Wednesday, 22 October 2014

It's that time again.... WIW

It's time for the weigh in Wednesday link-up again. I love the weigh this link-up helps keep me accountable, and all the encouragement helps keep me motivated.

Anyho, I'm delighted to report that last weeks weight gain of nearly 3lbs must have been water weight because this week I'm down to 187. YAY!!!

So I feel as though I have a good handle on my eating at the moment. And I've been upping my water intake again, I suspect I could still be drinking more but it's not too bad. Which means its time to tackle the other side of the weight loss triangle: exercise. Its been on my to do list for a while. I think running being off the cards really threw me. I've also realised I've been making it into a big deal. That I needed to start with some really punishing routine, like p90 or something. Instead I started this morning with a bit of Hula Hooping. Man I'd forgotten how much I loved it, and how much it would hurt after so long without! So that's my plan, Hoop a little every day, building up my endurance again. And who knows maybe this will give me the impetuous to even do some yoga!

I hope everyone else has had a good week too,


Monday, 20 October 2014

Lets play catch-up

Its been a while since I remembered to actually do one of these (such a bad blogger!).

So lets see. Last week I got to catch up with an old school friend, which was great. we are both rubbish at staying in touch, but its one of those easy friendships where that doesn't matter. Of course it helps that a few years ago we realised we are so bad at staying in touch that we don't talk to anyone else from our school days and so we have to remain friends so we can have an "oldest friend" that doesn't start at university! We visited Lancaster as its a convenient mid-point(ish) for the 2 of us. And because I can't turn down a free pudding I cheated on my veganism by having blueberry pancakes. I was then rewarded with the appearance of several spots 2 days later.

Then Friday I caught up with another friend (aren't I just the social butterfly?), and we went deep into the trough of Bowland (local national park). This time I cheated on veganism accidentally, I forgot to ask for no butter on my baked potato. And now my hands are covered in angry and itchy eczema. 

What can we learn from this? I need to give up dairy for good. Which means a permanent end to my love affair with frozen yogurt, instead of our current hiatus. Understandably both parties are a little distraught over this news.

Saturday brought another friend and a different outing. This time I remembered to actually take a photo!!!

The on Sunday my poor dad spent the afternoon in A&E to find out he had shingles. Naturally my Mum and I responded in a mature and sympathetic manner. Apparently he should have gone when the rash first appeared and not waited 4 days before we forced him to go after he was caught wrapping the affected area in clingfilm. He still maintains it was a logical move to stop the itching!

I've had quite the week really!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Weigh In Wednesday

I am peeved.

Annoyed beyond words.

It was the annual family gathering this past weekend. But I was good, I brought vegetable paella with me so I'd have a good option. And I ate the friggin paella, and didn't even have any of the other options on offer (granted they were all meat but still). I didn't have any of the delectable desserts either, i had a packet of poppets (dark choc mints), which are only 5pp and accounted for.

Which is why I am so annoyed by the scale this morning because the stupid thing informed me Id put on nearly 3lbs, and read 190 again.

It better be water weight and gone again next week or else I will do something drastic!

In the meantime, I had a falling out with Reg, and decided to punish him.........

Don't worry, he's still a live.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

WIW and GMAT part 3

I'm over the moon today's WIW brings me back into the 180s, 188 :D

Secondly its time for the 3rd installment of my "get my act together plan". WIW folks you are not obliged to stay and read through the below, I won't be offended, honest.

Those of you who have been around here for a while know that I've been trying to work out what to do with my life post graduate research (its true and a pun, lol, I'm going to go ahead and assume I'm the only one finding this funny). I'd say that it's a pretty big component of project GMAT. Anyway, after years of fighting the inevitable I have come to the conclusion teaching is the way forward. 

Its something I was obsessed with doing until I got distracted by the world of research, but even then my favourite part of my job has always been educating others. Amazing really it has taken this long for me to realise this was the way forward (that's a polite paraphrase of some of the tings I have heard). 

Originally I was going to get super mushy, and write a very long winded post about how I finally came to the decision and all the things that influenced me on the way. But it seems a bit unneccesary now. Anyway, now it's just a case of figuring out the nittygritty of how exactly to do it. In an ideal world I would get to stay where I am and not accumulate any more debt. But, we'll just have to wait and see.

Why is this appropriate to share on WIW? Is it just because I am exceptionally lazy and can't be bothered coming up with a different post when this one was stuck in my head? Partly. But also because weightloss does not happen in a vacuum. It both is effected by and affects life. And this is a case of the latter, because before embarking on my journey to health I wouldn't have the confidence to make such a big change, or embark on something so challenging. See, relevance!!!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

GMAT...... Part 2

Part 2 of getting my act together involves building a life.

I think its fairly well established at this point that my life is quite nomadic. This year alone I have lived in 4 different places.

But when I moved back home in September, despite uncertainty regarding jobs ect (we'll cover this in part 3) I actually felt really settled. This NEVER happens. so I decided to capitalise on it and actually put down roots. 

When I left for university originally my brother got my room (it was bigger) and I was relegated to his old room. And although I got my old room back when he moved out, I was never back long enough for it to be mine, but I did appreciate all the extra storage space!

And for a long time that's all its been..... a storage facility. But if I'm back and staying for a while it needs to reflect that. So the first step was to have a clear out. Get rid of all the things I don't need or use and clear the clutter and whilst I was at it. I also had a clothes clear out, which means it all fits in the wardrobe and chest of draws, and I don't need the additional unit!

I got new curtains. Bought a new bedspread. And decided I was fed up of purple so started kitting new cushion covers.

I'd upload photos, but I'm feeling exceptionally lazy..... I'll do it once I've bullied my dad into hanging up all my pictures.

Its not all been about the room. I've been intentionally putting down roots in other ways. Like joining and actively participating in a church. Making an effort to get back in contact with friends that still live in the area, make some new ones. Figured out my favourite local pub, that sort of thing.

Its very surreal how settled/at home I feel here. Surreal but nice.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Getting my act together...... part 1

Part 1. I decided to tackle 1 thing in my control at a time, otherwise it was just too over-whelming.

The first step: diet. Not in the I want to lose weight sense but in the I want to make better choices for the health of both my body and the environment sense.

Shannon touched on this topic, albeit from a different view point, in this post, if you haven't read it yet you really need to go check it out! I have too often let the improbability of something cloud my judgement, and stop me entertaining it as a possibility. I have known for a very long time that less meat, and mostly vegan was the way to go. The advantage of doing a research degree? The answer is access to all the scientific journals. You can bypass all the politicized fluff and get to the meaty goodness of cold hard facts. And I knew the facts pointed to a reduced meat future. But it didn't just seem improbable that a girl who knowingly once ate a formerly beloved pet chicken, and comes from a family where "vegetarian" is a dirty word would ever give up meat, it seemed down right impossible. Also lets face it, meat is yummy.

So the first step of me "getting my act together" (which will from now on be referred to as GMAT) was a simple challenge to myself to try veganism for a week. It took a few tries before I actually managed it for a straight week, but I got there. And with that came the knowledge, that whilst it was improbable it wasn't impossible. At the time I was still living with my aunt and door knocking so being 100% vegan all the time wasn't very practical, but I was 90% vegan 90% of the time. Then when I came home I committed to it on a more full time basis with the exception of fish (I choose sustainable sourced fish of varieties I know aren't endangered) and quorn products (a protein rich meat substitute which contains a small amount of egg white).

Part b) was the focus on a more whole foods diet. Part b proved slightly tougher, I thought I ate mostly whole foods before, and I did, but you'd be surprised how many added chemicals are lurking in "whole foods". I'm now a very selective shopper. It took me ages to find a muslei brand with no added sugar or preservatives. And I've become quite fussy with pasta, in fact often I'll opt for brown rice just because its an easier choice. Now the processed food I eat is limited to bread, dark chocolate and my beloved quorn products (and even those I try to limit to once or twice a week).

My biggest failure continues to be diet caffeine free coke. The aspartame is bad for you. They are basically little cans of carcinogenic chemicals and flavourings and yet I can't give them up! I have managed to cut down to 1 can a day. The next step is a complete cut. 1 step at a time though.

I bet you're finding this all terribly interesting aren't you :p.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Random update...

So recently I've been trying to get my act together, and well grow up.

Before anyone panics, Reginald and I are still besties. Well, I guess not technically as he is a dinosaur who seems completely incapable of forming a loving bond with anyone or anything, but I'm kinda attached to him so I don't let that minor detail get in the way.
He's just so stinkin' adorable! And terribly photogenic!

Anyho, I'm sure you're wondering how I am growing up if I am still messing around with anti-social t-rex's. I am taking control of my life.

For yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeears my life has been dominated by by the pursuit of a reasearch degree which was ultimately doomed. And I don't know whether you guys are familiar with the life of a typical science grad student, but I'll let you into a little secret, they don't have one. No seriously, you work all the time. Not in the "yeah I work so hard I have hardly any me time" sense of the phrase. But in the, "I work all the time I have special out of hours access to the lab and am on first name terms with the night security guards and why yes that is an emergency pillow and blanket you see under my desk" sense.

It all stems from the fact that being a graduate student is like being in the limbo between being a carefree undergraduate and a real-life adult. You are poor, so very poor, like a student, and so you live and eat like a student. But unlike your undergrad counterparts you have real work and responsibilities and little time for drinking. Oh and you don't get the holidays either........ I may or may not have spent more than 1 national holiday *cough* New Years and Easter *cough* in the lab.

Obviously its not all bad. And sensible people who do non-experimental based projects I hear can achieve something called a work life balance. Also there are conferences where you get to go abroad on University dime and consume hedonistic amounts of food and alcohol under the guise of "building relationships with your peers for collaborative studies". There are also freebies. Also You get a qualification which may or may not be of assistance in the job market.

I feel as though I'm losing my train of thought, I do hope you're all with me. To recap: grad school is a life sucking hole with some rewards. 

But I have submitted the thesis at long last.
Also a date has been set for the viva, but lets not dwell on that.
Which means I officially get to move on with my life.

Terrifying really. Because, it involves scary decisions like, what am I going to do, am I willing to compromise where I want to live for what I want to do, what about a social support network will I allow that to factor into my decision and until recently what if the vote for independence goes through will by prospects be better or worse in an independent Scotland. And sooooooo many more questions. Part of what makes me a good researcher is the ability to rationally consider all the possible problems, solutions and ramifications of any single variable. Turns out this can be kind of a hindrance to making life decisions quickly! Which is why I've been a bit of an absentee around here. I was doing so much thinking I couldn't really focus on anything else.

But I love you guys, and know you are endlessly fascinated by the minutiae of my life, so I'm going to catch you all up over the next few days. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Weigh In Wednesday

Well despite a less than perfect week I am ecstatic to report that I'm still down 1lb. 190, so close to being back in the 180s I can taste it!!! 

My brilliant excel page informs me that if I maintain my current rate of loss (averaging 2lbs a week at the moment) for another month I will have blasted off all my summer regain. Which then leaves me November and December to work my butt off to end the year lighter than I started it! i like the excel spread sheet it tells me how much have lost, need to lose and the amount of time it will take to reach my various goals. I like having access to so many stats makes me happy. Also I Like having a plan!

Today I gave blood which I think  totally justifies drinking an entire carton of dark chocolate almond milk. And the fact that I am still upright and able to make coherent sentences proves that it was an excellent move, because normally after giving blood I am worse than useless!

I hope everyone else had an awesome week. And if anyone else would like my super awesome spreadsheet so that they too can manipulate data to their hearts content let me know!