Friday, 15 March 2019

Quality time with my two x

Had the best of both worlds this week - 
got to spend a whole day with each of my children!


Sophie has no lectures on a Monday, I had a day off, so an early start and drive to Reading. Dropped off supplies and then we were tourists for the day, with a day trip to Windsor. It's only half an hour up the road, gave her a change of scenery and it was lovely to just spend time together. Coffee and chat, walk around the town, down by the river, found the Long Walk, lunch at Bill's and more chat, with a trip to the supermarket on our way back, before dropping her back to Hall's and a 2 hour drive home.


Then today, time with Sam. He has no lectures on a Friday, needed/wanted new jeans, so a trip to Bath planned. Thankfully the second pair of jeans he tried on, were 'the ones' so we had a nice, relaxed mooch around Bath for the rest of the morning, then lunch at Bill's (twice in one week!) 

It's not often now that I get to spend quality time with each of my children and twice in one week is a real treat. They are so different, yet similar in so many ways too.
Moments to treasure as they become so grown up x

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Just another week!


This past week has pretty much all been about work - in fact I've done 6 days in a row, my normal hours plus overtime. It's fine, kept me busy but boy is it cold! It's the end of the financial year, so lots of holiday had to be taken, plus illness, so I stepped up to fill a few gaps (just think of the money!!)


It has made my fasting/time restricted eating trial a lot easier. When I'm at work, I really don't give too much thought to food, even though I am handling it all day, so sticking to my fast has been easy. I briefly talked about it a month ago now, when my sister and I went to hear Dr Michael Mosley talk. I've decide to try fasting for the health benefits. Although my sugar levels are fine (I did a home test) women with PCOS are still more likely to have higher than normal blood sugar levels, be insulin resistant and struggle to process sugars. The longer your body is in a fasted state, blood sugars can restore and repair and once sugar is used up, your stored fat is then used.


Now this probably applied more when I was bigger - 5+ stone bigger. Those of you who have followed the blog over the years, will know that I lost 6 stone in 2014/15 with Slimming World. I still go to group but have an annoying stone I yo-yo with. Since the summer, I've faffed around trying, half heartily if I'm honest, to get back to my target weight. I'm hoping by eating in a time restricted window of 4-6 hours, it will aid my weight loss, as my danger time is late afternoon, the time when making tea. By starting my eating later, my normal snack has slotted into this danger zone, so I'm hoping my picking will stop.




My meals are fine, always healthy and on plan, it's the picking habit I need to stop. So far so good, 2 weeks in and the first week I lost 5 and a half pounds and this week a further 3lbs. I finally feel I can do this, I can get back to my target weight again and hopefully stay there - only 7.5lbs to go!


I still go to my Slimming World group every week, to weigh and have accountability to the scales. I love the support, ideas and motivation you get from group. This week was taster session and I made these Mediterranean bites - there were none left, so they must have tasted okay. The advised diet whilst fasting is a Mediterranean diet - protein, plenty of vegetables and good fats. I eat that way for my PCOS anyway, so am still enjoying my food. I've not restricted myself to the 800 calories, as I don't need to lose a huge amount of weight and would rather lose it steadily. Will report back in a few weeks time, as to how I'm doing. 

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Pinch and a punch....

Pinch and and a punch....


...and in the blink of an eye, we said farewell to February and


....welcomed in the month of March.


We were treated to some beautiful weather during the last week of Feb but things have returned to normal sadly - grey, damp, cold and warnings of  Storm Freya on it's way. At least its not the Beast of the East, that brought the snow and icy cold weather last year.


So it's back to filling the house with bright daffodils and tulips until things improve.

Have a good week, not much to report from this end x

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Half term round up!

Half term round up or should we now call it reading week round up too!!


Picked this one up from Castle Cary train station on Friday evening, for the start of her reading week, our half term. I was still working the Sunday and Monday but had taken the rest of the week off.


So on Tuesday we had a girls day out in Bath - doing what we do best, shopping and eating!!


Jeff and I had a wander around his school grounds.....


.... they are truly stunning at this time of year - full credit to the groundsmen. Might try and replicate this with our lawn, as we never sit on the grass, it's no longer a place for the children to play on, would look lovely all planted up next Spring!!


Sam has upped his fitness game this week, he's back to swimming and a little sparring in the garden with poor Jeff! He's actually done some school work this holiday, as well as meeting up with friends and I've just dropped him off at his Sunday job, so a productive week for him.


We had had lots of plans for half term but it ended up just being nice to stay at home. I think Sophie fully appreciates the clean kitchen when she is home, her kitchen at Uni is quite disgusting, poor girl! I couldn't live like that and don't remember my student days being quite so grim!


She was happy to go back though and we had a lovely day yesterday, enjoying the Reading sunshine. It's an easy 2 hour trip, so we were up and out early, popped in to the big Sainsbury's en route, dropped everything off at her Hall's, then bused it into town. Had lunch and a potter around the shops, before enjoying a coffee in the sunshine, walk back across the campus and....


....said or goodbyes. It's only 5 weeks until she'll be back again at Easter.


Perfect washing weather today, to get all her towels and bedding done. 
 

 In fact it's been a beautiful couple of days, unseasonably warm, even enjoyed my morning coffee outside this morning, soaking up every bit of lovely warm sunshine. 


All in all, it's been a lovely week, has felt like a proper break and knowing it's just a 5 week stretch until the next break at Easter, makes the next few weeks much more doable. 

Friday, 15 February 2019

LOVE


LOVE is always in the air! 


Although on Thursday it was Valentine's Day - the day of LOVE!
We only exchange cards but I did treat Jeff to a pot of Valentine Marmite.....just because!


Super excited though today, to have booked tickets to see LOVE ACTUALLY the film, with an accompanying LIVE Orchestra. This will be the most perfect start to the festive season. The ticket's Sophie's if she can make it, if not Jeff has said he will keep me company, that's love after all these years. Not sure he's ever watched the film the whole way through, even when I watch it every single year! Another thing on the list to look forward to x

A night with....

....Dr Michael Mosley


I mentioned in my last blog post, that my sister and I were having a rare night out together, listening to the fabulous Dr Michael Mosley speak at his 'Trust Fast Health' Tour. It was a varied evening, where he spoke about his career and the various medics who have inspired him and what led him to develop and write his various books - The 5:2 Diet, The Fast Diet, The Blood Sugar Diet, The Clever Guts Diet and his most recent edition Fast800. I didn't come away learning anything new, as I have done a lot of research into fasting and Time Restricted Eating (TRE), to find ways to help manage my PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It's the Time Restricted Eating that interests me the most, rather than restricting my calories. It's about eating in a small window of time, so for example 12/12 eating in a 12hr window 16/8 eating in an 8hr window 18/6 eating in a 6hr window..... The longer the body is in a fasted state, the bigger the benefits to your health. Blood sugars levels regulate and restore, once sugar stores are used, stored fat starts to be used and a whole other lot of health benefits follow. 

I get hungry once I eat. If I don't eat, I don't get hungry, so if I don't eat until 12 midday and as we eat tea early at 5:30/6pm, I would effectively be eating in a 6 hour window, so my fasted state would be 18hrs. I do find this quite easy and will try to be more focused in this approach, for say a month, as I've really only been doing the odd focused burst every now and again. Will get half term over and done with and will try this approach throughout the month of March, just before the Easter holidays begin. The idea is you should then only eat 800 calories a day, following a Mediterranean style diet, but that is for people who have a lot to lose. He does say you can do the 800 calories a day for just two days if you want to lose a little. Haven't got that far into the book yet but as I've less than a stone to lose and I like eating!!! I will find what works for me. 


I still go to Slimming World every Saturday morning, more for the accountability of the scales, rather than the plan specific now, as I tailor my diet to manage my PCOS long term. Hard core PCOS diet is gluten, dairy and soya free, with low/no carbs and low/no sugar. I have to find a way to manage my weight long term, without feeling deprived or restricted, so finding a happy balance is still very much a work in progress. But I have kept the weight off now for nearly 4 years now, give or take an annoying stone......


..... whilst eating the most delicious food!

Will keep you posted as to how I get on.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Sunshine and showers....


A weekend off work with no plans - lovely!
The weather is a little hit and miss, sunshine, showers, windy but there is a definite feel that Spring is inching it's way here - lighter, brighter, better days ahead (I hope!)


Tonight my sister and I are off to see the fabulous Dr Michael Mosley talk. Now I lost my weight with Slimming World and do still go to group each week but more for the accountability of the scales, rather than the plan specific. I have PCOS, a hormone imbalance, so having done a  lot of reading around the subject, I am very interested to learn more about the role fasting/ time restricted eating, can play in helping restore and help balance out my hormones, blood sugar levels etc. Plus I get to spend an evening with my sister, always a treat.


We've had a mixed bag on the weather front, no heating at work for 3 days at the start of the week, which was a killer. It was colder in store than outside, at only 9 degrees!!! We were given extra layers to wear, allowed hot drinks and passed a hot water bottle around but boy was it cold!


The garden is showing signs that Spring is just around the corner.
First daffs in flower, helabors, hyacinths, crocuses and.....


....snowdrops. 
I don't like to wish time away but I am looking forward to some warmer, brighter days, gives me a jolt of energy, much needed whilst I linger in hibernation mode.