Well if it’s January then it must be …Dieting

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We don’t like the concept of dieting here at Currantbun Towers. We don’t like it. We don’t believe in it… and most importantly we don’t do it. Diets yes, dieting no…

I probably should explain here my use of language here.  A diet is what you eat. It can be general referring to everything you eat or it can refer to a particular regime you have chosen to follow for a reason that is not necessarily associated with weight loss. For example you might be training for a marathon, have a heart condition or suffer from migraines and you follow a specific regime or diet that is designed to help you with that.

“Dieting” though almost always seems to relate to following a particular regime in order to lose weight. You pretty much never hear someone say that they are dieting because they suffer from a migraine and are trying to avoid certain foods… then it’s described as “following a diet”

So, we don’t do dieting here… we believe in a healthy balanced appetite with everything we enjoy eating in moderation… until, we forget the moderation and the balanced bit… and the monitoring to ensure that it is moderate and balanced  😦

How did I get here ?

Possibly sitting on the sofa for 12-18 months feeling sorry for myself and doing nothing but drink red wine and eat comfort food. So nothing interesting or unusual there… The story is that in October 2013 my employers announced they were cutting the work force by 1700 and then what was supposed to be a quick exercise was dragged out for a Loooooooooooooong time… and we were pretty much in limbo for 12 months not knowing what was happening.

But now it is over.  I have a job. What’s more I have an extra 2 hours of freedom a day as part of the restructuring I got to move office and don’t have to commute quite so much. But…

Where does this leave me ?

I put on weight. I put on a lot of weight. I am now 1.5 stones over the weight I am comfortable living out…I am 2 stone over the weight I would like to be… and I am 3 stone over weight Nirvana (which, since it is the weight I was at age 18 I know is unachievable…)

Oddly though, the fact that I am overweight and need to do something about it has reignited my interest in food… but in a good way

January is a silly time to start a diet and exercise regime… the overcast skies, the gloom and the grey, the dark nights and the cold make it highly unlikely that you will want to go out and exercise after work and more likely that you will stay in. In January, and possibly more so in February, foodie thoughts turn to stews and casseroles full of potatoes, dumplings and fatty meat (yes please !)

but we all do it… because we overindulge at Christmas… but 18 months of overindulgence… well that means you can’t afford to procrastinate. Do it and do it now. But recognise that the first months will be tough and just because you fall off the wagon it doesn’t mean that you give up.

Nevertheless I have made inroads into my problem. Despite the fact that I tend to hibernate the whole of February with too much wine and chocolate, I have still managed to lose over half a stone.  This has mainly been through portion control, less red wine and cutting out the biscuits, chocolate and crisps. I have also made an effort to move more and have been aiming for 10,000 steps a day.  I also fell off the wagon a lot in February… it was really hard…

I am not aiming for perfection. I am not aiming for a fast loss of weight. I just want there to be less of me at Christmas than there is now.

So, I although I am dusting off the blog and planning on writing about Appetite again  I will try not to whine about being fat… but more about how wonderful food is, and how healthy eating does not mean living on undressed lettuce and detoxing…

Please bear with me, the other reason I haven’t been blogging so much (other than fear of redundancy) is that my boy managed to kill my lap top. The hard drive is toast. I swapped to an IPad mini but fear it has proved a bit more complicated for someone of my advanced years (that’s 43 in case you are wondering… but as far as Spider is concerned that is “old” and pretty much almost dead !!!)

And yes, I know its May… but it shows you how much I hate the concept of dieting in that its taken me until the end of May to bring myself to write about it…and to be honest it’s been going up and down like a yoyo due to grey miserable skies… April was much better.

In fact Easter is a much better time to start a diet…

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Waste of a waist

As I meandered into work yesterday my mind was toying around with converting 81cm into inches and was so shocked with the results that I had to double check with a calculator when I finally got to work.

Now it was always a consolation and of great comfort to me to know that despite for most of my life having a backside the size of East Anglia, I had a very small waist. When I was 21 I had a 24 inch waist.

Discovering therefore that I now have a 32 inch waist has been the kick up the backside that I have needed to look seriously at the amount of exercise I get and the quality of my diet.

So as of today I am cutting down on my alcohol intake and improving the quantity of vegetables in my cooking. On the veg side I made a start last night with a chow mein that was heavy on the frozen vegetables – which are apparently just as good for you as fresh ones – and since I like a well stocked freezer I have no excuse for not eating large quantities of vegetables…

I do not exercise. I don’t get any enjoyment from exercise for exercise sake and there is no way I’m wasting my time down a gym. However I have until recently always been reasonably fit because I have never minded walking and I don’t consider anything under 2 miles to be an unreasonable distance. Unfortunately since having Spider I have been a little more reliant on the car for logistical reasons and lack of time. I am therefore trying to work more exercise into daily life.

I know I am fooling myself to think that without a lot more effort on the exercise front I will ever get my 24 inch waist back and if I’m honest I think trying to get rid of 8 inches of blubber is probably not achievable. I am therefore aiming for 27inches and if the first 2 inches come off easily then I might increase the exercise regime to something more intensive.

Having scanned through my recipe books for inspiration I have come to the conclusion that Leon: Allegra McEvedy might be a good book to use for menu planning as it appears to have less reliance on butter and cream and does seem to have a high content of vegetables in the recipes.

I was interested to note that Allegra has a new recipe book coming out in August co written with Paul Merret (whose Losing the Plot: Tales of an Allotment Chef I received for my birthday last week) called Economy Gastronomy which is concentrating on eating well, eating healthily but eating cheaply…sounds very timely.

Delia, Diets and Dilemmas

OK I know its a cliche going on a diet for the new year but it seemed timely in view of the government’s latest healthy living campaign besides I’ve also taken a break from alcohol – thought it was time to give my liver a wee rest following the extensive use I’ve made recently of the 2 bottles of gin I had for Christmas.

Also it fits in with my attempt this year to change the way I cook, meals being dictated more by what I have in than by cookbooks (finished my kitchen stock take, was pleasantly surprised by some of the things I found lurking in the freezer, threw a few frozen kitchen experiments away). I’ve also started Fitday again as I found that useful for keeping an eye on calories and exercise…and will be taking up the Bento challenge on the 13th. I don’t intend to mention this again in the next 6 months but Islay if you are reading the starting weight is 11st 11lb…

The cookbook cull continues and I have a dilemma over Delia. I do not read Delia for pleasure ( I prefer cooks with passion for food, the only passion I’ve ever seen Delia demonstrate was her infamous shouting at the crowd when Norwich were losing) , I wasn’t even taught

how to cook from watching her programmes ( I learned from watching Mum and trying to pass an o level in Home Economics – allegedly I even know what those symbols are on clothes labels…allegedly). However there is a generation and a half out there, about 30-65 which keeps a copy of Delia’s cookery course in their kitchen as a sort of lifebelt…It’s like that game “What would Madonna do” (or perhaps that only happens in India Knight novels) instead when you don’t know what to do in a cooking crisis you ask “what would Delia do”. Me I phone Mum and she consults her copy of Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. ..I only have her How to Cook Books 1 and 2.

There are things I would like to do properly, for example I can’t make rice but Husband can. One day after grimacing his way through my latest offering he took control, went into the kitchen for the How to Cook and next time we had rice he cooked it – and sickeningly it was perfect.

So do I stick it on Amazon as secondhand or do I bite the bullet and as a new years resolution work my way through it…we do have an abundance of eggs in the fridge at the moment…and cheese…and Husband did enter my life some years ago complete with his own omelette pan…