So Close and the Men who Made us Fat

So close? So close to what, I hear you ask…So close to calling the draw in my Win a Kindle (or 1 of 4 other prizes) How close – well, just  72  more people close … that number of places has gone over a weekend – and at other times taken a couple of weeks.  So it is close – but it is up to you (and your friends and family) how close.  Please keep spreading the news of this free and easy-to-enter draw!  Just 72 places left out of a thousand!  Click link above for full details.

This week I am doing a ‘maintaining weight’ stage so have little to report on Fat Woman Thinning?  However, I did I watch a fascinating programme on BBC 2  

The Men Who Made Us Fat.

The combination of political and marketing power had very unfortunate side-effects for American citizens, us, here in Britain and eventually the rest of the westernised world. If you can, catch it on iplayer  – the second programme goes out on Thursday so there’s only 15 days left to catch-up with the first! click here for the >  BBC programme 

Watch the spokesperson for the American Beverage Association mouth the same sort of phrases that the spokespersons used to do for the tobacco industry.

See how one idea caught on – against all evidence – so much so that scientists telling the truth were ignored and a whole new industry ballooned to make money by conning us into getting fatter when we thought we were doing the right thing to get slimmer.

And what does it mean if you are a TOFI?

Losing Weight but NOT Dieting

If you have been following my Fat Woman Thinning? you will know that I am NOT dieting – but I have lost 28 lbs in 22 weeks.  I started off explaining that ‘dieting’ as such is usually not a good idea.  How ‘starving’ you body rebounded on you – making your body think it had to conserve every bit of extra energy it could (It does this by converting it to fat and tucking it away in fat cells for use in lean times) Been there, done that, got the (Larger’) T Shirt – before I understood such stuff!

Oh? Are you new to this topic – wonder what I’m on about ? – have a look at some of my blogs under Losing weight in TOPICS – ‘Does this look like a diet to you?’ where I photographed everything I ate for a week,  is interesting! Or run through the drop-down weeks from the FatWomanThinning? on the top bar.

We are all Cavemen at heart

As they point out in the programme – we are essentially, physiologically-evolutionarily, still cavemen. They were hard-wired to get extra calories when they could – like finding a wild bee-hive and collecting the honeycombs – and so are we.  The difference being we don’t even have to climb up a tree or a cliff to get it – we have all the high calorie stuff we could possibly want temptingly easy to pick up and eat – and designed to be so.

And that’s the other part of the equation. Even if we eat well, most of us don’t have to get out there and do hard physical work each day and that’s what is missing.  I was listening to an ex Olympic athlete talking – she said how often people said to her ‘I bet you like being able to eat anything you want now that you are retired from athletics’ and she pointed out that when she was in full training she could eat anything she wanted – as she burned a huge amount of energy every day.  Now, she had to watch what she ate or else she put on weight – and that was with maintaining a healthy level of fitness.

In Fat Woman Thinning I have been following an exercise programme that:  1, Does not take me long.  2, I don’t have to go to a gym or class to do.  3, Doesn’t / needn’t cost much / anything to get started on.

Does it work – look at the evidence.  Which is what the politicians should have done all those decades ago and perhaps we wouldn’t be in the obesity mess we are in today.

Did you watch the programme?  Can’t pick up BBC iplayer and want to know more?  Is it annoying to feel that the populace are being duped by the big food giants?   How do you react to their continued claims?

Any thoughts on any of this?  I’d 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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Three Cheers for Eggs!! FWT? Week 11

Hi All, it has been a even more than usual busy week here, what with my parents’ 59th wedding anniversary and preparation for giving a talk, on Slate and Repousse work on recycled aluminium cans, to another WI, I’ve been a bit slow off the mark in getting this FWT? update onto the page!  I know I have a few die-hard followers who check out my drop-down weekly progress from the menu bar and already know the results. And it is from one of these came that comment that I had ‘done a great job for eggs’ on my recipe page on the fast egg I eat nearly everyday for breakfast, so this week I want to share it with you all.

If you are new to my Fat Woman Thinning? series of 52 weekly blogs then Welcome! You join a select group of cheerleaders who are encouraging me and keeping track of how I get on. And why did I do something as drastic as posting all this? Well, 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 – and I needed accountability.

This had to be manageable, 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 half hour of music which I usually fit in just before bed (amazingly, I find it relaxes me and makes it easier to get off to sleep).   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 !

But before we digress and I send you off  into the blogosphere, what about these results? Remember I am Not Dieting – just watching how much carbohydrates I eat, making sure I don’t over-eat, or go hungry between meals, drinking a glass of water before main meals, eating well and doing the resistance weights work-outs each day. (see week 3 and 5 drop downs for details) .

Last week I lost 2 more pounds! Now at 10 st 9 lbs (67.8 kg)  – that’s 1 st 5lbs down from where I started on the first of Jan. Waist measurements down too, relaxed at 37 is one inch down and pulled in at 34.5 is half an inch down – so I am well pleased this week!

As you will know if you’ve checked out the lists of foods that I eat each day – or indeed looked at the last week’s FWT? blog Does this LOOK like a diet to you (where I photographed every meal and snack for a week), I am positively in favour of eggs.

Poor eggs, so much maligned that in so many people’s minds they are still in the ‘naughty’ box. And if there is one part of the egg that has been demonised most it is the yolk – when we now know that the yolk is the best part, containing protein, trace minerals,  vitamin D and essential fatty acids in greater proportions than the white. Only the other day I heard some star who chimed ‘Of course, I only eat egg-white omelletes’.  If only she really knew what she was missing! However, while this goes on it is hard to rehabilitate the poor egg!

 Eggs are good for you! They have GOOD cholesterol Oops, was I shouting? 🙂  (Back in the day ‘they’ didn’t even know that there  was good and bad cholesterol – yet the misguided idea that ‘eggs have cholesterol and therefore must be bad for you’, has stuck like egg-yolk to a hot plate!)

Yep, that’s right – eggs have been re-instated as a GOOD thing to eat as the cholesterol in eggs is GOOD cholesterol and so is helpful to your body as well as giving you a fast breakfast that staves off the hunger pangs for longer and it naturally comes with vitamin D and a whole heap of other goodies including Essential fatty-acids all provided in a neat package  – what’s not to like!

Don’t just take my word for it – have a look here on Cholesterol-and-Health.com for all the technical stuff!

So, what do you think about eating eggs? Do share – I love to hear 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? Proper ‘ansum Week 9

Welcome to week 9 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 a number of weeks ago I got brave enough to post it all as a blog

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 until by Jan the first this year I weighed in at 12 stone!  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. 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 the first 3 chapters in pdf !

Well after last week – you know, no weight loss and only half an inch off waist measurement to console me – and of course no ‘treat’ for reaching my first milestone of 11 st – as I didn’t. I was ready to keep a keen eye on everything – extra carbohydrates that might sneak in and getting the exercises done.

Also, in the middle of the week came the start of a new month and with that the next set of photos to be taken. Ok, I know you can’t see them – perhaps when I work out how they can be on my site but not accessible to the world I will be able to post them. For now, suffice to say, I can see the difference – from the first of Jan to now – MOST noticeable, but even from first of Feb to first of March!

Apart from missing the odd portion of potatoes (like with the Sunday Roast where there is SO much else to eat I really (REALLY) didn’t miss them and the same for the mock-roast on Monday), and a slice of toast I usually have but didn’t this week, most meals were as usual. I shall attempt to photograph all the meals I eat next week for a photo record – in case you are thinking that the portions must be minuscule. Remember I am Not Dieting but I am doing extra weights exercises – you can find all this on the drop-downs on the top bar from FWT?

RESULTS:

End of week 9 weigh and measure:

Weight 10 st 12 lbs. (YES! that’s 3 lbs down from last week!) that’s 152 lbs for those of you who think that way or 69.2 kg.

Relaxed waist measurement (level at belly button) 38.5 inches (98cm) Down a whole inch.

Waist pulled in tight – 35.5 inches (90.5cm) Down half an inch!

SO – ’tis proper ‘ansum, as the Cornish say about something good.

And now I can reveal my treat to myself  – I’ve decided on a new stylish wrap-around dressing gown – as a wrap-around it will still fit when I get down to my target, and it will make me feel good on the way!

Don’t you just love it when sticking at something works out to be the right thing to do? Have you ever felt like giving up but then by sticking to your guns it turns out right – I love to hear from you folks – share your experiences 🙂

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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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Under transformation ….

OK, so I realise I haven’t blogged for a while now – what with the Christmas and New Year rush and all, but the big reason is that I am doing a course on blogging… I do like to do things properly when I can, and so this blog may be about to undergo some kind of transformation … or not.

It all depends upon the blogging-for-brand course that I am doing under the auspices of the entertaining Kristen Lamb  (almost worth it just for the laughs) and her blog is great if you are interested in what it takes to be a writer today and succeed. You can find Kristen Lamb’s blog here if you promise to come back.

So far I have had to come to grips with Twitter (rather than just having an account and collecting a few followers), and to manage my new larger numbers of followers (now 120, which is peanuts may I add) I have to get my head round Tweetdeck – it is supposed to help and I am sure once I work out some of the shortcuts to using it I will find it indispensable …..

At the moment I am struggling with trying to find the aspects of life that I know and can write about with some feeling of interest, authority or passion on a regular basis that will also connect with other people as an everyday interest but with some deep levels of attachment, so that they will want to come back for more with every blog.

I also need to think that the people I want to attract to my blog should be the people who would like my novels, as part of the reason for actually getting this blog up and running was to help with the publication and publicity for my novels. So not much use me blogging about football, say (hehe haha – as if I would – as if I could!) as the target audience would be quite different.

And I need to find my blogging voice. My natural ‘voice’ is that of the teacher — I have said many times and it is true, ‘give me half a chance and I will teach you all I know’ but I don’t think that this is a good voice for a blog unless it is a technical blog where people go to learn – but what do you think?

So, lots for me to work through and think about, and your thoughts are welcome to help me sift things. Which of the blogs I have done was the most interesting and would bring you back for more of similar and why? What type of blogs to you bookmark or sign up to and why?

On a weightier  lighter note, I  have been posting daily additions to my new page *Fat Woman Thinning?* – you’ll find it on the cross bar. Its a 52 week log of my attempt to lose weight and get fitter following a simple weights programme and sensible eating. It is updated daily on the drop down menus for the weeks as I go. Encouragement welcome!

And don’t forget there’s a special offer, of all three of my novels for e-readers for just £5.99, running at the moment – click on the new *Ann Foweraker NOVELS*  on the cross bar for more information.

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