The inevitable “New Year Weight Loss Plans” post…

Now we’re in the last couple of days of the year, thoughts inevitably drift towards hopes, plans and promises for the coming year. And, of course, that means drawing my attention to my ever-present weight problem.

Regular visitors to my blog may now be thinking, “Hang on a moment, aren’t you the one who lost over 100lbs in a year? How come you still have a weight problem?” Well, I fell into the trap many people on weight loss journeys do – I grew irritated and annoyed with the plan I was doing, I stopped doing it, I went off the rails and now I’m right back where I started.

I’m now ready to try again, but with an entirely different approach. First of all, I’m taking a long look at what happened last time, and where it all went into reverse. During those 12 months where I was losing 3lbs a week or more, I was obsessed with “the plan”. Obsessed to the point that discovering an oily dressing on the salad I’d ordered could ruin a meal out. It got to the point I couldn’t sustain living that way and remaining sane.

Then there was the obsession with the scale. My mood for the day being determined by some numbers on a digital display. I remember helping out at my group, doing the weigh-ins, and I’d ask people how they were and they’d say “We’ll see, shall we?”. How is that a way to live? Letting the numbers on a box determine how you approach your day?

So from that I’ve found two issues that I can work on straightaway which I will be able to build on and hopefully achieve healthier habits and as a result, weight loss:

  • Take a kinder approach to changing my eating habits. No counting, no weighing, just gently making adjustments at a pace I’m comfortable with.

  • Build a greater awareness of what is going on with my body. Not to rely on the numbers on a scale, but to observe the changes in my body.

This approach won’t bring miracles or quick fixes, and it may be some time before I see any visible results, but a slow, gentle, kind approach to a healthier lifestyle makes more sense for me right now.

I’ll write more about my progress as I go on. Wish me luck.

Fanfic – yeah, Fanfic…

I’ve been rolling with a fandom for a fair old while now, and while I’ve embraced the idea of cosplay, it’s taking me a while to get into fanfic. When done well, fanfiction can be an excellent companion to the shows and characters it celebrates, done badly and it can have you screaming in agony for weeks. I’m not really into the ‘shipping’ (i.e. pairing characters together) element of fic, again, done well it’s good but done badly it’s cheesy and often wrong on many levels. My attempts at fic are usually based around taking my favourite characters and putting them in situations that amuse me for one reason or another. Here are a few of my creations:

Black Dog

Gene Hunt is a rockstar. I like guitar players. A story in which Gene finds himself alone in a room with a Gibson SG and a Marshall Stack had to be done.

Notes From A Sauna

An extract from Gene’s diary as he attempts to comprehend his day and put out of his mind some of the unpleasant things he’s seen.

A*S*H*E*S to M*A*S*H*E*S

A bit of a cheesy crossover moment as the lovely Major Sidney Freedman of the 4077th pays a visit to Fenchurch East to see if he can help Gene unravel what’s going on around him. It was either this or have the quattro turn up in war-torn Korea. I think I made the right choice.

I enjoy writing as The Guv almost as much as I do dressing up as him *cough*… it’s all good fun and I’m hoping it will give me the push I need to kick-start my writing for 2010.

Snowy Egret in Tiverton

I was sitting at my desk at work, when I looked out of the window, and high up in the oak tree outside was a white bird. A big white bird. I had no idea what it was.

It looked like a heron, but herons aren’t white, and it looked a little shorter than a heron. Fortunately, Simon recognised it, as he’d seen them before in Dartmouth – it was a Snowy Egret – a small white heron.

(Here’s the photoset on Flickr in case the slideshow above doesn’t work for you.)

It stayed in the tree, preening itself and relaxing, for maybe an hour and a half.

This was the first time I’ve regretted switching to carrying just a pocketable Panasonic Lumix (Search for "Panasonic Lumix" on: DuckDuckGo, Amazon UK, Amazon US), rather than my Nikon D90 (Search for "Nikon D90" on: DuckDuckGo, Amazon UK, Amazon US). I regretted it a lot. I carried the Nikon for a couple of days afterwards, but it didn’t return.

Christmas Eve – a New Tradition

We’ve made a new tradition. Shopping for the Christmas food shall be done on Christmas Eve, and we will try to buy as much of it as possible when it’s reduced to clear.

After a very quiet half-day at work, I tried to call in at Tesco, but the queue was too much. I tried to call in to the town centre, to see what Somerfield/Co-op had to offer, but the queue was all the way through the town. I succeeded better at Morrisons, getting quite a few reduced bits, but no meat.

I managed to get parked surprisingly easily in M&S, and got more extras, but still no meat. After Sam finished work, we tried again at M&S, but they still weren’t reducing their very expensive prepared joints. We found a friendly member of staff (most of them are), and were told that it didn’t look likely that they’d be reducing any of the things we wanted.

We decided to brave Tesco. They weren’t reducing the meat either, but we got a few other bargains, and their full price prepared joints were still a fraction of the price of the ones at M&S. They probably aren’t as fancy, but we’re not fussy. A lump of meat, some potato products, and lots of little sausages wrapped in bacon – the important things.

The biggest problem was arriving home with everything – it was a lot of shopping to carry all the way up to our flat!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a merry Christmas, or enjoys whatever else you like to celebrate around this time. If that’s nothing, have a fun Friday.

A Frosty Trip Out

Home, through Frosty Window

Yesterday, it was cold, so we hid in the flat. Today, we decided to face it. The car window was frosted into some pretty patterns, so I amused myself by photographing them while waiting for the car to warm up a bit.

We filled up Bob (our Honda CR-V) with petrol first, then shopped at Tesco, then parked up in the multi-storey car-park in Tiverton. We soon found that we had trouble finding any grip on the same road Bob had managed fine on, but we both stayed upright. Lunch at SubWay warmed us up, followed by a brief wander around town. Superdrug provided me with new stock of Paul Smith Extreme (Search for "Paul Smith Extreme" on: DuckDuckGo, Amazon UK, Amazon US), so I can continue to smell pleasant. Well, not too bad, anyway.

We then called in to Homebase, to pick up a replacement light fitting for the living room, and a couple of cheap table lamps to keep us going until I come round to the idea of doing electrical work whilst balancing on a chair. It doesn’t hold much appeal at the moment, but maybe the idea will grow on me. We also bought a second ceramic heater (Search for "ceramic heater" on: DuckDuckGo, Amazon UK, Amazon US) there. We bought a ceramic heater some time ago, and it seems better than other fan heaters we’ve had. This new one was much cheaper, not as well featured, but still works very well. It can keep the living room a bit warmer in this cold weather, and maybe help out in the bedroom too if it gets any colder.

We still don’t have any food in ready for Christmas, but we’ll just take whatever’s knocked down cheap on Christmas Eve – it doesn’t matter to us what we end up with.