All posts for the month September, 2011

Drop a dress size! Lose weight fast!

Published September 27, 2011 by Crystal

Oh no. Now you’re going to be really disappointed. Because I have now secret answer to rapid weight loss.

The truth is, if I want to get back to the slimmest I ever was I need to lose about 5 stone.  I say about, because I actually don’t weigh myself very often.  I don’t have my own scales, so do it when I visit a friend, if ever.

I was just sitting calculating, if I lose a pound a week, it will take me about 18 months, maybe a bit less.

I’ve I lose 2 pounds a week, then that’s 35 weeks or so, so approximately 10 months.

And for a few seconds that thought scared me.  But just for a few seconds.  Because I’ve now been overweight (again) for about 4 years.  I lost some weight, and then put it back on when I was hauled up with my broken ankle.   Every time I’ve thought about dieting, I’ve managed to add on a pound or two!  Every time I’ve stupidly deprived myself of food, the reaction has been a superb anti diet binge.  But now I’m eating lovely food, feeling generally good, and the weight is going, slowly, yes, but it’s going.  Will I be in a little black dress for Christmas?  I highly doubt it.  Will I be in a bikini next summer?  Probably not.  But will I have piled on some pounds from the worlds biggest binge fest after living on slimmer milkshakes and cereal bar to get into a little black dress?  Absolutely not!

I’ll admit.  I’m not very good at the tuning in while eating.  I can still inhale a pitta and hummus if I don’t turn the tv off and stop playing on the computer.  I’m not great at living in the moment.  But I’m better.  I am getting better at living in the moment.  And maybe that’s why the allure of the little black dress and the drop dead gorgeous bikini don’t pull me in.  Because I am enjoying the life I have at this moment.  Not perfectly, not completely.  Depression still bubbles under the surface.  But I won’t let it lead me to believe that I am not acceptable in the here and now.  My weight and appearance doesn’t put off the good friends and family.  It doesn’t stop me going to a zumba class and shaking my booty.  It is part of me but it’s not the complete me.

So sorry.  I have no quick fix answer to losing weight or dropping the dress size.  Actually, I do for the drop a dress size.  It’s called “scissors”.  Find the sizing label in your dress, grab the scissors, and snip!  Easy, and takes only seconds! 😉


Pushy and Proud: Diet Crazy Mums.

Published September 26, 2011 by Crystal

I am watching agog.  As I sit eating my lunch (a delicious nut roast with vegetables, having done my Monday morning Zumba session). I am watching a mother cooking part food on her daughter’s birthday.  But the daughter won’t be allowed any of the part food because this young, slim, apparently healthy girl, needs to watch what she eats.

The party is a pool party.  What a great idea!  Something kids enjoy, a way of them exercising without realising.  I’m all for that!  But the friends will be eating the part food while the birthday girl watches on.  What message is this sending to her?  The girl is occasionally allowed chocolates and biscuits, so long as she does a specific number of sit ups.  So she has to work for her “treats”.

Now I’m no expert.  I’m overweight, have been most of my life.  But I have three healthy boys, all different builds, who will as happily snack on an apple or chunk of cucumber as they will a biscuit, who will happily cycle and run around, and burn off energy through play.  I don’t need them to carry out aerobics sessions to eat a chocolate bar.  And I wouldn’t dream of giving them a birthday party where they can look but not touch the food?

How much of a message is this girls mother giving out that there are good foods and there are very very very bad foods!

Maybe it is my own personal journey that leads me to think this girl will rebel big time when the opportunity hits her?  Maybe it is my experiences of good and bad foods that cause concern that this mother and daughter are looking down the loaded barrel of an eating disorder.

But raising healthy children is a desire for many of us.  None of us wants our child to be bullied for their size.  So the question is, how do we do it without leaving our children scarred for life?  How to we promote a healthy lifestyle without the hangups?  There has to be a better way.

Again, I am back looking at the answer of Intuitive Eating.  Our bodies know so much more than we give them credit for.  Can’t we all try tuning in a listening a bit more?  Slow down, chill out, and tune in.


Ah, that’s better

Published September 26, 2011 by Crystal

I’m not a morning person.  My children and coffee jar will testify to this.  If there was the option of intravenous coffee in the morning I’d have it set up in my bedroom before now.   I’ve managed to cut my caffeine addiction somewhat, down to one or two cups a day.  And I wake myself up with a hearty breakfast and my berocca drink.  But it still take me a couple of hours to get to that point where I can have a civil conversation without grunting like a cave woman.

Normally I do the school run, and then come back home and wake up with another coffee.  But not today.  Today I have zumba!  Today I have no choice but to wake up with some loud tracks and some crazy no fluid, rather messy, moves!

I always feel better afterwards though, exhausted?  Yes.  Jelly like?  Yes.  But better.  My body seems to appreciate the mad dancing, and my shape seems to be changing already. Sometimes you have to force yourself to do something that will leave you feeling better.  But it is (nearly) always worth it.  You have to enjoy whatever it is.  You won’t catch me swimming every morning, or sprinting up the local hill.  But I like a bit of salsa, and shaking my butt.

Exercise is good, the benefits are endless. But it doesn’t have to be something you loathe.  For maximum benefit you want to love what you’re doing so you can put your all into it.

Anyway, enough procrastination from me.  I need to get dressed, do sandwiches and throw the kids into school.

Best get to it!

Damn, that Gillian Mckeith woman might have a point.

Published September 24, 2011 by Crystal

I spent the night awake and in pain.  Why?  Because we went to a local pub chain for middle child’s birthday and had dinner.  I thought I’d made a fairly sensible choice.  Spicy sweet potato burger with a jacket potato.  When it came out it was clear it had been deep fried.  Virtually dripping.  Within half an hour I was feeling heavy, sluggish and uncomfortable, as if my whole body was recoiling in horror at what I’d just done to it!

I think it’s safe to say my body has gotten used to life without heavy frying.  It enjoys fresh vegetables and healthy fats.  I still use oil, and I eat avocados.  But I don’t make a habit of eating heavily processed, deep fried, fast food.  My food now takes some preparation, and I buy fresh produce nearly every day.

I think many of us exist in a constant feeling of being slightly below par.  We accept the aches and pains and tiredness as something we just have to put up with.  We get used to the sluggishness with each meal time, and to compensate, we up the coffee intake, or grab something sweet to give us that sugar rush that we need.

But we don’t have to live like that.  It’s taken a long long time to get to this point.  I was a perpetual dieter for many, many years.  I used to have a psychological block to “healthy” foods because I felt they were diet food, or “rabbit” food.  The various slimming clubs would recommend fruit and veg if you wanted to lose weight.  They wouldn’t focus on the sheer bliss your body feels for eating more fresh produced, they’d just focus on the weight loss, and alongside the diet fruit and veg, there would be the recommendation for over processed, artificially sweetened gunk, substitutes for all those puddings and sweets that you now had to sacrifice as a dieter.  These substitute puddings and sweet gimmicks often taste vile, and you have to fool yourself into thinking you like them!

I became vegan a month ago.  It was going to be for a week.  A bit of a cleanse out after weeks and months of ready meals.  But I enjoyed the food, found I didn’t miss the dairy, or meat, and figured I’d keep going.

I’m not suggesting anyone reading this blog should become a vegan.  But what I would suggest is that you give consideration to cutting down on the processed stuff for a week.  Yes.  It takes more time and preparation to get a meal together.  Yes.  You may actually have to get a recipe book out and follow instructions if you’re not a natural cook.  But there are so many sites and books with recipe ideas for delicious tasting veg filled meals, and these meals could really make a change for you emotionally and physically.  Try wholemeal pastas, brown rice, basically things that haven’t been stripped of all the fibre that helps your body.


But actually I know these suggestions are wasted if you’re stuck in a diet mentality.  You are thinking of fruit and veg as the “fillers” to make a low fat, low volume meal more filling.  You are thinking of all the instructions and rules that the various diet clubs have given you.  The various ideas like “Your plate should be half veg, a quarter carbs, a quarter protein”.  Why would you want to eat veg when all you really want is a Big Mac and Fries?

I would also say that I’m not promising a magic super fast weight loss from changing your diet a little bit.  And you may think, “but weight loss is what I really want”.  What I’m suggesting though, is that you could find yourself feeling much better physically and mentally.   That you might find you sleep more soundly at night, and feel more alert in the day.  You might find you’re not run down with colds on a regular basis.  you may find out your stomach isn’t very bloated, and you poo a bit more regularly (I laughed at Gillian Mckeith and her obsession with poo, but a fibre full diet actually does make a noticeable difference!).

My mental changes have taken several years.  I would recommend looking into Intuitive Eating, and starting to see food and body image in a different way.  I may not be dropping 40lbs in 40 days on this new way of eating, but I’m gaining sleep and mental clarity, and health!

IE sites to get you started;

Enjoy your day!




So tired

Published September 20, 2011 by Crystal

Not sure whether it’s the change in season, or the lack of coffee.  Or depression trying to rear it’s ugly head.  I just can’t get into the zone of feeling good again.  I felt so relieved to be able to step out of that shadow.  That great big cloud that sits over and around you when you can’t see the joy in life is overwhelming.  Or the black dogs that growl and snap at you as you try to move forward.

At the moment i think they’re tied up at least.  Moving is an effort, but I can do it.

The question is, how do you get around it?  How do you keep going when the duvet looks so much more inviting?  How do you stop dwelling on the anger and hurt bubbling under the surface?

Today I have a friend coming over, it’s a mild incentive to sort a bit of the house out.


But the monotony is returning, and the frustration of living in an area where horrid criminals are stealing and ruining the property of people who aren’t well off as it is.

Sorry.  I accept this is a general whinge today.  Tomorrow will be better!

Overwhelmed and Under the weather

Published September 16, 2011 by Crystal

Maybe it’s the change in weather, the certain autumnal nip in the air, and the reds and browns taking over the green in nature.  But I’m tired.  I wake up tired, I go to bed tired.  There’s the odd hour in the day where I feel energetic, but it doesn’t last.

I’ve been toying with a hundred odd ideas for jobs.  I look at the house and the only room organised is our bedroom (which I wholly celebrate.  It remains tidy and relaxing).  I tidy the kitchen but within the hour there are plates everywhere.  The lounge is floor to ceiling piled with washing (why do boys make so much washing?).  And I look at it all and I just can’t do it.   I just don’t know how I can make this house presentable.  Ever.

But I also understand a little more how tired DH has been running around after me.  Shopping, cooking, cleaning (where and when possible), fixing lunches, making coffees and teas, it’s remarkable how exhausting it can all be when it goes on and on with early mornings and latish nights.

I need one of those organising queens to come sort me out.  Get me on the straight and narrow.  Tell me how to run my life and an orderly fashion!

Today I have cracked.  I feel drained and a bit tearful and I just don’t know.  I’m trying to put it into words and work out what’s going on, but to be honest I really don’t know.  Maybe I’m just putting pressure on myself.  And when I do that it’s like I go into reverse.  Thank the heavens it’s Friday.  Thank goodness we can R&R over the weekend.  Stay in bed tomorrow morning, not rush everywhere, convince the boys to put some clothes away.

Hopefully with a little time things will feel more manageable.  And I love Autumn.  I don’t want to spend Autumn in a miserable dull mood.  And I want to get active.  Get walking more, get the opportunity to buy some of the gorgeous cardigans in all their beautiful autumn colours.


Someone suggested the three good things a day idea.  I think I will try it;

Thing one.  I’ve found some gorgeous little nut and squash roasts in the freezer section of Morrison’s.  They’re lovely! Had one for lunch today.

Thing two.  It’s Friday

Thing three.  A lovely lady complimented me in my jeans this morning and told me how lovely they looked!


Ah yes, maybe it does work a little!

But I’m still tired 😉


Oh the irony!

Published September 11, 2011 by Crystal

Two and a half months since I broke my ankle, and my husband is sitting opposite me, sporting a delightful plaster and crutches!  He has broken his cuboid bone, and we’re waiting for an appointment at the fracture clinic in a couple of days!

I had to laugh.  You couldn’t make this sort of thing up!  And it will make for an interesting change in dynamic in the house.  Right now I’m off to make my lovely man some lunch, then I will go back upstairs and finish making the bedroom safe from neck breaking opportunities.  Someone’s obviously telling him he needs to slow down.  So I will do my darnedest to make sure he does!

Maybe I’ll even go stick a pinny on!  Little Miss Domestic Goddess.  A girl can try!