Tuesday, 28 March 2017

They said what!?

It would seem that cooking is what gives me my blogging motivation. There I was, making a bolognese to go in the slow cooker (BFF) for tomorrow's tea and DING... I got really excited about writing another blog post.

This time, I wanted to write about the things that people say to you when you are on a diet. Some make my blood boil and some just make me roll my eyes. So, here we go:

1. "Everything in moderation!" 

THAT OLD CHESTNUT!! It makes me cringe to hear it. Everything in bloody moderation? Do they expect me to reply with, "oh! Is that all it takes? Is that it? Well, now you've said that to me, all my diet troubles are solved! I'll just go over there and eat moderately, then! Don't know why I didn't think of that before!"? Frankly, if I actually knew what moderation was, then the likelihood is that I would never have been over weight, or struggling with my weight, in the first place! It's a bit like that age old classic "how long is a piece of string?" I mean, I would find it perfectly moderate to eat two family sharing bags of Maltesers because hey, I haven't eaten three of them! Right? 

I do know a few people that can eat bad things 'moderately', my boyfriend being one of them. He is an absolute enigma to me because he can open a Toblerone, eat one piece and then put it away in the cupboard for two months and forget it's even there!! I know! Those people DO exist!! I would open the Toblerone and then hear it talking to me, telling me to go and eat every last bit, even if I intended to just eat a moderate amount. It is my whole battle with moderation that got me into the pickle I'm in in the first place, so that old chestnut gets a HUGE eye roll from me. 

2. "I thought you were on a diet?" 

Just what you want pointing out when you have your fourth cookie half way to your mouth and there's chocolate in your hair. Yes, I am supposed to be, but evidently the tiny, evil (probably skinny) devil on my shoulder has won that particular mental battle today, thanks for noticing. *middle finger Emoji*

3. "Well if you just eat a bit better and do some more exercise, the weight will come off." 

This one is a shout out to all the GP's out there that feel the need to make comments like this. A prime example of an absolute stating the obvious CLANGER. My reply? "Yes. I do realise that, thanks, but what I actually came to see you about was my tonsillitis. Thanks for just feeling the need to get that in there. I hope your next patient projectile vomits all over you." (This genuinely happened to me!)

4. "You're basically starving yourself. You can just have one can't you?"

I'm not. I am absolutely not starving myself. I eat 3-4 decent meals every day, actually. The fact that I'm seeing progress is because I'm eating the right things and plenty of them. Also, when I am on a roll and riding the wave of plentiful willpower, I don't want people to try and push me off it. Just nod and agree, accepting the fact that I will just munch my carrot sticks and wipe the drool off my chin as I stare at the Kettle Chips in the bowl. It may sound like a modern form of torture, but I quite enjoy the challenge of avoiding temptation when I'm in the right mood. Happens about once a year. Lasts about an hour. 

5. "When I am craving chocolate, I just do a tribal dance in my knickers whilst chewing hay" 

OK, so I might have slightly exaggerated on this one and it's more likely to be, "when I'm craving chocolate, I just eat a handful of nuts", but it all sounds the same in my head. When I am craving something, I don't want to eat a handful of nuts. I don't want to chew mint leaves and I don't want to inhale raisins "because they're sweet". No. When I am craving chocolate, I want chocolate. I'll eat the nuts if they're in a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Whole Nut, but otherwise, I'll pass, thanks. 

6. "Well, you're just big all over really, aren't you?" 

This one goes out to all of the people that have ever made unnecessary and frankly inappropriate comments about anybody's weight. I will fill you in on the backstory to that comment; I was once in a bar with one of my particularly pretty and dainty old friends. I was, as always in my 18 year old, painfully self conscious days, playing gooseberry whilst a young man chatted her up. He commented that she had such tiny little hands and in my efforts to try and involve myself in the conversation, I said, "I've got really big hands." He then replied with, "yeah, well you're just big all over really, aren't you?" Charming. I promptly fell apart because his opinion had the power to affect me. It hurt so much. I have had countless other comments that have been just as tactless and down right rude and every single one of them has stayed with me. For a long time, they left me feeling unacceptable. It was my fault that nobody was interested in me because I didn't fit the appearance mould. Well. I don't give those comments that power anymore. I honestly don't. They do not and will not even register with me because the people I know and care about would never even dream of making comments like that. Anybody that does is not worth a thought in my mind. 

So, there we have it! Let's call it my top six 'things people say to you when you are on a diet'. I feel like I ended it on a more serious note than I started it, but that is because as much as I can laugh and joke about most things in life, sometimes people really do require a bit of sensitivity and tact. 

I hope I have made you smile and that you could relate. Let me know what you think!


Monday, 20 March 2017

Blogging. Never tried it, but my mum kept telling me I should have a go.

I have a lot to say about various topics, such as weight, weight loss troubles, general life, my gym life and food. I have just been tootling about cooking and having a good think and I thought I would start with a post about how I manage general life and the things I do to make it easier (or as easy as it can be when learning how to juggle a full on job and a new home).

Life hack number 1:

I go to the gym. I am by no means one of those people that is a totally virtuous gym bunny, but I do it because it is necessary. I have always struggled with my weight and it helps. Also, I will begrudgingly admit, it makes me feel better in general. I am the kind of person that will have all intentions of going to the gym as I leave work. I will set off in my car convincing myself that I am going to go and then just drive straight past the gym, waving at it, as I head for the shop to buy wine. SO, I combated that by making the painful decision to go on a morning before work. My alarm goes off at 5.30am and it nearly kills me every time, but I force myself up and I go and I have to say that by the time I am finished (I train from 6-7 and then have a mad rush to get showered and ready by 7.30 to get to work by 8), I am ready for the day. I also feel smug. Smug with myself because I don't have to feel guilty about driving straight past the gym on the way home. I am also less inclined to consume wine when I have been to the gym and am feeling smug.

Look... I make such an effort with my appearance when I train...

Life hack number 2:

I spend 20 minutes or so on a Sunday planning the household meals for the week. I say household because there are 3 of us. Me, my boyfriend and my best friend, Brods. Brods is doing a PGCE and has a completely crazy workload, so I plan for the 3 of us. When I have planned the meals, I write my shopping list based on that, so food waste is at a minimum because, frankly, we can't afford to waste food.

Life hack number 3:

I always shop at Aldi first. I buy everything I possibly can from there to keep the cost of the weekly shop down. I go to Asda from there to buy any bits I couldn't get at Aldi (perks of living in a town). Our weekly shop averages at around £60, which I think is very good to say I am feeding 3 adults home cooked meals for a week. Sometimes there is the odd stop off at a shop to pick up something during the week, so perhaps add an extra £10 to that total. Still good, I think.

Life hack number 4:

I buy frozen veg. I do also buy some fresh, but only what I absolutely know will be eaten. Things like green beans, peas, sweet corn, broccoli and cauliflower, I buy frozen. Then I know I always have them and they don't go off.

Life hack number 5:

At the weekend, I do as much food prep for the week as I possibly can, or have time for. If we have soup down for a lunch, I will get it in the soup maker, or I will make something like the Weight Watchers Moussaka (google it, its great) and will portion it up when it's cool and store in the fridge in Tupperware, ready to go. If we are having something like salads for lunch, I will chop up the cucumbers, spring onions, tomatoes etc and store them in Tupperware in the fridge, so I can make the salads up on an evening with no hassle, or extra washing up. Most weeks, I will also make something like a shepherd's pie mix (5% fat mince, onions, carrots, stock), or a bolognese (same mince, tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic, herbs and stock) to put in the slow cooker. The slow cooker is my best friend in the world. I love putting it on low in the morning and getting home to a dinner that would have been really boring if made to eat there and then, but instead has loads of flavour because it's been cooking all day. Slow cooker meals are also, generally, very cheap to make. Win.

Bargain Tupperware! I am always on the hunt for it.

Life hack number 6:

As soon as I get in on an evening, I crack on with jobs. I get the next day's lunches prepped straight away and pile them up ready to be put in the relevant lunch boxes, so they won't be forgotten and I get an extra 5 minutes in bed in the morning. I also get tea prepped as much as I can, so it's easy to just throw together when we are all ready to eat. Tonight, that has meant making little fish parcels with tin foil (sea bass and salmon fillets from the reduced section... always scour that). I put the fish on the piece of foil and seasoned with pepper. I chopped a couple of spring onions and sprinkled over the fish and then poured over a mix of light soy sauce, a squeeze of agave and grated ginger. I then made little parcels out of them and lined them up on a tray by the oven. I also chopped some more spring onions, a pepper and some broccoli (very finely, almost like broccoli rice) and stir fried them with a bit more soy sauce ready to heat them up with a packet of microwave long grain rice later. One pack easily feeds 3 of us with loads of veg mixed in. After the kitchen jobs, I always go upstairs and pack my gym bag for the morning. I put my gym clothes on the landing, so I don't wake my boyfriend and get my outfit for work packed away.

Life hack number 7:

I keep my gym bag packed with a toilet bag (deodorant, shower gel, face wash, talc (cheap dry shampoo... I do NOT have time to wash and dry my hair after gym), hair brush and hair pins/bobbles), my daily make up and a hairdryer at all times. That means all I have to do is chuck clothes and shoes for work into it and I am good to go. Literally ANYTHING to make life a bit easier in the early morning. 


So, these are some of the things I have got myself into the routine of doing on a daily basis and I really do think they make my life easier.

What do you think to them?

Have I given you any inspiration?

Do you have any ideas of things I could do to speed up the mundane even more?

Let me know!