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Posts Tagged ‘weightloss’

life log #5


Still no weight check. No excuses, I just have not cleared out the office to reveal the scales. I am not eating to excess, but nor am I being that frugal and I know that I have to do something about that.

I am getting plenty of exercise. Work puts about six miles on the clock on each of the five days a week that I turn up at the office and, on those days I usually end up with about seven and a half miles in total. So far this year my total mileage is 351.6 (565 km). This is way down on last year when I was really pushing for over 4000 km for the year, but it is still respectable and I am in the top 3% of the 110,000 plus people using the app that I record my exercise on.

Work also exercises other bits of me besides my legs and the recent rodent repellent activities have seen a lot more of me getting stretched that usual (more on that shortly) so I am burning off calories at a decent rate through the day. The issue is more about cutting back on the number of calories going in than the amount I burn off. ‘Twas ever thus.

The noises in the cavity wall and loft have diminished so I am hopeful that my anti-rodent actions are having an effect. I am struggling a lot more up there that I used to. Our home is a typical product of the 1970s with inverted W trusses at about two foot intervals and I have grazes on both shoulders from scraping them on a regular basis plus more than a few on my head. I have bought myself a new headband torch (I can’t find my old one) the help me see my way around up there. I do have a loft light, but there is so much stuff that most of the place is in shadow and holding a torch means trying to sort stuff one handed; there have been several avalanches.

The rodent problem does mean that I have tackled the problem of a loft full of stuff with some focus at last. I a week five bin bags full have been extracted; old Christmas decorations, clothes that we will never wear again, many boxes of magazines and goodness knows what else have gone to the recycling centre so far and there is more to come, a lot more. Life laundry is the name of the game.

In the garden we have loads of bulbs showing although many of the daffodils (and related species) have come up blind this year which is a disappointment. The fairly mild Winter has allowed a lot of stuff to survive and my efforts at planting perennials seems to be paying off. At the moment my priority is to get all of the vulnerable plants and everything that lined either side of the garden out of the way for the fencing contractors arrival early next month. Whilst out there I have been trying to visualise what might be possible once the new fences are up. It looks as though I have a few days of decent weather to spend out there and so the loft clear up may go on hold, hopefully not to be neglected.

We are still both Covid free, still wearing masks around the shops and I still wear my mask pretty much all of the time at work. I was going to go to a swapmeet last Sunday, but the organiser posted a photo on Facebook showing the venue set up and ready to open with not a mask in sight amongst the stallholders. It put me off and I didn’t go. Cowardice? Yes, but here in Swindon we have one of the worst records in the UK at the moment for new infections so I am happier with a yellow streak. We are watching the travel situation with interest as we would very much like to go away this Autumn having kissed the last two years, but…

It helps that we are both anti-social. We have both had to put on a show in our jobs over the years meeting and being nice to all sorts of people and it is a joy not to have to do it so much these days. It isn’t that we don’t like people, we just prefer our own company. I tired to explain it in a note to my step-son yesterday and maybe I didn’t get the message over too well, but we have been together now for more than half of our adult lives and we like our own world. Lockdown has probably made us even worse.

I’ll wrap up here. It’s eight o’clock and I want to get the day under way, so stay safe out there wherever you are. See you next time.

life log #4


Odd how one thing leads to another. We have what sounds like a rat in the cavity wall between us and the house next door so I have been spending time in the loft trying to make sure that it does not come through. In shifting stuff out of the way I started to throw things out and, in going through one long forgotten box, I found many packets of photos.

Many of these were ones taken since the Berkshire Belle and I got together more than thirty years ago and, for one thing, chart the development of our from and back gardens down the years, but in amongst these were a few photos of me from the 1970s, pictures that I thought were long lost.

Most of them feature me in my long haired days between 1971 and 1974 and it was towards the end of the latter year that a change of job saw me start to have it cut a little shorter. By 1976 I was pretty conventional by comparison. There is also what is probably the only photo of me with a beard; I have worn one twice and didn’t like the look much either time. In the case of beard in the photo that I mention here I shaved it off whilst on holiday with my wife (the first one, my mother and wife wife’s mother and none of them noticed for a day and a half…

The first of the series of photos was taken about halfway though a bad time in my life between around February 1971 and March 1972, but from that point I made a change or two and started on a path that lead me from long haired layabout to polished professional as reflected in another photo taken of me in April 1994 whilst on a business trip buying materials handling equipment in Germany.

A lot of memories flowed from the photos and I can’t say that I am proud of all that I did on a personal level over those years. There were also some professional decisions that were questionable, but very step that I took, good and bad, led me to the Berkshire Belle so I have no regrets. The important things was that I recognised that I was in a hole that was, whilst not of my making, trapping me because of the way that I reacted to my troubles. I got out of the hole because I chose to and did something about it.

Back in the present I have a date in early April for the new fences and am starting to plan what to do once I have them. I foresee a lot of time fiddling and fettling in the garden over the coming months and so am hoping for some weather that will be conducive to getting things done. I don’t think that I will be spending as much on plants this year as usual, partly because I want to see what survives all of the changes, but also to see what the possibilities are. Last year was the first year for my new greenhouse and I did not do too well with it, possibly because I overloaded it. There were other factors, not least my long battle with the fox cubs that distracted me from some things and I have no idea what might come back this year from the destruction that the volt wrought. A consolidation year this year then.

I did try going back to soup making, my old faithful red pepper and tomato cropping up a couple of times. One batch usually does me four lunches and I don’t get bored with it. I still have not got around to weighing myself though and, as I write this, I am thinking that I will make sure the scales are put out before I go to bed so that I can check myself in the morning.

life log #1


Starting off a new series here having retired the lockdown logs last week. I’m not sure that life log is the best title, but it will do for now, so here we go.

I was bemoaning last time that I still had work to do on the weight loss front, but in clearing my bedroom office I came across a box of clothes buried deep at the back. One of our cats had adopted it as her latest nest, although why she liked the plastic lid of a storage crate more than one of her several beds I don’t know, but it became her favourite spot for a couple of weeks until the other day when the bathroom mat took precedence. Sans moggie I pulled out the crate and found treasure in the form of eight pairs of shoes that I haven’t seen for some years along with some shorts and a pair of chinos.

The chinos were a 42 waist and they fit! I have come down from a 46 waist via 44 and am now comfortably into another size down. Weight loss is one thing, but the loss of more inches is another and the psychological effect is well worth having. The Berkshire Belle, who voluntarily joined in on my dietary regime to show solidarity, is down three dress sizes and I am so pleased for her. It makes the sacrifices more worthwhile.

We have not been out much this last week, just a couple of supermarket runs, and, with Christmas party season upon us, we probably will not got out for another meal now until after the holiday break. I have an evening work drink gathering the weekend after next, but will not be going. A crowded ‘pub is not where I want to be right now. We have been talking about an opportunity for an evening meal towards the end of January and, for now, have decided against that on the basis that it promises to be a full house and we are not comfortable with the risk. For the same reason I have decided not to book for a concert in February. We may be wimps, but these are our lives and what we have left of them is precious.

Time does fly and it seems impossible that 2021 is almost gone. There was a lot of comment a while back that we should not count 2020, but at least I seemed to get a lot done that year. This one has just vanished and my job list does not seem to have gone down with it. The speed at which the days go by is another reason for trying to make the most of our time together. Will we make it to 40 years? Who can tell, but we both have a desire to try and make every hour count.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log, an end and a beginning


A few logs back I mentioned that I had been having equipment problems in getting these logs uploaded. This turned out to be related to software updates where the operating system for the devices and the software versions for WordPress were out of synch. I had resurrected my old HP travelling laptop and that, running Windows 7, seemed to be fine and I have happily been writing my log each week since.

Until now that is, and this week when I had to temporarily retire that old HP pending replacing a part. Having reverted to my MacBook I find that none of the last four or five logs are out there in cyberland. I know not why, but I was feeling that a change was in the air, that the Lockdown Logs had run their course, and so this has made it easy to make that change.

I had started the lockdown logs during lockdown and we aren’t locked down any more. If we behave ourselves we can, I hope, avoid another lockdown so the weekly log seemed a little out of place, at least under that banner. The logs have developed a small following though and so I shall carry on, but under a new title; LifeLog perhaps? I have another week to make a choice.

On the subject of choices I got a call from my doctor’s surgery ten days ago to make an appointment for a diabetic review. That spurred my into the decision to stop my daily treats in an attempt to kick-start a further weight loss. I have written here before about my perception of eating habits with alcoholism. I understand that they are not the same thing, but I try to adopt a similar attitude in taking things a day at a time and being able to go to bed at night and say that this has been a day when I have not strayed.

I was able to check my test results on-line yesterday and all looks good. Of the other tests on the day things were also good; my weight was down from last time, there were no problems with my feet or circulation. The only negative was my blood pressure, but I had walked vigorously to the surgery and my pulse rate was up so I have been asked to check my BP at home twice daily and keep a diary for a week (I haven’t started yet). After the tests at the doctor’s I walked around the corner to the health centre for my diabetic eye tests. The results from the pictures of my retina should be through in a couple of weeks, but the basic, how far down the chart can you read, tests were OK.

So I am feeling a little positive. All being well I will finally be able to reduce my Metformin intake from 4 a day to 2 and that might have a beneficial impact on my digestive output. Whilst I have not had too many problems with one of the more unpleasant side effects of Metformin, I do have the occasional problem and I would be very happy to put these behind me. Another good thing from the doctor’s is that my scales and theirs agree so I am not deluding myself with the results I get at home. I am 6 kg over my best weight from about a year ago so I have no room for complacency, but the problem is that whilst I do not like being heavier than I want to be I do like eating. It is another of those choices.

As reported inn the missing blogs the Berkshire Belle and I have had our Covid boosters and our ‘flu jabs so we are as protected as we can be for the moment. We are still avoiding going out to crowded places, but have had a few lunches out recently, some to celebrate important dates and others just for fun. That has stopped as it is getting into Christmas party season and we always avoid that time of year. It will also help the wallet and purse a little; eating out is expensive as well as not being too good for the waistline.

Stay safe out there wherever you are, and thanks for sticking with me.

the lockdown log 79


Another week vanishes without me having noticed it go by. Time seems to evaporate these days, much faster than it did back when I was suited, booted and into all the high-powered corporate stuff. Perhaps it is just a sign of getting old.

I should have kept quiet about fuel shortage rumours last week. The panic that resulted was human nature and I do not have the heart to blame any of the individuals who have sweated over being able to get fuel that they need. I am less charitable about the greedy, but I am in a fair old fury about the moronic media who put the story out. If I ruled the country there would be consequences for them. It was all so unnecessary, there would have been no problem if the panic had not been kicked off.

My desire to avoid too much human contact continues and I have inflicted what must be the ninth self-performed hair cut. I am getting better at it with the amount of practice and, for the first time, the Berkshire Belle did not have to point out one or more bits that I had missed. I do wish that she would do it for me, but have given up asking.

We are still shopping and getting out and about, but no lunches or breakfasts out this week. It has been a quiet week in general; I did a supermarket she at my local Aldi on Monday and today we hit M&S and a farm shop. We have a fruit and veg box due the afternoon and all that, plus what we have in the freezer will see us through nicely.

I had my ‘flu jab last weekend and another very well organised job down at the space the local health team have rented at Swindon’s Steam museum. Our doctor’s practice if part of a combine of about thirteen local surgeries and they have teamed up to run this vaccination centre. It is still doing Covid jabs, but has now moved into the ‘flu vaccination programme. I got a text with a web link to alert me that my number was up. Clicking on the link got me into the appointment diary where I selected my date and time. I was there about 5 minutes early as the traffic was not quite as bad as I expected, but was straight in and actually got jabbed 2 minutes before my appointed time. I think that the fact that it is a private enterprise running the surgery group makes a difference as many others in the town who are registered with NHS run surgeries have had all sorts of problems getting their Covid jabs and, in some cases, have faced a round trip of over 100 miles to get them.

No real change for me on the weight front. One kg lighter, but I have little confidence in my mindset delivering a sustained improvement at the moment. If I can just keep from allowing the weight to creep up it will help.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 78


No change in weight despite having tried to ration myself better and having slammed in a 30+km walk. Depressing to some degree, but life’s like that. I just have to keep my head down and not let things slide.

Generally I am fed up with just about everything right now, but, again, that is life and I have been around doing enough to know that it will not change and that I just have to get on with it. Right now there do not seem to be enough hours in the day and that never helps. I need to get back on top of one or two things and all will be well. I am in one of those periods when as fast as I get something out of the way, three or four other things crop up that are unexpected, but need sorting.

One of the problems that I have got past is the one where technology was preventing me accessing these blogs. It looks as though it was just various bits of software being out of synch and causing conflicts. I try to keep everything updated, for security reasons if nothing else, but sometimes it just gets in the way. Today I have updated my laptop and that required me to re-enter passwords for about half a dozen sites (so far) most of which I do not know the passwords for. On one of the ones that I did I was then asked to respond first to an email too confirm that I was who I said I was, and then to a text message for the same purpose. Some of it drives you mad.

And then I did the equivalent OS update for my tablet and spent, on and off, the next hour getting rid on all of the whizzy bits that are supposed to make my life easier, but none of which I want. Now my home screen looks like it used to, organised how I like it except that, despite having selected the largest icon size offered, they are all about 20% smaller than they used to be. The Berkshire Belle has also done the update on her tablet and, although it is the larger version of mine, it works differently and trying to help her has led to some tensions where she is getting different results. We are still friends though…

Since the Covid outbreak I have changed my routine from sticking £10 of petrol into the car once or twice a week to filling up every 5 weeks or so. On our way back from Reading yesterday my fuel light came on as we came off the motorway. Having dropped off the shopping and had lunch I popped out and filled up, paying 131.7 per litre which is about the highest that I have paid for a long time, but better than the 138.9 that my nearest filling station are asking. At one point last year I only paid 99.8 if I recall, certainly just under the pound per litre. As I write this I am getting the news that there may be a shortage, but that is not what my industry friends tell me. Hopefully we will not get into any stupidity over the coming days. Panic buying just buggers up the supply chain.

This week we have not been out to lunch, but did go out for breakfast instead and I think that the last time we did that was in Florida back in 2019. It made a nice change and we will try and do it more often. It does seem to be helping us get more confident about going out. I have had the call to go for my ‘flu jab this Saturday and we are hopeful that we will get our Covid boosters fairly soon.

I have been trying to repossess my garage and clear out the clutter that accumulates, much of which is packaging from our mail order forays. With Winter approaching I would like to be able to have easy access to it as a workshop for some of the things that I can’t do outdoors. I am still not coming to any conclusions about what I want to do in the garden over the Winter, but maybe not having too many plans will be a blessing. Often just having a few ideas works out better as I can react to opportunities that arise.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 71


Life here in North Wiltshire continues pretty much the same. Most people are still masking up to go shopping and there is little sign of change. Some people have gone away now that the schools have broken up, but few amongst the people that we know are venturing abroad other than some of my colleagues from Eastern Europe who have gone back home to visit family. Most of these drive and aim to make the trip in around a day and a half driving pretty much non-stop with two or more drivers taking turns.

For those of us who live here most seem to have abandoned thoughts of a trip abroad on the grounds of risk and cost. We have too and gave up on our plans for a return to the US for a second year and are now starting to wonder if we will ever go back. Given our advancing years maybe we have seen the last of long distance travel, but maybe the world will start to get a grip on Covid and things will both open up and look safer. Time will tell, but we are running out of it.

On that note we are looking to organise our cremations so that all of that sort of thing is taken care of when the time comes. It is not a subject that is easy to deal with, although I seem to be more pragmatic than the Berkshire Belle on these things. It is also crossing my mind to have another look at living wills in case either of us does loose our marbles. We talked about this when we made our joint wills and were told that we had just missed the boat for doing them in an economical fashion so we let the idea pass. Maybe we should look at it again.

I have not lost weight for another week. I am trying to stay positive about this and am reading up on how the body processes food from the perspective of type 2 diabetes to try and see if there is something there that will help me break out of this impasse. It is possible that I do have a bit of muscle build up; The last two weeks have been very physical in many ways with more heavy lifting that usual and I am noticing a change in muscle tone around my upper arms, amongst other places.

Being stuck at 106.5 kg is not so bad in many ways and is a lot better than being 123 kg as I was back at the start. Maybe I just need to change diet again as that sometimes has worked in the past. It does seem as though I am getting my head back around the need to shift weight and the old target of 100 kg is calling me again.

Into August now and out weather is weird. As I sit here after lunch typing the wind is howling around the upstairs windows and rain showers are sweeping through at irregular intervals. Just as I typed those words the sun has come out and the temperature has climbed as it should, but there are more black clouds rolling in. The poor plants don’t know what to do with themselves.

Apart from the wind and rain keeping me away from the jobs I need to do up the ladder my last go at that work on Monday has brought me back out in a rash. I had this problem last year and have not yet worked out which of the climbing plants that I am clearing I am allergic to. I think that it is one of the varieties of ivy, but what I have been clearing includes three types of that plant plus a hop, a grape vine and another one that I have forgotten the name of. Between planting by my neighbour and I these things have grown together over the years and the rapid spells of wet and warm weather over the last 6 weeks have seen rampant growth that needs cutting back. Insects and dust abound within this undergrowth and something there does not like me. Even with arms covered and wearing gauntlets something has gotten through and, if last year is anything to go by, I face a couple of weeks of discomfort before it goes away.

Stay safe wherever you are and thanks for looking in.

the lockdown log 70


Another one of those weeks when the scales were unkind. I had been fairly good on food intake and Monday through Wednesday had been very physical days where I ought to have been burning off the calories. I was feeling good and had been boosted by getting into a pair of 42 waist trousers for the first time in probably 12 or more years. It was looking good for the weigh-in until I got on the scales and they tried hard to take back the half kilo that I had lost last week. In the end they timed out showing the same as last week.

I responded to this by having a silly day and eating things that I should not have had, but then remorse kicked in and I am going to have a sensible week. At least I am for now…

Work is still getting the best side of me and I try to do the best that I can there, but I have been goofing off a bit outside of work and need to get a grip on some of the things that need doing around the house and garden.

I am also still having technical issues with blogging and have not yet managed to sort out my preferred device despite having spent a couple of lengthy sessions trying to resolve things. Another frustration that I can do without at the moment, but never mind. I can still rely of the old beast that I am writing the on albeit that Jingles, one of our rescue cats, has taken to spending her afternoons sleeping on the keyboard.

Anyway, just a quick offering this week and I will try to do better next time.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 69


This time last year major progress was being made in the deck refurbishment and extension and so it is depressing me slightly that, having achieved so much in the last twelve months, I am not finishing off the last parts of that grand plan. It is all silly things; some days it has been so hot that the paint would have dried on the brush even if the blizzard of Silver Birch seeds had not been falling. It is frustrating to be so close, two or three afternoons should do it, but not being able to get on with it.

General maintenance jobs keep me busy whilst trying to not spend more than about 30 minutes at a time out there in the heat. I do still have two foxes lurking around the neighbourhood, but they are not digging everything up now so what we have left in the way of plants are beginning to thrive. I have one cucumber and several tomatoes coming along in the greenhouse and we have had a few strawberries, tayberries and raspberries although those crops have been disappointing this year. We’ve also had a lot of salad leaves of varying sorts, but those are pretty much done now.

The scales gave me another half kilo off this week, so 106.5 and heading, slowly, the right way. I have gone past 1500 miles walked so far this year and am thinking about going back to afternoon exercise walks to supplement the calory burn. The target of 100 kg is still there taunting me, but can I get to, or beyond, it? This last week I have been feeling a bit weird each evening as I go to start organising dinner and have put this down to having had much less for lunch that usual. I have felt better once I have eaten my evening meal even if, for most of the last week, that has been a salad with some form of protein; blackened chicken one night, crab on another for example. What do I want most; to eat or to lose more weight? Only I can answer that one and I just need to channel my obsession down the right path.

With some dud weather coming up for the weekend I am trying to plan a few jobs that I can do under cover, but I have a feeling that I will end up lazing about doing nothing in particular. A couple of days of “I can’t be bothered” won’t do me any harm and might just allow me a bit of thinking time to plan a few things. It looks as though the salads will be off the menu and I might have to do a bit of cooking again. That will keep me amused, but proximity to food sources for an hour or so will test my will power.

At work we are still masked up and I am still wearing my mask when I go shopping as are most other people as far as my own observations are concerned. Despite what the media have been spouting about empty shelves I have not seen one myself and there seems to be plenty of stock about. I often wonder if the problem is actually a surplus and stories of shortages are spread to encourage overbuying…

I hope that you are not suffering shortages of supplies and that you can stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 68


I will start with the good news; the scales gave me 107 kg this week, so 4 kg down from last week and that makes it look even more like the 111kg was a spurious reading. What went wrong? Atmospheric pressure? Sun spots? I don’t know, but I am reassured that I am back on track.

The jolt that I got from the dodgy numbers last week did give me some motivation to try and focus. I have not gone into starvation mode, but have tried to cut back on intake and to be a little more thoughtful about what I am eating. The latter can be hard, especially when a certain voice calls through from the kitchen asking if I knew that such and such needs eating by today. Obviously not or I would have had that rather than what I have on my plate, but such circumstances tend to see me eating my share of the about to run out of date food in addition to what I had portioned out for myself. The difference is that a couple of weeks back I would probably have buttered some bread and made a sandwich whereas now I just eat whatever it is and cut out the extra carbs.

Out in the garden the foxes are still passing through and we get the odd signs of the passing, but the damage has largely stopped. Other pests have made an appearance though; blackfly, greenfly, caterpillars, slugs and snails to the fore and the constant battle has moved on. The wet, but warm, weather had seen growth rocket and with it the amount of time needed for basic maintenance is eating into getting projects done. The big Silver Birch in my neighbour’s garden is now shedding its seeds and, even with no real breeze, standing on the deck is like being in a minor blizzard which means that finishing the deck repaint is on hold for a week or two.

I am hoping to be able to get on with building a table for the barbeque in the coming week as that will mean that I have the table available and can get the barbeque off the floor and can also, perhaps, use the damn thing although I have never understood the attraction of standing out in the heat cooking on something that is even hotter. We are planning lots of things salad based for the coming week.

With the 19th approaching we have no plans to ditch our masks. Down in these parts we are also seeing a surge in C-19 cases and we will be staying safe to reduce the risk of being sorry. We are plotting going out for lunch one day soon though and one of the local pubs will be seeing us all being well.

Stay safe wherever you are.