Last July I wanted to know how to derail my crazy life. I didn’t want another tomorrow struggling. I yelled out imploring someone to give me the key to this knowledge. Alright, smart-aleck don’t tell me the answer is 42 as I won’t believe you. Computers lie!
So looking in the mirror back then, I sensed that “over the hill feeling” as I am onto my last year in my fifties. Or at least that is what my body kept telling me. I am not listening. Bodies lie trust me!
Then my mind told me I am too tired to try. Don’t buy into that either – minds can lie too.
Changing focus as I stood knees trembling, waiting my turn on the scalesof fear, I noticed a single face staring around for a friendly acknowledgement. That lonely lady sat in the middle of the loud and exuberant banter. Not so long ago that lone stranger was me.
Finding new friendships
Shoes back on I sauntered over to speak to the new member. A broad smile greeted my first words. Instantly we connected. All it had taken was a “hello” and “were you happy with your weigh-in?” I love meeting people, but a lack of self-esteem and shyness hindered this in the past, however having a common cause is a great way to bridge the awkwardness.
“I lost a pound; I’m so delighted.”
“How fantastic I enthused, I ……” – Hehe, you’ll have to wait to hear how I got on.
Now changing focus or “Lifestyle changes are a process that take time and require support. Once you’re ready to make a change, the difficult part is committing and following through. So do your research and make a plan that will prepare you for success. Careful planning means setting small goals and taking things one step at a time.” (American Psychological Association)
Improving your life
My opening comment led to a gush of information sharing – I felt I had known my new friend for longer than the few brief moments we had just shared. There is nothing like feeling part of a new adventure that will change someone’s life. This thrill must have been how the sailors of old felt when embarking on the high seas for the first time. At least before the turbulent seas and thunderous gales sent them to their quarters heaving from sea sickness! At least this changing focus on life doesn’t involve vomit!
Lettuce talk business
So how is Lettuce doing I hear you ask? Or perhaps you don’t really care – if so I am surprised you are still reading. All hail to those that still are – God bless you!
Lettuce had a run in with Jacket Potato. She took a disliking to the amount of room he took on my plate. She decided I favoured his flavour more than hers – oh the squabbling! In the end, I ate both, and that was that!
Tom A To – how I love his petite round juicy taste. I caught him and his friend playing bowls in the fridge using Courgettes (Zucchini) as pins. Yes, the refrigerator is a veritable jungle!
Sugar, sugar, sugar
Now that I am well on the journey to changing focus from cakes and chocolate to healthy eating (cakes – now I am drooling, how I love them… get behind me, Homer Simpson) my taste buds are revising their opinion on sugary foods. Thank the Lord as it was getting out of control.
According to statics in the UK: “Added sugars shouldn’t make up more than 5% of the energy (calorie intake) you get from food and drink each day. This is about 30g of sugar a day for those aged 11 and over.”
Crumbs, Coke has 39g in just one can – that is over your sugar intake for one day!
Check these out:
Raisins 42.5g serving – 30g
Yoplait Yogurt, Strawberry 6 oz Container – 27g
Power Bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter 1 bar (65g) 23g
Oreos, one serving (4 cookies/34g) – 14g
Pop Tarts, Frosted Cherry 2 Pastries – 34g
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll 1 pastry – 55g
Snickers one Regular Size bar (59g) – 30g
Skittles one bag (2.6 oz) – 47g
Apple one large apple (3.25″/223g – 10% waste) – 23g
Wow, what an eye opener – looking at this site has reaffirmed my changing focus on food. No wonder I put on the weight. At times I would eat a large bag of skittles or a snickers bar in one day on top of all the other sugary choices I made!
Laughing your way home
On another note “researchers, discovered that laughing increased both heart rate and calorie expenditure by up to 20 per cent – and the longer participants laughed for, the greater the effects. Using the results, the scientists then went on to calculate that just 15 minutes of laughter a day will burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on a person’s weight and the intensity of the laughter. That’s enough to shift between 1 and 4lb a year.”
Oh, by the way, I am not suggesting that you subscribe to the above website or any of the other references. I used it purely to gain some insight as to how laughing can help you to move towards a healthier life style.
Weighting for an answer?
Are you still with me or did you scoot down here just for the results? If you did, you missed some helpful facts along the way.
Laughing is my secret ingredient.
So after that 2lb increase last week, I managed to lose that again this week, so I am back on track – until the next weigh-in!
Not so long ago that lone stranger was me but joining a group that supports and enjoys one another’s company has opened up a new world. I would certainly recommend it.
Finally to take us away
After three, (to the tune of Money, Money, Money by Abba) Sugar, sugar, sugar, it’s a dieter’s downfall in a wholesome world.
What would stop you from changing focus in your life?
The weigh-in, an experience frozen in time. Feet glued to the scales, eyes averting the verdict, the waiting – have I or haven’t I… oh the agony!
Trimmed to slim
“What! You’re joking.” I stood on the scales clad with lightweight clothing – anything to keep the pounds off and give a correct reading. In anticipation having won slimmer of the week last time, my hopes were high.
I found Lettuce skulking in the back of the fridge; she refused to look at me as I retrieved her part frozen body. “About time,” she said. “I’ve been waiting two days!”
The prognosis appeared sad, wet leaves sagged on one side while the remaining stayed glued together. “I’m gonna have to let you go, old girl, you’re too far gone.”
“Oh no, you don’t.”
“Soggy lettuce isn’t on the menu I’m afraid.”
My fridge, a bone of contention, operates on a cold and frozen setting. Therefore, anything that finds its way to the back of it freezes so only half of the appliance works. With others in the house rummaging around inside things get disordered and misplaced. Such fate beckoned Lettuce.
Opening the door to the rubbish bin, Lettuce clung onto me, her frozen leaves sticking to my hand. Shaking didn’t seem to work, so I peeled her off leaf by leaf. Watery tears dripped onto the floor.
“Watch where you are going, you’re all wet!” said a disgruntled radish head as Lettuce flew to her final destination.
“Why did Margaret do this, she loves me so much – we are inseparable?”
“We all end up here dear.” Carrot shavings tried to comfort Lettuce but failed.
“But this is such a waste, how about using a hairdryer to dry me out?”
“Seems Margaret knows best Lettuce, I mean you are in a sorry state. What happened?”
Three interesting facts about Lettuce
Did you know Lettuce is always eaten fresh? Because of its high water content (95%), it cannot be frozen or canned. 95% – No wonder I keep going to the loo!
The lettuce that the Greeks and Romans ate in ancient times had sleep-inducing properties. This property, however, has already been bred out of the current varieties of lettuce – That’s a shame I could do with some sleep!
When storing lettuce, keep away from fruits that emit ethylene, such as apples and bananas. Ethylene is a gas that hastens the ripening process of certain fresh fruit and will cause lettuce to decay much faster – It’s all bananas fault, who put that banana in the fridge?
So back to the story
“Last night a hand intruded upon my free time then when it had finished looking for the pepperoni it tossed me to the back of the fridge. Frantically I pleaded with milk to swap places, but she just laughed, waddled in front of me and plopped down in my favourite area. I mean the cheek! She came from a cow’s udder and I a beautiful field.
I felt trapped.
The frozen truth
The frozen fingers emerged from the behind stealthfully creeping around me until I couldn’t breathe. All through the night I shivered, no one took any notice. First thing Margaret came and rescued me – what joy. Except she betrayed and threw me in here. Oh, the shame.”
“Never mind love.” Radish head comforted Lettuce. “Just wait till you see your next abode. I hear from the grapevine that Commander Post loves new recruits.”
The end beckons
“Oh, here she comes. How exciting.” Remarked Lettuce. Scooping up the biodegradable material, Margaret headed outside to the Compost bin. “Fair well my vegetable waste, produce some mighty good fertiliser for me.”
Lifting the lid, Margaret tipped the contents of the bin into the dark organic matter.
“Well hello Lettuce, welcome to my world” snickered Commander Post.
The waiting is over
“What! You’re joking.” Turning to see if any feet stood on the scales behind me, I checked my pockets for anything heavy – Nothing.
Quietly the scale monitor penned +2lbs into my book. Where had that come from?
Did I hear a snicker from Lettuce paying me back for putting her in the Compost bin? Surely not.
+2 lbs a mystery – I had continued eating as I did the previous weeks and the weight fell off, but not today!
It’s a blip but 2lbs that is a lot. I can’t blame “going out”, “bingeing” or chocolate so it must be the flat bottom syndrome from sitting down and writing too much.
A silver lining
Within a few minutes of feeling gutted an award for “Slimmer of the Month” surprised me – guess who received it – me! Talk about gob-smacked, for once I was shocked into silence.
That assassin is lurking again; he doesn’t show his face anymore. Instead, he hides in my subconscious waiting for the right moment to attack. He loves my mirror image, but I hate my reflection staring back at me.
“Look at that stomach; it’s larger than a humpback whale!”
Hitting where it hurts
Talk about below the belt. I am trying right – but the assassin loves to criticise.
Did you know a baby humpback whale weighs 1 ½ tons when it’s born?
Gee if I weighed that much I would look like a blob – hardly very flattering. But the assassin doesn’t do flattery! He can be cruel with his words and will take no prisoners.
Have you heard him recently?
The assassin strikes
Before I started Slimming World, there were many comments thrown my way by the inner voice. So many in fact that I felt crushed by their constant attacks.
That uncontrollable feeling of not being in charge, of desperation that accompanied those hurtful words. I couldn’t break free.
The assassin had me by the short and curlies.
Have you felt like that?
That blob feeling
Well, I did feel like a blob if I am honest – that overwhelming tiredness that hung to my every move. My arms and legs doubled for two full barrels of beer; only I didn’t get to enjoy the contents! The haziness of my mind blurred the day to day joys and left me a victim of my bed. The assassin lurked too close for comfort laughing as I struggled.
I felt so alone.
Do you know what changed?
Slowly I began to push away from the assassin’s control. I refused to hear his debilitating voice. Instead, I looked in the mirror and saw someone beautiful, overweight – yes, but underneath the exterior image, a stunning woman of great character shone through.
A simple solution?
So I asked for help. Simple as that – although it wasn’t that simple. I don’t do requests for help. I am a manager, except I wasn’t managing. It was my neighbour who triggered my need. She came to ask for a favour, and before I knew it, we did an exchange – I would look after her cats for a few days, and she would come for a walk with me when I felt able.
It was the key that turned the lock, which unlocked the door, that introduced me to my road of recovery.
A simple trade-off.
The decision to change
Our walks were limited but the results remarkable. Criticism took a nose dive, and daily encouragement accompanied us. Then lifestyle became a constant companion, and we talked honestly about how my life could change for the better.
Support is key
I embraced it and Lettuce too, and the benefits are showing daily as I get stronger and lose a pound here and there. However, it is the support that cements the relationship and having that laugh each week at Slimming World spurs me on.
To my assassin, I say “clear off.”
Humpback whale indeed!
Oh, I forgot about the weigh in, this week I lost 1 ½ pounds. That makes a total of 9 ½ pounds altogether – I am so happy.
How about you dear reader, do you have something that stops you from living that life you deserve?
My mouth drools at the sight and smell of chocolate and cake. Starting a diet that excludes my favourite foods or radically curtails their consumption is going to be a nightmare. I can see tantrums on the horizon especially if someone tells me to eat a pickled onion instead! How can a pickled onion give me that same warm, sensational hug that I desire? Give me a break!
My advice for those who can’t stop eating chocolate -share then you only eat half as much!
To be or not to be weighed
As some of you know, I am now attending Slimming World. Today that all important weigh in after a two-week gap due to celebrating my Silver Wedding Anniversary. Did I lose anything apart from my shoes? You will have to scroll down to the bottom of the post to find out. If you scoot to the end, you will miss an entertaining post – even if I do say so myself!