Friday, July 23, 2010

For a change...

I guess the last few posts there’s been a bit of a fitness/weight loss overload.

So, I’ll talk about something else today!

We’re still in the process of moving house. I’m hopeful that we should be able to complete at the end of August, though it does depend on our seller (the person we’re buying from) moving out in time. I don’t know what stage she’s at now.

I’m quite excited about the new house, it has so many things that we’re looking for!

We have some enquiries with our solicitor at the moment regarding some of the information in the deeds, specifically pertaining to the covenants. I suspect that I am better not detailing any of them here, for the time being at least.

Anyway, there’s so much scope for doing the things I’ve been wanting to do but not had the space for. Ranging from more dying and getting into spinning to growing vegetables.

Here are some of the things I’d like to be able to do in the new house:
  • Grow Veggies including potatoes and carrots, squash, aubergine, tomatoes, peas and strawberries!
  • More Dying not really good in an unventilated room with cream carpets which I was using in our current house…
  • Spinning I’ve been spindle spinning, but I’d love the space for a wheel. After that I’d love some more hours in the day!
  • Growing dyestuffs this is on top of growing veggies – my own dyers patch, what fun that would be!
  • Chickens I’d love some pet chickens. I’m talking two or three, not many.
  • Bunnies! I love bunny rabbits. Guinea pigs would also be an option.
  • While we’re on animlas: Doggy! Ok, this is a long term thing, not something for the shorter term, but I would love to have a dog. Preferably a big dog. My favourite breeds are Great Danes and Wolfhounds. I love Setters too, but all that hair!
  • Painting and I don’t mean rooms. This is something I’d like my fiancé to be able to do more of too. We have an easel, it will be nice to have space to put it up.
  • Cooking and dinner parties our current kitchen is small, we don’t have much space for people. The new place will be large enough to have a reasonable number of people round! I don’t claim to be a brilliant cook, but I can follow a recipe quite well*.
  • Sitting out I’m truly more excited than I should be about the prospect of getting a patio set – you know a couple or four chairs and a small table. Maybe we could upgrade the barbeque too! Alas, there isn’t likely to be much time left this year where outdoor cooking is acceptable.
I’m sure there are millions of other things I could add to this list!
But I’ll stop now.


In my current garden I have bought two more herbs. We visited a small nursery when we were back home, and they had some quite nice plants there at very reasonable prices. I picked up an apple mint (why yes, I do like mint. How did you guess?) and a small lavender called Melissa Lilac.


*when I say quite well, I mean with only one or two substitutions or changes. It’s a bit like knitting patterns, a recipe is just a guide!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One week in

So, as I mentioned, the working out just wasn’t enough for me and my drive for results. (I have a suspicion that this is also hindering me on my shawl, more on that shortly)
Well, I’ve been trying hard to eat sensibly, while still reducing the number of calories I’m eating – basically trying to be more aware of what it is I’m eating. There were two “challenges” last week in the form of the Department Night Out (more on that later) and movie night with friends. I fared better on one than the other.

So, how did I do last week?

Well, we worked out twice. I decided against working out with a hangover (remember the DNO?) so, I’ve stuck with “sedentary” for my formula, which kind of makes sense.

At my start-of-week weight, my maintenance calories was 1902
My average calories per day were 1379 (a deficit of 523 per day)
My lowest calorie day was Wednesday with 1165 calories consumed (approx)
My highest calorie day was Thursday with 1663 calories consumed (approx)

I tried seven new meals last week. I think that the carrot soup was the most successful, but it uses up a lot of carrots. I’m considering trying the same thing but with different veggies next time. Broccoli and chicken salad was also a success as a packed lunch. Brilliant!
One of the hardest things is making sure to have healthier snacks to eat when I’m feeling peckish. I’ve rediscovered my love for Granny Smith apples, which is rather nice.

So, what was it about Thursday that gave me that extra 300 or so calories? Well, if it hadn’t been for the Department Night Out I suspect I would have done much better.

I had my usual breakfast: Instant Oats made with 200ml skimmed milk and 40g of sultanas, I also had a cup of tea with a little semi skimmed milk. ~345 calories.
For lunch I was doing pretty well, I had salad with two hard boiled eggs, and 4 olives in oil. ~427 calories.
I also had a nectarine and one more cup of tea that day. ~ 51 calories.
Dinner is where I let myself down. It was a barbeque. There was free drink. I had some canapés (mostly with brie, cheese is my nemesis) which I’ve estimated at about 158 calories (yes, just for the canapés) I had one sausage and one burger (about 192 calories for both). I didn’t eat the salad, much coleslaw or the bun. I did have some sauce, but compared to what’s coming it is negligible.
I had three glasses of champagne (267 calories) and about 4 glasses of wine (356 calories) That’s one glass being 120ml.

So, it was the alcohol that did for me, I think.

As for the shawl? It’s progressing. Very. Slowly. It’s not the most exciting knit – it’s basically miles of stocking stitch, interspersed with really complicated counting rows. I have to be in the right frame of mind to do the counting rows, so it frequently stalls on those rows. I’m nervous about knitting it while doing other things because I don’t want to go wrong, even though it’s really simple! I love how it looks, and I’m sure it will be worth it in the end, I’m just glad I started nice and early, and that I’m not knitting the same thing for anyone else!
As I said above, I think that I want to see progress, and the shawl isn’t that kind of project. With it being semi-circular, the rows get so much wider that each row takes an age. I’m lucky to get one row done in my lunchbreak – and if I need to do something else, it’s not going to happen at all!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting Fit? Not Really

So, I've been following the program set by my PT for 3 weeks.
It's hard, very tiring, and yet - I'm not seeing any results. That is pretty disheartening, as you might imagine.
I weighed myself just prior to starting this section of the programme.
I haven't really changed my eating habits - though I've stopped eating chocolate at work.

I weighed myself after one week and I had lost 2lbs. Woo!

However, since then I haven't lost any weight at all.
I have seen a change in my measurements, but I'm not sure how much of that is my dodgy measuring and wishful thinking.
None of my clothes fit any better...

Now, I confess, I am supposed to do two repeats of the program (at least) which should take 40 minutes. About half of the time I do two repeats, though it takes more like 45 minutes. I'm not really getting on with the concept of rinse and repeat. If I hated it the first time, I'm hardly going to look forward to it.
I've discovered some interesting things about how I like to exercise, which is good.
  • I don't mind cardio. 3 minute bursts are fine.
  • I dislike the bike and cross-trainer.
  • I don't dislike the rower (at the moment) and can row 600m in 2:40 if I try, at the lowest resistance.
  • While I like weights, doing them like cardio sucks.
  • Olympic lifts are fun!
  • I get bored easily - three weeks in and I want to change stuff!
  • I have results focus - I want to see changes in my body, I want to weigh less, have less girth, feel better

Now, I can't wait for my PT to sort this out. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, or what. I'm probably not going fast enough on the cross trainer, but that's only one out of 3 cardio bursts.
I know I'm belting through the weights - to the point that they're not fun.
I'm shuttling between items, no rest, barely time to have a drink.
And yet - no change.
It's not acceptable!

So, it's been suggested (by my fiancé no less) that it’s not possible to out-train a bad diet. I begrudgingly accept that this is probably true. So, I’ve looked up some recipes with reasonable calorie counts (in the 300-400 range) to have for dinner with veggies, potatoes or pasta (another 100 cals for pasta!) or to have on their own for lunches. The aim is to create a deficit in the number of calories consumed as compared to the number required.

I’m using a formula to calculate the number of calories I need to consume which is as follows:
BMR = 655 + (4.3 * lbs) + (4.7 * inches) - (4.7 * age)
(BMR is basal metabolic rate)
Maintenance Calories = BMR * 120%

So, for me that’s
BMR = 655 + 922.1 (sorry, not telling you my weight, height and age!)
BMR = 1577.1
Maintenance Calories = 1892.52
To lose 1lb per week, you need to eat 3500 calories less*
That’s 500 calories per day
So, to create a 500 calorie deficit, I need to eat no more than 1392.52 calories, or expend more calories.
Several sites recommend not reducing calories lower than 1200 calories.
So, that’s the plan. I’ve never tried calorie counting before, but we’ll see how it goes.

Tuesday night’s food wasn’t quite the number of calories I had planned because it seems that I can’t read a recipe! I scaled down all of the ingredients from a 4 person recipe to a 2 person recipe. Except I didn’t. I forgot to scale down the cheese (the cheese will be my downfall). While this made the mustard-and-cheese-stuffed-chicken-breasts very tasty, it also made them an extra 200 calories! Whoops! I had a little bit spare from having my über healthy porridge and sultanas for breakfast (I love it!) but I was probably only under by about 300 calories in the end.
Nevermind, I’ll do better today.
I’m not going to beat myself up about it, in the end if it gets to April and I’m exactly the same size and shape then so be it. All in all (and sending many good vibes to the Karma Gods) I’m the happiest I have ever been at the moment, and why shouldn’t I be? Okay, work is a bit irritating, but there’s some interesting stuff happening at the moment, we’re buying a fab new house, we’re getting married in the spring (in the Spring!!) – it’s all good, I can’t (or rather, shouldn’t) complain!

And anyway, my dress is going to have a built in corset in it.

*this is a generalisation, I gather, but should get me close enough

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Crochet Complete and Scrapbook!

So, I've finally got some things to show you

Granny Square Bag

Pattern: Inga's Haekelbeutel by Inga Joana Mertens
Yarn: King Cole Bamboo Cotton (1 skein each of the blue and brown)
Hook: 4mm (the only one I have not in storage)
Modifications: Other than using a completely different gauge, none.

Granny Square Bag

Also, I've been doing some pages in my scrapbook. I'm as far as I can go now before the wedding!

I kept the Save the Date page nice and simple, it's a printout of the pdf with some embellishment.

Scrapbook - Save the Date

This page was hard, I really wanted those three elements in there, so I had to fiddle with it for some time.

Scrapbook - Venues

I think this is my first attempt to use a "template" on a CD I received with the DoCraft magazine. I'm pretty pleased with it, and I think my scrapbooking is progressing nicely.

Scrapbook - Photography

I plan to purchase a chipboard "HOME" book to do something nice for the new house with. I'll get some new papers for that too.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

(Untitled, again)

Home Improvement

Well, we decided to accept the offer on our house, and offer on the place we wanted to buy.

They accepted!

So, we’re (hopefully) moving house very soon.

The new house is on the outskirts of a village; the village has a post office and a church, but no pub as far as we can tell! Though it’s only a short cycle from some other villages nearby where we know people. I’m quite excited about it now, looking forward to having a bit of space, both inside and out. Because it is three bedrooms, I can take over a bedroom for my crafty stuff without losing out on the guest room, which is useful! There’s so much scope for coolness.
I am trying not to get too excited at the moment though, until we have the keys in our hands!

In other news… There isn’t actually much other news. The wedding shawl is going well; I’m about half-way through from a number-of-rows perspective, but maybe only a third from a number-of-stitches perspective! It’s a pretty relaxing knit though, which is good!

I’ve done two more of the crazy workouts that my personal trainer has given me to do while he’s away in America. It’s going okay, I think. I find that if I push the cardio too much I can’t manage the weights, and vice versa. My aim is to get to a point where I can get through three circuits, or make it through two in 45 minutes; it’s taking me an hour for two at the minute which isn’t as fast as he’d like me to be going. It seems to be working though; I lost two pounds last week! I hope that I lose some this week too. We’ve been eating pretty healthily; I’ve been having fruit for a snack rather than chocolate, and three workouts a week.

We will not be getting three workouts this week, though. Well, unless we go on Saturday some time. The car has gone in to be MOTd and I don’t have a parking space at work any more. That means we’re getting the bus into work, and there’s no bus that gets us to the gym. In theory we could cycle there (it’s about 4 miles from our current house) but I’m not sure I’d want to work out when I arrived!

I must take a photo of my finished crocheted bag too, it’s in use as a bring-my-knitting-to-work bag right now, and is doing pretty well despite not being lined! I might not bother lining it, though I do have to keep anything that might fall through the holes in an additional bag!