Some normality please!

I would find it absolutely wonderful at the moment, if I could have a “normal” week. I know normality means different things to different people, but for me it means a week where I know exactly what I’m going to do all week long and where absolutely nothing changes from those plans. The reason behind this wish is that it is easier to plan the food for the week, if it is possible to follow routines.

 
I have actually come a long way, personally, when it comes to learning how to roll with the punches and react and work around sudden changes, but lately there have been more variables to my routine than I’m comfortable with and in the long run this isn’t good for my weight loss.

 
Last week I had to both skip going to class and write my blog due to a sudden and unexpected change in my work pattern. This week I had to go to class a couple of hours sooner than normal, due to a delivery I needed to be home for. It’s typical that when I have given the company the option to deliver my parcel between 6AM and 7PM, I get a timeslot that exactly covers the only time of my day I was going out, which was to my normal WW class.

 
I can see that you may wonder why I feel it is such a big deal to go to an earlier class, but for this week it was. A class two hours later would have meant a class two hours later since breakfast and that would have meant that I could have put down a loss of half a pound in my records instead of having yet another week where I stayed exactly the same weight. The reason I know this, is that I stepped on the scales at home at what would have been the time for my normal class and I really had lost half a pound at that time. Still I don’t have a loss recorded in my journal. The half a pound loss would also have meant a tiny step forward in my struggle to take off the weight I put on at Christmas.

 
I suppose you could say this loss will be ready and waiting for me next week instead. Sadly, at the moment I can’t guarantee any such things. The incoming week is a baking week yet again and a week where we will celebrate a birthday, so my efforts to follow the plan will have to overcome a lot of challenges.

 
The reason I so needed the encouragement of a loss this week, however tiny, is that I have had to fight so very hard with myself the last seven days. I’ve been fighting on every level and I have found it really hard to keep hold of anything positive. On top of that I’ve been hungry all the time. Not just a bit hungry. Oh no! I’ve been hungry on the level of “wanting-to-raid-the-fridge-uncountable-times -a-day” hungry. Not because I haven’t eaten, but because of being a woman in my fifties with all the hormonal changes this age brings with it. Taking that into consideration I am very proud of myself for not gaining any weight but being able to see a small loss in my records would have meant a lot to me today.

 
Still, it wasn’t to be. Hopefully I can continue to fight a positive fight during the incoming week too and see a loss of a pound or so next Thursday. Fingers crossed!

 
Have a good week and I see you in 7!
Åsa

Advertisements

Job versus weight?

At the moment I’m fighting a fight that I really can’t avoid, but that doesn’t make it any easier when it comes to a speedy weight loss. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I have a small home baking business. This baking enterprise has started to do quite well without much effort, so I can’t really ignore it anymore. So as not to put all my eggs in one basket I have decided to expand my baking and add gateaux to my repertoire. Since posh cakes already is something that very many people do already and tremendously better than I ever could, I have had to find my own little corner of the market where I do my own little thing. Therefore, I’ve decided to connect the gateaux to my Nordic biscuits and create cakes around the tastes of them. So far, I have worked out and tested two out of the seven cakes I’m going to sell.

 
This is where I’m fighting with myself and my goal to lose weight. Cakes are far from calorie free, and there is no such thing as succeeding in the first attempt with new products. It can take quite a few trial runs before the cake is absolutely right and obviously, I must taste every attempt I make. I try to make them at times when there are more people in the house and I try to send bits of cake home with various people, but there is always more cake leftover for me than is healthy for my weight loss.

 
I know this situation won’t last forever. When I have tried, tested and succeeded in creating seven cakes that I am happy with and that I feel are good enough to sell, I can go back to normal, but right now it is a struggle. I can’t say that having baking as a career in any other shape than my seasonal venture was something, I thought I would ever choose to do, but somehow that career seems to have chosen me. Since I’m not in a financial situation where I can say no to something that is starting to go so well, I will have to suffer this short-term struggle and try my best in difficult circumstances.

 
What I can’t allow myself to do during days where I have no reason not to follow the plan, is make the rooky mistake I made last Friday. We went shopping and decided to go for a coffee at the supermarket café. I saw a tiny slice of cake that looked very yummy. I have been very good with my tracking lately, so I guesstimate this tiny slice to around 8, worst case scenario 10 smart points. I decided to go for it and work the rest of my day around it.

 
Back home again I looked up this piece of cake from the café on my app and I almost fainted when I saw the real point value of the tiny slice I had had was 23 points! That is all I’m allowed in a day. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but then I really should have known better by now than trying to guess a point value on something like that.

 
Whether it was worth it or not didn’t really matter at that point, the damage was done. Of course, I could have stayed on my zero-point foods for the rest of the day and that way I would only have been over my daily allowance the two points that had been the point value of my breakfast that morning, but that ‘s not really how the mind works, is it? On days like that, inside me all day long there is that tiny voice telling me that the day is ruined anyway, so why not take a day off and start again in the morning?

 
The good thing with all this is that it will be a long time before I repeat that mistake. Another good thing is that despite everything, this week I haven’t done badly. I think I have managed to lose some weight, so all in all I can’t complain.

 
I was right! Today I had lost the pound I put on last week. This means I still have two kilo or four pounds to lose before I’m back to where I was before the Christmas break and can start to break new grounds. Not ideal at all, but at least it hasn’t gone any further the wrong way!

 
Have a good week and I see you in 7!
Åsa

Finally, back on track!

As you may have noticed, my blog has been missing for a couple of weeks yet again. Neither of the missing posts could be avoided, but hopefully there will be more consistency to this page from now on.

 
The first week after my return to blogging, I found a job that I felt could be for me and did my best to upgrade my CV, which took all day after my meeting at my class and stopped me from writing my blog. That week I had lost 1.5Ibs or just under a kilo, so I was pleased with that. My CV and job application gave me an interview, or a test, which I worked on for ten hours the following day. It involved a lot of graphics, a video etc, and I only had one single day to do it all in, but sadly I haven’t heard anything from the company since then. That in itself I feel is very rude, since it involves a company that is all about communication and I didn’t even get a thank you for sending my work in. Anyway, that is the way of the world these days, I suppose.

 
Last week I was down with a horrific migraine two days in a row. Had I been able to go to class, according to my scales, I would have probably maintained the weight from the week before or maybe lost half a pound. But that was then. Two days later when I stepped on to my scales, the story was very different, and not in a flattering way. I can only assume that my migraine sent out a beacon of light to Mr Karma and made him remember me and all the stuff I have eaten that hasn’t been good for me during the last couple of months and decided to pile on some pounds for me.

 
Luckily that horrific moment came just as my head finally had moved into gear and made me feel back on track again. On Saturday and Sunday I went back to my “no picking” policy in the kitchen where I work and the same rule applied for my second job a few days later, where, more often than not, a very tempting sugar fix sits on the table in the staff canteen when I get up there after having worked for two hours and when breakfast seems like a faded memory.

 
This week I have also been tracking regularly and eaten healthy foods. The main thing though, is that now I WANT to do this again. The time of fooling myself and half-hearted sticking to the plan now and again, is behind me. I have even tried out a few recipes from my WW app and enjoyed cooking again AND eating healthy, good food.
I doubt this newfound, or should I say, regained focus over the last six days will help me to see a weight loss today. Most likely I will have to suffer a gain. Strangely that doesn’t matter, because now I know I’m on the right track again. When I lost weight two weeks ago, I was in total turmoil inside, because I knew that despite having managed to lose some of the Christmas excess weight, I was mentally on a slippery slope when it came to both my eating, my mind, and my weight.

 
Today I’m filled with a confident calm, knowing that whatever the scales tell me this morning, I’m going the right way again.

 
As expected, one pound or half a kilo of what I had lost last time I went to class had come back, but for me that still feels like a victory, because the key ingredient of my weight journey is back. My focus has returned and now I can look forward again.

 
Have a good week and I see you in 7!
Åsa

Happy New Year!

10 days into my absolute least favourite month of the year. I will return to my class in a couple of hours after a three-week break. As you can see, I am also returning to my blog after a nine-week break. You could say my small home baking business totally took over my life at the end of last year. I did better than ever before, but it meant that something had to give, and that something was my two blogs. This one and my lyric writing blog “1word@the time”.

 
So, why do I dislike January so much? Well, first of all it is the month when I must land back in reality again after the build-up for Christmas. This year I worked a lot over the holiday period and never really had time to get into the relaxed state I so desperately needed. Christmas day was the best and most relaxed day, but other than that, it was an emotional roller-coaster ride between hoping to do fun holiday type things and the disappointment of realising I was too tired to do anything but sit in front of the telly for a while before going to bed to get up for another day at work. I did have time for a couple of very nice lunches and afternoon teas at various places, which I enjoyed in good company.

 
The week between new year and the dreaded 12th day of Christmas is one I don’t cope well with at all. Part of me is so very sick and tired of all my Christmas decorations at that point, which I loved spending two whole days putting up just five-six weeks earlier. Still I know how much work will be involved in putting them all away again. The inevitability of yet another Christmas coming to an end wears me down, especially since the new year always makes me look back on the year just gone, hoping to see progress in areas important to me, but never really manage to see the results I was striving for. Put that on top of the fear of a new year and add all the pressure of achievements I put onto myself, and you find me at the fridge door and by the chocolate boxes more often than at any other time during the festivities.

 
Saying that, I did achieve a few goals during 2018 that have failed me during many previous years. I did manage to lose 2.5 stone or around 17 kg in weight. Yes, I have piled some of it back on during the last few weeks, but my starting point is still in a much better place than only 12 months ago, so I am confident I will manage to reach my target weight during this year.

 
A second goal I reached, without any effort whatsoever, was to exceed my previous year’s results within my baking business. This has made me decide to take the leap and turn what was a seasonal business into an “all year around” business. I will extend my products from just biscuits to biscuits and 7 different gateaux. 5 of them based upon my various varieties of biscuits (I’ve just started to work out the different fillings and flavours) plus one Christmas gateau and one Easter gateau.

 
I totally see the conflict between my chosen business and my goal to lose weight, but I will have to manage that conflict somehow, because when all I need to do is to mention a possible Easter gateau and I get orders, even before I have worked out the flavours and appearance of this gateau, I feel I have to go with the flow. I love baking. Even so, it may not bee my first choice of career, but since my first choice of career, at the moment, only gives me slammed doors or silence and a total lack of response, I would be a fool not to go with a creative trade that seems to be wanted by the public.

 
A third thing I managed to do last year was to find the much needed second job after six months of searching and worrying. I can’t say this job either suits me or makes me happy. There were times in my life when I would have walked away from it long before now, considering how I feel every morning as I drive in to that particular job. So far, I have stuck with it even if it does drain me of the energy I desperately need for other things. That in itself is a huge achievement.

 
So, I’m still very far from where I would like to be at this moment in time in my life, but one thing I can say about 2018, is that I really did do my best to change my life for the better. I might have been very close to throwing in the towel many times, but that doesn’t matter as long as I didn’t.

 
I really don’t care what my weight is today, as I know I have lost some since last Thursday, which was when I “started anew” in my mind. I hope I haven’t gained more than 7Ibs, but I’ll know in an hour or so.

 
I managed to stay under that dreaded 7Ibs of weight gain. I had gained exactly 3kg or 6.5Ibs. If I think about how long ago it is since I stopped tracking and thinking about what I was eating, because I was knee high in cake mixture, I haven’t done badly. To me a gain of 3kg shows me that my mindset never really left me. I have indulged and enjoyed Christmas, but somewhere along the line I have made better choices than I used to before starting this weight loss journey almost a year ago now. Upwards and onwards!

 
Happy new year to you all and I’ll see you in 7!

 

Åsa

It helps to move about

There’s nothing revolutionary I’m revealing in my headline, when I say that it helps to move about if we want to shed the pounds. Still, I feel that I’m not the only one who doesn’t realise exactly how much difference it can make to be more active. Because of this statement I will give you a very fresh and real example;

 
Last week I had gained 1.5Ib, which was more than I had done on any occasion before, during this journey that started on the 1 February this year. Two things coincided with that week. I was baking masses of biscuits for my Christmas biscuit boxes and I had taken a week’s holiday from work, to be able to do so. This meant I wasn’t really moving, because I’ve got a very small kitchen so the steps between the worktop and the oven doesn’t amount to much. I would have thought that my lack of proper eating, since I lived on coffee and a few biscuits here and there would have compensated, but it didn’t. In fairness I could probably have got away with the lack of movement if I would have given myself time to eat proper meals instead of snacking, but I didn’t feel I could. The result of that week was a weight gain that I really wasn’t pleased with.

 
This week I’ve been back at work. My eating hasn’t been much better than last week. I had lunch out last Thursday and ate birthday cake on Friday and some leftovers from that cake over the weekend too. From Monday and up to today I’ve been a bit more sensible, but in all honesty, I haven’t eaten much better than the week before. Still at the weigh in this morning I had lost 2.5Ib or 1.2kg, so I’ve taken away last weeks gain and lost one additional pound which I’m over the moon about. I can only put the difference between these two weeks down to movement. It is the only thing that has been different between the weeks and in a way, I am pleased I’ve given myself such a crystal-clear example of how important it is to stay active.

 
Hopefully I will be able to keep this in the forefront of my memory, because I’m starting to doubt if I ever will become any better when it comes to planning my meals and my eating. I have become a bit better when it comes to choosing healthier food, but sadly I do “wing it” most of the time when choosing my nutrition.

 
Luckily for me, I’ve accepted that I probably never will be able to lose or maintain a lower weight on my own. My old eating habits are so deeply rooted, and my emotions are so closely connected to food that I’m not sure I will ever be able to break them totally. Because of this I need the “threat” of the scales and the wonderful support of the group to keep me on the straight and narrow.

 
Even though it is hard for me to admit that this is something I can’t do on my own, I’m pleased that I feel content with the thought of continuing to visit my group once a week even after reaching my goal weight. This feeling is very new to me. Every earlier attempt to lose weight has been aimed at getting to a certain weight and then “go it alone”. Well, the best I’ve ever done on my own is to maintain my goal weight for two years before piling on the pounds again, At that time I piled it on until I had more than doubled my weight. No, while emotions and food continue to go hand in hand in my daily life, I will continue to go to class. Food is my addiction and just as some alcoholics go to AA, I go to class to keep my weight under control because the older I get the more I need my weight in a good place to stay healthy.

 
2.5Ib down today. 1.2kg. The moment when I’m within my normal Body Mass Index is so, so close now. Less than a kilo or 2Ib away. I’ve waited for that moment since 1994. Almost there…….

 
Have a good week and I’ll see you in 7!
Åsa

Time to calm down

Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t write a blog last week. The reason for this was that the one day I had left for me to have time to do just that, I was too tired to think or write, so I decided to rest instead.

 
The last seven weeks have been quite insane. My cleaning project that was spread out over three weeks was done while fighting a bad cold and working full time. Then, with no rest in between, my baking project took over. Luckily, I had time off work to do the baking, but many days have ended up with me working nine hours in the kitchen without any lunchbreaks, just coffees and a freshly baked biscuit now and then to keep going. I have now got around 2,400 biscuits and cookies in various freezers waiting to go into boxes and then to my customers. I already got orders for most of them, but even if I probably will end up baking more in a few weeks, we are not talking masses anymore. At the same time, I have said I won’t put a cap on my boxes this year, until it is physically impossible for me to get anymore orders filled, so who knows…

 
As you may have guessed, this hasn’t been a good period for sticking to a good food plan. I think I have just started my fourth week without any tracking and that is not good. It’s actually scary how quickly my old and bad habits return when my focus has to switch to a totally different part of my life. I know there’s not much I could have done differently during the last couple of months, and up to two weeks ago my weight was going the right way even though I didn’t have time to concentrate on my goal as much as I should have done. I don’t think I will be able to say the same thing after weigh in this week. I’ve been back to leaving long hours between any nutrition and therefore I have grabbed a lot of empty calories just to get rid of the worst hunger.

 
I know there is no point telling myself I should find a different way to work during this period of the year, but I know myself too well to even try. This is how autumn looks for me and even though it is hard work and long hours, for most of the time; I love it. The last mile, when I can sense and see the goal post is when it can become a bit overwhelming, because that is when I start to allow myself to feel how tired I really am.

 
Today I got some clear proof that my body now needs a calmer pace. On work mornings I always eat fat free Greek yoghurt, bananas and a few porridge oats for breakfast. Today when I came to take to tub of yoghurt out of the fridge, it was nowhere to be found. Since I’m the only one eating the yoghurt and the tub was half full yesterday, this was a real mystery. When I came back home from work, I went to have a look in the bin, because however illogical it would have been for me to throw my yoghurt in the bin yesterday morning, it seemed like the only logical explanation today. Believe it or not, I found the tub furthest down in the bin. I know I had a bad migraine yesterday morning, but I have no recollection of throwing the half full tub of yoghurt away instead of putting it in the fridge. It makes no sense at all, and all I can put it down to is a clear warning from my body that it is time to slow down my pace from now on. Luckily it is now possible to achieve a calmer life, so except for a birthday celebration on Friday, I should be able to stick to a healthy diet with regular meals during the coming week.

 
Today my weight had gone the wrong way, just as I expected. But it wasn’t a catastrophe, even if it wasn’t good. I had gained 1.5Ib or just under 700gr. At least it will get me back to tracking what I eat again, so there is always a bright side to everything, if we are willing to look for it.

 
Have a good week and I see you in 7!
Åsa

A week of wonders

The last seven days have been physically hard, because I’ve had a tenacious cold following every step I’ve taken and refusing to go away. Even so, there has been no rest for the wicked, and yesterday afternoon, I had finally completed my big autumn deep clean of the house. This means my soul is singing, even though my head is still full of cold.

 
Today I am starting to bake biscuits for my Nordic biscuit boxes. Previous years I’ve had a cap on how many I can possibly manage, considering both time and storage space, but this year I decided to bake as many as there is a demand for. I’ve already noticed that my mind set is having an amazing effect. With sending out this message of an unlimited supply, I have already had more orders than my total last Christmas and we are only in the middle of October.

 
During the coming weekend I am also catering for a course, so I will prepare lunches and coffees for that. This has to be done mostly on Friday, since I’m also working both Saturday and Sunday.

 
When it comes to my eating during the weeks just gone, I’ve done well. I haven’t been tracking at all, but with basically only having good breakfasts and dinners, only having time for a fruit ‘on-the-go’ for lunch, I know I’ve been keeping within my limits. Especially since I’ve had time to collect 127 fit points because of so much physical movement. According to what the scales told me this morning I may have done very well, since my last weigh in two weeks ago. To see the scales, take a big jump downwards and getting very close to, yet another part goal of mine, really makes me feel like I have just lived a week of many wonders.

 
Whilst walking my dog this morning I was thinking of how I’ve changed as a person this last year. One thing is very noticeable to myself and that is how flexible I have become in ways of doing things, compared to how I used to be. I think I have used routine into the smallest detail of my life as a way of feeling safe, but this autumn I’m mixing things around, realising life won’t fall to pieces around me even if I change my ways of doing things. In fact, sometimes things can become better if done with a more flexible approach. Figuring out I can be flexible has also made me realise I am capable of so much more than I’ve been giving myself credit for. This new insight will help me to use time more efficiently, which will be needed in the coming year.

 
I don’t know how much of this new flexibility has to do with my weight loss, but I do believe it is all connected. Having less weight to carry around has given me more energy to put on to other things than just carrying this excess weight of mine around. Especially during getting on with my deep clean, I realised how much easier it was to move about than it’s been for years. Even with a nasty cold, I managed to keep going this year, where as in previous years I would have given up.

 
Haven gotten that far in my thoughts, I also realised that I’m not as fearful of change anymore either. Change is unavoidable anyway, and a lot of the time changes are more positive than negative. Remembering how hesitant I was to take the leap and start my weight loss journey back in February, I am now so grateful I did. My fear of starting was tied to all the failures in my past. The difference was that during previous attempts I had too many wounds in my soul that needed time to heal before my physical transformation could finally take place. This time I had moved on from those wounds and I was ready to start again.

 
I was right! It has been a good weight loss week. 3.5Ib or 1.5 kg down. That means I’m only 2.5Ib away from sitting inside what is called normal BMI (body mass index) for my height. The last time I could say that was the autumn of 1994, so it is a big deal for me. No one can call me fat anymore after that. Well, they can, but they will be wrong!

 
Now I will go down into the kitchen and start my big Christmas biscuit bake! I will keep the sampling to a minimum, I promise!

 

Have a good week and I see you in 7!
Åsa