Sunday, 22 August 2010

My first week

So, a bit over a week into Weight watchers, I'm about 2lb lighter (bit hard to tell due to complicated scales issues, should be more accurate here on in) and enjoying the change. My consumption of fruit and vegetables (fruit especially) must have doubled, my consumption of refined sugar products decreased insanely dramatically. Most remarkably I frequently don't feel any need for such things, even chocolate; sure I've had my moments, but nothing like the battle I thought I would have on my hands. Got to thank God for that, there is no way that would happen by itself. This is as much to do with how I think about and relate to food as with what I actually eat and that's what I'm hoping to relearn.

There hasn't yet been a dramatic improvement in my health from it, but eating well and giving my body the right fuels has to help somehow? And I might feel a bit better once I've lost a bit more weight, too early to say probably. I'm now on the look out for recipes, salad ideas, soup ideas etc. to make things as varied as possible and keep eating interesting. Might head library wards tomorrow.

In other news we've had some runner beans from the garden this past week or so, which has been lovely and very delicious, I'm now waiting (somewhat impatiently!) for more to get to full size. However, the tomatoes have yet to show even the slightest blush of red and the weather forecast suggests we're unlikely to get the necessary sun any time soon. It may be chutney making time, not that this is a bad thing! I'm very fond of chutneys and slightly alarmed at how little apple chutney we have left. Bought ones are never quite as good.

Lastly my glove is almost done, just the thumb to do and some last little bits of sewing, hopefully the second one will go faster and I won't succumb to second glove syndrome, if such a thing exists. I've also been working my way through another Gretel beret, using some rather gorgeous British Breeds Blue Faced Leicester yarn in a soft sage green. It is fun knowing what breed of sheep your yarn comes from and also knowing that it has not travelled very far (comparatively) for you to knit it. I don't often get patriotic, but we should produce more in this country, we've got some great raw materials and a fantastic creative heritage to draw upon.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Decisions, decisions

Today I made a momentous decision: I have joined Weightwatchers (and about time too! I hear from the gallery). I have been vaguely thinking I need to lose weight, but then going out and buying chocolate, for quite a while now and I've finally reached a point where enough is enough. Today I'm in the right place financially and mentally to be able to do something about it and sufficiently fed up with being this fat to want to do it.

So I'm slowly getting to grips with my life being ruled by points (it's rather like being back in the second world war really) and reading the recipes on their website and entering depressing personal data. I'm stoked that carrots and cabbage are 0 points (or nuls points as it would be in the Eurovision song contest), but slightly peeved that one tablespoon of petits pois is 1 point. The number of points associated with cheese has blown my tiny mind! I have looked into the future and it contains significantly less cheese than once it did, right now I don't mind too much, how I will feel in coming weeks remains to be seen. I have been hungry at times today, despite being 8.5 points over my target number of points (looks embarrassed and blames the cheese) but that was always going to be the case switching from eating unlimited rubbish to limited healthy things, however sustaining the healthy things.

I'm hoping overall to feel better about myself, that the fibro/ME might improve (I can dream!), to be able to wear nice clothes, cut the risk of nasty health problems associated with being really overweight, to be able to knit more sweaters without having to toil through the acres of stocking stitch currently required to cover me and ultimately to be healthier in my habits and my relationship with food for life. Challenges are going to include any dips in mental health, times when I feel down and habitually reach for the biscuit barrel or times when I feel bored and eat to alleviate the boredom and the sheer number of pills I'm on that can cause weight gain (will be discussing this with GP when he re-emerges from his sabbatical). Hopefully a combination of relying on Jesus instead of food (also helping my spiritual health) and knitting will get me through.

My first target is to lose 7lb, I shall let you know how I get on. In the meantime I'm going to be quiet in case I turn into a WW bore (see, I'm already using the abbreviation!).

In other news I've finally found the pattern notes I had made for changes I'm making to the knee socks I started ages and ages ago so can continue them, my mini hot water bottle cover is almost finished and the weather is already such that my Forest Canopy Shawl is coming into its own keeping me warm about the house.

Lastly this evening I have started listening to Alice Through the Looking Glass excellently read on BBC Radio 7 by Alan Bennett, which is either an unsuccessful attempt to teach chess through allegory or the results of experiments with mind altering substances - my friend John reckons higher maths, though I'm inclined to think drugs of some form myself.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Sunflower progress

It's out and flowering! And proving very popular with all sorts of insects in the garden. I love it, so cheerful and yellow! Later on I hope the seed head will be good for the birds too, if any ever turn up in our garden again, there's been too many cats around of late. I do hope my robin is doing alright, he's not normally away from the garden this long. Of course, he could have been there when I've not been there.

I'm still trying to recover from my manic week last week, wondering why August seems to have forgotten that it is supposed to be a summer month and knitting a cover for my new mini hot water bottle, as my bottle sprang a leak and life just isn't the same without a mini hot water bottle. If it works I'll post the pattern here, in case anyone else has a mini hot water bottle and urgently needs a new cover for it.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Post 101

My last post was my one hundredth; quite a landmark if I say so myself. I'm not entirely sure how to mark it, despite having blogged one hundred times I would still describe myself as a beginner in the art, though I now have the blog looking aesthetically more attractive.

Thinking about the things I like about the blogs I read a lot, the things that attract me to them is not just good writing, but also good photos and plenty of them, so I would like to improve my photographic skills and make my blog more picture orientated, though not to dilute the writing, but to complement it. Although this could be tricky as my camera is not currently working, it keeps saying there is a problem with the picture card; one of mine will now no longer work in the computer - irritatingly, as that is the card with all the pictures on it - the other is new and works in the computer but not the camera: even if I manage to mend it I would possibly like a camera upgrade. Mine is about five years old and my phone now has more mega-pixels.

In other news I'm working on my first pair of gloves with proper fingers and also the first ever vintage pattern I've knit, this pattern to be exact, in a gorgeous dark blue yarn from Abstract Cat crafts, dark blue with little hits and tones of turquoises just beginning to head into green, which I bought from The yarn is utterly gorgeous, though the dye is coming off on my hands a little; I'm going to be looking up how to fix dye once I've knit these gloves! The base yarn is as lovely as the colours and the fabric is firm but not stiff, with that "squish" and "sproing" you get with good wool yarn.

I'm not feeling fantastic this week, tired and crashing and trying not to be down. I am trying to rest it out and CBT myself when necessary, separate out all the things I'm thinking and work out why I'm thinking them and if they are valid. The problem is that the blank depressed down feeling is very familiar and in a strange way is a 'comfort zone' and I've got to make sure I don't just stay there because it's familiar, but be willing to push out of it and try new places and new experiences and feelings, because outside and beyond that zone are lots of lovely and exciting places to explore. Hopefully I'll get somewhere.

It might seem odd to have this mixture of personal stuff, encompassing mood and health and all sorts, in amongst the more traditional preoccupations of a craft blog, but my life isn't perfect and I want to be honest about that. My life is far from perfect, it isn't a feature in a lifestyle magazine, sometimes it's raw and messy and real and sometimes it's beautiful and joyful and creative and occasionally it's a mixture of them all at once. I've all too often felt intimidated or jealous (depending on my mood) by how perfect some people's lives seem, everything sorted out, life a series of wonderful events, but I know countless others for whom life just isn't like that and I want to be a voice out here in the wilds of the Internet for life as it is. A good example of someone who has done this with her blog and made it work is Kate/Wazz from Her blog used to be one I looked in on occasionally and felt jealous of all the wonderful things she was able to do and the beautiful places she went and lived (this has more to do with me and where I'm at than with her blog not being good - it was and is good). But since she had a stroke earlier this year (not something I would wish on anyone!) her blog has become a must-read, her account of recovery is compelling, human, real, something I can relate to and should be required reading for all doctors and health care professionals and politicians, but it is also richly creative and alive. I don't want my life to be subsumed by fibromyalgia and ME, in a way this blog is an account of that struggle to make my life about more than a series of diagnoses, as well as a way of coping.

One thing I am trying to learn is that certain way of seeing the good things in life, however small, that most contented people seem to have, Lucy from Attic24 (another blog) often seems to embody this elusive quality. It is a quality that sees as much good as possible in every situation, that rejoices in the beauties of our world, lives in the moment and savours that moment, not constantly discontent or wishing for something more or other or constantly worrying; I am working on this and praying about it, because I think it is deeply compatible with faith in Jesus and the peace He brings (see the end of Matthew 6).

Anyhow as usual I've gone on longer than I had intended, but here's to the next hundred posts, thank you for coming along with me.