you folks!

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Kitchen resistance training

It’s not what you  are thinking… I am not talking about training yourself to resist food!
As you’ll know if you are following my progress on Fat Woman Thinning? I am not actually dieting.

This is about Exercising In Your Kitchen! And if you’ve been following my blog series Fat Woman Thinning?, you will know I am not keen on going out to a gym to exercise (more of which another day) and have created my routine to fit in with my busy life, with exercises carried out within my home.

And if you ‘d like to know what I do that makes me too busy to travel to a gym then take a look at annmade.co.uk where you will also find my Novels:  Nothing Ever Happens Here, Divining the Line, and Some Kind of Synchrony .. click here to read the first 3 chapters in pdf

So, what I like about this video clip (and some of MizFit’s other you-tube videos and her blog)  is that she doesn’t rely on specialist equipment – doesn’t mean she doesn’t use some – but, like in this video, soup-cans, chairs, dish-cloths and other stuff gets used to help maintain fitness.

Well, this really has started me thinking. I was lucky because son #3 had left spare sets of weights in the barn and I just raided them, but would I have gone out and bought this stuff before I knew it worked.. would I coco.. so I started thinking what I could find around that would still do the job if I didn’t have his weights.

I have come up with some– they’ll feature in a blog soon – in the meantime – what do you think? What is there around your house that will act as weights for resistance training? Would you feel daft ‘lunging’ across the kitchen?

Your comments or thoughts are very welcome, I really want to hear from you.

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Fat Woman Thinning? – with links to weights exercises

Welcome to week 5 of my fat woman thinning? blog – if you are new to this you need to know that I first just kept this as a log on the pages – to motivate myself and so my ‘cheerleaders’ that is my sons, could see how I was getting on.Then a few weeks ago I got brave enough to post it all as a blog – join me on the journey – join me as a cheerleader – I love to hear from you – please do post a comment or a question.

I had to do something, menopause seemed to have changed the way my body dealt with things – my usual way of maintaining my weight no longer worked and the weight crept on… and on. So, now I am using resistance weights as well as some aerobic and stretching, and watching what I eat (writing everything down as well) – but Not Dieting!

Also, I don’t go to a gym.  I don’t have time to spend getting there, nor the inclination to flaunt my lumpy body in front of others, so I have worked out what I can do at home and it doesn’t take long – the weights never more than 15 mins and the aerobics and stretching is worked to follow a strict half hour of music. So, where have I got to, where has it got me – lets see . . . . .

29/1 – week 5 of 52 week blog

Another Sunday, another weigh and measure session. Well, have to say I was both delighted and surprised. A 2lb drop in weight and a reduction in measurement (belly-button height and level) So that’s 11st 5lbs (72.2 kg or 156 lbs) and relaxed waist of 42 inches (108 cm ) – that’s a half inch smaller, and pulled in a measurement of 40.5 inches (103 cm) but the weird thing is, as I pull the muscles of my stomach in now the belly button rises up my body (as it were) meaning that the level measurement rises up the worst bulge on the top of my hips a bit – so this is a whole inch down of last week

Notes: for 29th

Have a look at this page for instructions and a small video for Lateral Raises  http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/DeltoidLateral/DBLateralRaise.html  And on these pages for Triceps extensions  http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/DBLyingTriExt.html  Which I prefer to do or  http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/DBOneArmTriExt.html  if you prefer to be stading

Notes: for 30th

Instructions and video link for Snatch is here   http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/OlympicLifts/Snatch.html  but like I say I use just one 10kg plate – and hold it with both hands on the rim – lifting it from rim resting on floor to high – as if I was trying to hang it on a peg at full arm stretch for me. As always bending the knees and keeping the back straight.

The sit-ups I am sure you are familiar with but here they are anyway: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/RectusAbdominis/BWSitUp.html  No I don’t have the fancy bench for this either – and I don’t like the way the guy in the video has linked his fingers behind his neck – this could result in you pulling your neck especially when it gets tough. It is better to rest your fingers against the side of your neck just below the ears (When you get to this stage – for the first week  the only way I could get a sit-up going was to throw my arms forward towards my knees to get the momentum to even lift off the floor!!)

Notes: for 31st

Squats I do with the ‘safety net’ of a computer chair set to the lowest setting – which means that if I sat on it at that level my knees are slightly higher than my hips – I do the squats so that my bottom just touches the edge of the chair – it tells me I have sunk low enough and stops me feeling that I might fall over backwards! I use 2 dumbells, propped on a towel over my shoulders rather than a bar and weights. See the instructions and small video for Squats here   http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html

I do Lunges standing on an old duvet. I had the irrational fear that I might hurt my knee as it went down, and this reassured me.  As I lunge across the width of the duvet, and being 5′ 3″ I have a smallish stride, it also find it gives me an ‘aim’ for my step forward part of the lunge. If my back foot in just inside one edge then my front foot just stays on the duvet – this gives a ‘stride’ of 3ft 9inches (1m14cm) from toe of front foot to heel of back foot, which is a decent stride for a shorty! Lunge instructions and video here:   http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BWLunge.html

Notes: for 1st Feb

Exercises for today may be found at these sites. I prefer to do the triceps extensions in the lying down mode (doesn’t hurt my elbow or shoulder this way)

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/DBLyingTriExt.html

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/DBOneArmTriExt.html

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/DeltoidAnterior/DBFrontRaise.html

Second set of photographs to be taken today – still not put them up on the site – working out how they can be kept from filtering out onto the general internet. What I notice, however, is that there appears to be more folds and sagging as the tightness begins to leave certain parts of my body. I hope my skin has retained some of its elasticity from before and can return to fitting the new me I hope to find by the end of these 52 weeks.

Notes: for 2nd

Here are the exercises for Thursday – I do the bicep curls using both arms at the same time and the ‘rotation’ of the arm from side on to flat on works more muscles.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Biceps/DBCurl.html

And this is the wrist curl, which is good for buildin gup strength for climbing ( so I am told) and as I want to learn a bit of climbing this shoud be useful.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristFlexors/DBWristCurl.html   I also do these simultaneously.

Notes: for 3rd

Here are the exercises for today; As I have said previously i use just one ‘plate’ weight of 10 kg for the snatch an lift it from floor to high, as if trying to place on a hook in front of me as high a I can reach

Snatch : http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Obliques/BWTwistingSitUp.html

Twist-sit-ups : http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Obliques/BWTwistingSitUp.html

Notes: for 4th

Here are the links to these exercises, the squats was shown once already but it’s here anyway :

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html

And the step-ups I am stepping 10 inch step and was taking far too long (over 100 steps) to get to fail point – so this time I tried to carry extra weights. Here is the exercise link:  http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BWStepUp.html

Well, what will tomorrow bring – weigh-in and measure time!!

Full details are on the drop down pages from the Fat Woman Thinning? header on the crossbar.

Your comments or questions are very welcome, I really want to hear from you, and if you ‘d like to know what I do that makes me too busy to travel to a gym then take a look at annmade.co.uk where you will also find my Novels:  Nothing Ever Happens Here, Divining the Line, and Some Kind of Synchrony .. click here to read the first 3 chapters in pdf.

 

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Fat Woman Thinning? Out of the Box!

OK, I am actually in to week three, but have decided to get brave enough to bring this log (that has been on a drop down from the cross bar) out of the box and on to the blog. I’ll only be posting the notes  here – for the details you’ll still have to go to the drop-downs from ‘fat woman thinning’ on the cross bar, even so, this week’s blog is a bit long as you have the intro and the first two weeks – cheerleaders welcome!

A 52 WEEK BLOG

January the first!
First is the key word here. First day of the new me. First day of this blog
And I start as do those who join AA in stating that I am FAT. I have been avoiding this, after all with my clothes on I can disguise a lot, even though my clothing size has gone from comfortably loose at a 14 to tight 16 bordering an 18 for certain styles. After all there are those around me who are much larger. After all I eat a sensible, well balanced diet – and really, really not too much of it. And I do at least one exercise type class once a week in term time. And it used to be enough before the menopause… which seems to pause weight loss as well. So there are all my excuses and I still have to admit that I have allowed myself to get FAT before I can convince myself that drastic action must be taken. And by drastic I don’t mean a starvation diet – dieting – silly cutting out of all fats.. or all carbs… is the CAUSE rather than the cure of many weight problems… all that happens is that your body learns it needs to be careful of those precious fat supplies as it might meet starvation again so when you reach your target weight and take your eye off the strict diet (you know you do, you know you will), the result is the weight piles on and it is much harder to lose weight in the future!

So Drastic?: What is missing if I really eat a sensible and well balanced diet? Well, what I don’t do, and haven’t done for a long, long time, is exercise strenuously. I have avoided doing gym sessions since taking out a year membership and using it only to build huge muscles (I build muscle easily) but this did not really help much with weight loss, and it is only now I find I was doing the wrong sort of exercise – the type that is good for body-builders (all posing with large shaped muscles) but not for fat burning. For this I need lean muscle, and I need to work it hard to get it to burn even when it is doing very little – so I have been told – and so I am going to try.

I intend to keep this blog to keep me on track. It might contain some very un-pretty images as I am going to photograph my body as I go (not sure if I am brave enough to post these yet though), and some definitely boring daily food charts and exercise charts, but I shall also try to note any mental or physical changes that I think about and the exercise routines and changes to them as I go. So.. want to come with me?
Follow me on this journey.. fifty-two weeks of Fat Woman Thinning? I’ll  be blogging the Notes: as a whole week insight once a week (without the food and exercise lists) or for all the information and daily updates SEE each week on the drop-down menu from Fat Woman Thinning? bar

WEEK 1

SUN: Weight 12 st. (76.2 kg or 168 lbs)
OK … so it was New Year Day and we had family round for the day! No Excuses. Can’t wait until all the chocolate, cake and scrummy biscuits are gone! Fair start – considering how busy I was today .. eh? What no excuse?

MON: Drinking a glass of water 5 – 10mins before meals helps. Also a glass when feeling peckish – with the mid morn or mid afternoon snack* *counted – healthy

TUE: Weds tomorrow – need sleep as early morning – next week must start exercise earlier!

WED: Early start means v hungry mid morn so took banana to make sure no blood sugar drop – worked – and water!

THUR: Went shopping in am. took water – that helped but needed to have taken something to maintain the blood sugars – craving bad when home

FRI: Actually lay in bed thinking about getting up before M to do the weight cos we were going out to buy plants first thing… didn’t though – got to bed too late to leave bed early!

SAT: Getting excited to see if there is any weight difference when I weigh in on Sunday morning…

WEEK 2

SUN:Weight 11.10 ( a 4lb drop – couldn’t believe it – checked many times. oh and thats 74.2 kg for the metric amongst us, or164 lbs for those who don’t do stones. (More than I’d expected, but as it was the first week after Christmas eat-fest I don’t actually expect this rate to continue)

Read a very interesting article today that backs up what I have believed for a long time – it’s the carbohydrates that are most likely to help you put on weight. When the creed was ‘increase your carbohydrates and reduce the fats’ I was always unhappy teaching it as from what I knew that wasn’t right. Sure, too much stored fat is bad for your arteries but fat is not made just from eating fat.Fat in your body is made from excess ‘energy giving foods’ over energy used, and the number one energy giving foods that we were being encouraged to eat was the complex carbohydrate group. Complex Carbohydrates are just longer strings of the simple carbohydrates, which we also call sugars. It was so indoctrinated into us all that I had great difficulty persuading the girls I taught that fat was not the only thing you eat / drink that makes you fat. And just don’t get me started abut eggs and the bumpy ride they have had as a food substance!

MON: Then in the evening had WI committee meeting and I brought out some of those really scrummy biscuits I want to get eaten up so they don’t tempt me.. and they tempted me and I succumbed …………….

FR chicken – is one of our own reared for the table Free Range chickens (see main blog under Chicken keeping) and as such taste wonderful. Eggs, which are my main staple for breakfast also come from our little free-ranging flock. The ‘egg’ stated for breakfast most mornings is cooked in the following way: break one egg into a small dish suitable for a microwave (ie not metal and can take heat) I use a small cereal bowl, add about half as much milk as there is egg and whisk with a fork. Microwave on full power for about 1 min 20 sec (this varies according to the size of the egg) that’s it. – turns out like a mini omelette (without any cooking fat involved or pan to clean – eat straight from the bowl with a teaspoon. On mine I spread about quarter teaspoon of marmite. Marmite? Well, yes, for two reasons, 1, I like the taste and that way I do not miss adding salt to the egg, 2, Marmite has good vitamins including Folic acid which we all need especially at or after menopause.

Back to that article (see above – read more today) – there the doctor concerned said that weight wasn’t the issue – waist measurement (taken at belly-button height  – and taking care to make sure this was a level horizontal measurement) – was the one to work by. So now my target includes a waist measurement so here’s the starting point. WAIST: Relaxed 44 inches ( 112 cm) Pulled in: 42 inches (107 cm)  Noticeably if I let the tape ride up a bit at the back and angle down to meet the belly-button it was much less – so accuracy in placing is obviously required!

TUE: First morning that I have not felt hungry for breakfast – usually can’t wait to tuck in. Is this part of the whole thing or just  a one-off? However, not eating breakfast could lead to snacking or cravings for sweet stuff later so I ate my usual breakfast. Discussion with N, suggests that I move repetitions in each set to 15 if I can reach without failing before then. Think I am ready. Will try tomorrow and if ok maintain. If not work up to it to start next week.  Do not want to weight session to grow too long as then I may find it harder to fit in. Wednesday tomorrow – that means an early start for the market – so weights will have to wait until the afternoon! (No, I’m not getting up even earlier to do them first!)

WED: Up early early – as usual for a Wednesday, but, unusually for a Wednesday I didn’t augment my egg with a slice of toast and opted to just take a banana to stave off any hunger pangs. It worked. The only fly in the ointment is the biscuit I allowed myself to be lured by at WI in the evening. One of those thinly rolled ‘cigar’ biscuits with a lovely crunchy texture. Yep – you’ve guessed it BISCUITS are  the tempters, they have all the sweetest and wickedest words to whisper to me…. ‘crumb on – eat me’ they say ‘you know you want to feel that texture in your mouth, that gentle melt and release of flavour’  Oh Dear!  HOWEVER, on a positive note I did manage to UP my reps for the dumbbell weights (Seems that’s what I should call the single hand held bars with weights each end) to 15! Though it was really a struggle by the fifteenth!

THUR: Been feeling ‘bulky’ and slow today. Improved by the evening after Belly Dance. It’s so good to get back to it, develops great core strength and flexibility – though I am not sure that it is a weight reducer, the exercise certainly is good. Great for people with back problems, I know of 3 in our group who have back trouble that has been greatly eased by doing belly dance and two of them share the same chiropractor and he has commented on the improvement that doing the belly dance class has made to their flexibility and muscular structure supporting the back. Want to know a bit more about belly dance – go to Belly Dance  for blogs on this subject.

FRI: All these ‘grapes’ in small numbers because I bought a pack of grapes reduced – don’t usually go for fruit out of season much (except banana and clementines as they are never in season in the UK) All apples mentioned so far are our own stored apples. Currently using an old variety grown in Cornwall called American Mother. So when this lot of grapes are done my snack fruit of choice will become a Kiwi fruit as that is now In Season in our place. Yes, from our own kiwi plant, picked and stored in November they are now coming into the house to be finished off and are delicious!”

SAT: Even if the scales don’t show much of a drop – or the tape a reduction I am still pleased with the progress this past week. I can feel the layer of muscle beneath the layer of adipose. I can feel my more toned body walking round as if it is wearing a large heavy overcoat with stuffed pockets, that shifts in a different way to the body underneath.

………………TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK ……

Are you fighting the Christmas excesses? What works for you? What have you tried before?  Do you think blogging helps keep on track – have you experience in this in any realm?  Do let me know.

And if you want to know more about the novels by Ann Foweraker ‘Divining the Line’, ‘Nothing Ever Happens Here’ and ‘Some Kind Of Synchrony’ just click HERE to be able to the first 3 chapters FREE in pdf.

 

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