Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not the Biggest Loser!

Life is tough! After a whole week of denying myself and spending time jumping around, the scale has barely budged - only a comma of a kilo. Sigh!
To top it all I flat lined on the step machine this morning at gym - there was no reading which I suppose means that I don't even have a pulse - a tad worrying. I am beginning to wonder if the gym that I am using is the right place for me. Looking around I see there are some quite 'curvy people' and I am being polite! Some of them have been going as long as I have and I don't think I am much of an inspiration for them either. Although I do smile a lot and say, "Change stations now" when the recording forgets to. Which usually gets me some sympathetic looks but not many smiles! Its not true - fat people are not that jolly! There was a lady walking around this morning with a T shirt on that said 100 - she didnt look a day over 85 - seriously!
My gym also awards a monthly title to the month's Biggest Loser". I am not sure that I want that title - I have be conditioned to be celebrate winning -not losing! Perhaps that's where the problem lies....
My reflexologist, a very wise and curvy lady who looks like she has never denied herself anything in her life, told me that the body doesn't like to lose anything - give anything away. It certainly seems that mine is very attached to its wobbly bits and indeed wants to keep every inch of it so maybe I am fighting a losing battle - the battle of the bulge! A weighty war which holds only a slim chance of victory! Maybe the battle is won at my age when you stay the same and not pile more on. The generations that have gone before us had an easier time I'm sure - people were allowed to grow older and fatter gracefully - my mom didn't have the pressure of sixty being the new forty and enjoyed a cream cake nearly every day!
All of this is enough to give me the shakes and perhaps I should reach for one instead of tucking into that chiabata with salami, tomato and mozzarella at lunchtime.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mid Week Rant - Stuck for Choice?

It's payday tomorrow and it's been a very long month - a 6 week month - and just like Mother Hubbard, my cupboards really are bare - not to mention a very sad looking fridge! So I cant put it off any longer - I have to go grocery shopping! So, do I go to Pick and Pay where the fresh produce varies from limp to frot and the shelf packers spend the morning creating an obstacle course for you to navigate - while they have union meetings  by the 2 minute noodles. Where half the stuff you need is out of stock and where the cashier chats away to the packer while you fade away into insignificance - until its time to pay!!
Or shall I be brave and go to Checkers where the fresh produce varies from frot to very frot and you are guaranteed an unpleasant odour around the meat counter.Where the cashier hardly greets you, the conveyor belt is out of order and there is no packer!
Perhaps I should splash out and visit Spar - where the fresh produce is fresh although the choice is limited  - but they do have imported biscuits that only cost an arm and a leg as do a lot of their products. If  I buy only the fresh stuff and the specials then I will have to visit PnP or Checkers for the rest.
If I had won the lottery over the holiday, I would  be able to do a guilt-free shop at Woollies. Where everything looks fresh and yummy the ready meals shout 'eat me' as I walk past the fridge. Alas I didn't inherit a fortune nor am I prepared to 'put it on the card' and, although the quality of everything is tip top, so is the price and I know there will be a lot of month left at the end of the money!
Decisions - Decisions! I would give anything to be able to shop at Asda, Sainsbury's or even Aldo and Morrisons.
We are so being ripped off in this country when it comes to freshness, food prices and customer service ! I will definately be having a strong cup of coffee with my breakfast - a calmette and practice a little deep breathing before I set off. Oh and I mustn't forget the bags - or I will get ripped off for those too!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Did you get out of bed on the wrong side this morning?

Happiness can be a very elusive quality for some people and now we know why! According to recent research those who sleep on the left hand side of the bed are happier and less stressed than those who sleep on the right so I read in the International Express (so it must be true). Lefties are more cheerful and positive and can cope with their workloads more efficiently. They are more confident and  more likely to be in permanent employment. According to the survey which was conducted by the Premier Hotel Group, the only thing those sleeping on the right have going for them, is that they earn slightly more money!
I reported this to my better half last night who was relaxed and very happily lying on the left hand side of the bed. His position in life ...or in sleep...was responsible for all my troubles, I informed him. He was not convinced nor was he willing to test this theory and allow me one day of potential happiness by swapping sides. Hmmm! I continued to read the paper and consider my lot in life.  Was I doomed to a life of misery? Realising I was not alone helped to console me as there must be a 'leftie' and a 'rightie' in all relationships I thought. Perhaps I should form a support group for others who are condemned to a life on the right side of the bed and the wrong side of life! A Lindt truffle and a small glass of milk would sweeten my lot in life a little, I informed my better half who groaned but dutifully went to fetch them for me. It worked like a charm!
When he returned ........I was occupying the left hand side of the bed and looking like the cat that got the cream. I am looking forward to a day of happiness. Roll over Beethoven!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My 2012 to-do list!

Well we are 10 days into 2012 and I am still pondering my New Years Resolutions and wondering how quickly my NY Resolutions have become things to do before you are 60 - where have the years gone!
Each year I set myself a number of goals - career, home, culinary, learning and travel etc and I write these down on the last page of my diary and check on them as the year goes by. I usually get there in the end and no doubt this year will be the same. There is one item that has been on my list for the last 5 years that is outstanding - Can you guess what it is????

My Nan Westwell lived through two world wars and survived pretty much unscathed, my mum lived through WW2 - Our generation has been fortunate to not to have to contend with the horrors of war but the battle that I have lost is the Battle of the Bulge! I know when I set myself the target of dropping a dress size, that it is the hardest goal of all but one that I am going to have to tackle. I love salads, eat very little meat and can easily do without bread or wine for that matter. Its not what I eat at mealtime that is the problem - its what I eat in between. Biscuits, cake, chocolate - forgive me Nan W and Mum but I think you must take some of the blame! Because you had to do without during 'those' years, you were very determined that we would not and we were given lots of biscuits "finish the packet" cakes --"I baked them specially" and sweets " have another one."
In the last decade or so I have done Weighless, Weightwatchers, Slim Shakes, Veg soup,  Curves, Callinetics, Aqua Aerobics and walked the beachfront briskly before breakfast and the scale barely moves. I sometimes feel that my body has an inbuilt ballast like a ship that will correct itself in the water adjusting its weight to stay upright. SOOOOOOO.... this year I AM going to drop a dress size. Reading up about slimmers success stories I have been impressed by the fact that slimmers who keep a food journal lose twice as much weight as those who don't -so I will be adopting that strategy. Those of you who read my blog I want your help and policing and regular reminders that I really don't need that biscuit or piece of cake and no choccie or sweet gifts. Thanks!
My other goals include:-
Don't sweat the small stuff!
Be the best wife, mom, granny, sister, aunt, friend that I can be.
Improve my photography by getting my photographs evaluated and creating more photo opportunities.
Travel to Melbourne to see Sean and Nadine....and take some photos.
Celebrate our Ruby Wedding with a special holiday somewhere.
Swim with dolphins!
Read a biography every month. I have started with Dawn French this month!
Learn to meditate and practice daily.
Be an instrument of change in a positive way.
Write every week - either an article, letter or story and try and earn some money from this hobby.
Learn some new simple healthy food recipes.
Make something for Christmas each month and start my shopping early.
De-clutter and renew effort to sell the house.

That looks like quite a list - wish me luck! I usually have a word that is given to me each year to focus on - a couple of years ago it was "surrender" and I had a great year of release, last year it was space and I think I created space mentally if not physically - this year I have been give 'savour'. I am going to savour each moment and every morsal of the year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My New Year's Honours List

If the Queen can have one - why cant I?  I know its a little late but I would like to give acknowledge the 'bests' for me in 2011.

Best Book: Well its a set of three by Marlena de Blasi. A Thousand s in Venice, followed by a Thousand Days in Tuscany and then the Lady at the Palazzo. A combination of a travelogue, a food journal and a love story - Just loved them!

Best Film: Again a Trilogy - Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. The Swedish productions with subtitles - I shan't be bothering with the English version.

Best TV: BBC Prime is my favourite channel but the Downton Abbey series was a winner for me this year.

Best Purchase: My Kindle! Just love the fact that I can order a book from Amazon and its on my Kindle within seconds AND books are so much cheaper. I will still read paper books for auld lang syne!

Best Beauty Product: I have been using Innoxa day cream since forever - they were the first to not test on animals and a fore runner of the Body Shop - another of my favourites. Clinique also deserves a mention for their Turnaround range.

Best Spa Experience: I had a Rasul chamber treatment at Total Concept this year which was divine! I used to LOVE Stoneberry Spa but it closed down. Shambala comes close for a special treatment but for my monthly pedicure and the odd facial you cant beat Celeste in Summerstrand village for value and Erica is the best!

Best Breaking News: Osama Bin Laden is dead! thanks to USA - I loved that they made fish food with his body too!

Best Personal News: Congratulations you have won a weekend at Shamwari - Thanks Algoa FM! Extra special that Jessica could join us on her first weekend back in PE.

Best Invention: Thanks to Skype I can chat to Sean and Nadine in Melbourne and have now seen my sister's newly decorated bedrooms and will be able to have a cuppa and an online chat with her all year round!

Best Store in PE: For great service and a pleasant shopping experience - Summerbreeze Spar. I also love WW but I think that the service is declining in direct proportion to the cost of their products increasing!

Best Airline: I had a really good experience on Etihad this year and I love Kulula too as they got me up and down to Pretoria to see the grandies very cheaply!

Best Restaurant: Tricky as there are so many to choose from! Fusion for Sushi. The Ranch for steaks and Leonardo's for pasta. Shamwari Townhouse for afternoon tea to die for!

Best Fashion: Fudge Clothing - Thank you Nicki for dressing me for all occassions. Mildays has been good to me this year too and I can shop at anytime at Pur Una at Marks and Spencers and will always find the perfect something! Wish they had one here!

Monday, January 2, 2012

If Life is a game these are the Rules.

Nothing like a sunset stroll at Schoenies to help get life in perspective! I am busy pondering and planning and considering what challenges I will set for myself in 2012 which has put me in reflective mode - I haven't made my mind up yet which is probably a good thing because I am not thinking clearly, my mind being in a fuzzy holiday semi-conscious state and today I spent all day thinking it was Tuesday when in fact its Monday. I have been having random flashes of insight though and have come up with Sue's list of Rules for Life. I like to use the work of Cherie Scott Carter in my training and coaching work. Cherie is an American Coach and trainer and she has compiled a list of Rules for being human (which you can read if you click on the link) They make a lot of sense to me and to many others that I have shared them with.
Anyway my own list goes something like this....
1.  Eat when you are hungry......and not for any other reason.
2.  Drink when you are thirsty.....recognise the first symptom of thirst - lethargy.
3.  Sleep when you are tired ...get 7 or 8 hours a night.
4.  Cry when you are sad... and express anger and frustration in a manner worthy of respect.
5.  Make sure you laugh everyday - if only at yourself. Love what you do - sometimes you have to fall in love with  your job every day!
6.  Don't compare yourself to others - it creates dissatisfaction and is a recipe for disaster. Our education system has conditioned us to do this by streaming us into A,B C classes, giving us class positions and pitting us against one another is sports and rewarding competitive behaviour. Give thanks for who you are and what you have.
7. Be who you were meant to be and not the person others want you to be. The people who love you should want you to be YOU .
8. Listen to feedback - you will learn something valuable - either about yourself or the person giving it to you.
9. Alcohol in moderation is good - when its more than 3 or 4 drinks, it's anaesthetic - What are you trying to escape from?
10. Seize the day - you only live once - make each day count and make the most of opportunities that come your way. Look for good and find positive people to share your life journey with, get rid of the passengers in your life that sap your energy without giving anything in return.

All this is YOUR choice. Each of us create our own reality.

Its been good to remind myself of what is important and how I should be living my life in a way that is true and real for me. I don't always get it right and that's usually when I ignore my intuition, instinct or inner voice.
Time to reconnect with what I believe.