Year: 2008

July 25, 2008
Previous visitors – at least, the observant ones – will have noticed that my old web page has been replaced by a blog.

I decided to do this for a number of reasons. The old page had not been updated in a long time. I had been planning to redesign the whole site for a while, but had never gotten round to it. At the same time I had recently started blogging, and decided that the blog would make a more interesting and relevant front page to the site.

July 11, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

July 10, 2008 7:44 P.M. Weight: 345.6 lbs.

Well, I am back; and although I haven’t been tracking these last few days, I seem to have dropped 3.5lbs.

I haven’t tracked so far today, and it’s pizza for tea, so I think I will start logging again tomorrow.

July 3, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

July 3, 2008 1:09 P.M. Weight: 349.2 lbs.

So it seems that my body likes the number 349.2 – I’ve been bouncing either side of it for the last week.

To be fair, I have been fairly busy, socially, and it isn’t really a great mystery why I have stopped losing. I had people round on Saturday for board games, and so there was coke and cookies in the house, and on Sunday I went out to lunch with a friend – the full roast beef and yorkshire pudding.

Also, as I am off work for the next week, I’ve been pretty busy, work-wise, so have missed out on my lunchtime walks.

Tonight, I am off to stay with my Mum for a few days in London, so see you all when I get back.

June 25, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

June 25, 2008 2:42 P.M. Weight: 349.2 lbs.

…well almost. My perpetual spinach was coming up thick and fast, and I need to thin the plants out. Then I thought ‘why let these sprouts go to waste?’.

So I trimmed and washed them, cut a couple of outer leaves from one of the lettuces, and I had my first homegrown salad. Just an assortment of leaves, really, as my tomatoes are nowhere near ready. But it tasted extra special.

June 25, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

June 25, 2008 2:38 P.M. Weight: 349.2 lbs.

Sharp-eyed readers will note the zooming weight. Last night was a gaming night with some friends, which we held at a local pub that does thai food.

I ordered some satay chicken and a vegetable platter. I knew there would be quite a bit of fat in the satay sauce, but thought that with a sensible vegetable side-dish, it wouldn’t be so bad.

So the chicken arrived, followed by a huge plate of veggies – all dipped in batter and deep fried, with a chilli dipping sauce.

To my credit, I didn’t eat them all. To my detriment, I ate way too many of them, along with a few chunky chilli fries someone else had ordered.

Oh well, there’s always tomorrow…

June 24, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

June 24, 2008 3:50 P.M. Weight: 347.6 lbs.

As I’ve mentioned my gardening so much lately, I thought I would share some pictures of the garden. Those of you who have heard me go on about it will be amazed at the postage-stamp sized I am working in!

I did say I would post a picture of my espaliered pear tree sometime. Well here it is, not as neat as a professionally shaped tree, but it does what it’s supposed to do.

Cabbages, brocolli and lettuce, with my two new raspberry canes behind. The weedy looking plants on the left side of the raised bed are peppers, which don’t seem to be doing so well as the rest of the plants.

Early days for the sugar snap peas, but they look healthy enough. Since taking this picture, I’ve put a net behind them to climb against. In the front, perpetual spinach and beetroot are beginning to sprout.

Tomatoes and my herb garden; and my strawberry pot.

June 8, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

June 8, 2008 12:52 P.M. Weight: 353.8 lbs.

This weekend was the town’s agricultural fair, which, while not big, is normally worth going to. Yesterday it poured with rain, but today was beautiful, so I thought I’d go.

I was just about to jump in the car, when I thought ‘What am I doing? It’s only the other side oftown, 2 miles at most.’. Then I thought that there would be the chance I’d buy something that would need the car to get it home. ‘Simple – I’ll go early, and walk. If I see something I want to buy, I’ll come back this afternoon.

So I set out, had a great time, and although I bought a couple of things, they fit in my backpack.

As a treat for the exercise, I ate a pork and apple burger (the local pig farm had a stall) and enjoyed every mouthful.

Grasmere Farm Pork and Apple Burger
Orange Juice

June 2, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

June 1, 2008 4:25 P.M. Weight: 354.6 lbs.

Yesterday I found myself breaking my diet. I had a pizza for lunch, so I planned to have a light dinner. However, I was still hungry afterwards, so I went back to the kitchen, and then found myself snacking on cheese and biscuits even later.

When I entered the figures into the tracker, I was disappointed with myself – way over on fat, and way over on carbs.

It was only today, sitting in the garden after planting out my herb garden, that it occurred to me. I spent 2.5 hours yesterday digging and planting – which according to SYD’s calculator amounts to almost 2000 calories expended.

I feel a lot happier about it now!

Have now finished all the hard work in the garden for the moment. As well as the herb garden, I have cabbages, cauliflowers, brocolli and courgettes planted in my raised bed, and sugar snap peas, spinach beet, and beetroot in a side border. That is as well as the strawberries and tomatoes that I already had planted.

May 28, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

May 27, 2008 5:16 P.M. Weight: 355.5 lbs.

(or for non-technical folks, starting again).

As I said earlier, while mum was staying here, she tended to do most of the cooking – especially during the week, when I am working.

As a result, my diet fell by the wayside, again and again. Don’t get me wrong – the food was healthy enough, but I wasn’t monitoring it at all.

Mum’s gone home again, now, so I have decided to zero my tracking, and start afresh with new targets.

May 1, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

April 30, 2008 5:05 P.M. Weight: 357.5 lbs.

I think some people enjoy gardening itself. They like the activity of digging and planting, they find it relaxing and rewarding in itself. I have a neighbor like that: when I first moved here, she asked (knowing that I worked and wasn’t fond of gardening) if I would like her to take care of my small front garden when she did her own.

Now, tinged with guilt on seeing her mow the lawn while I am sitting reading a book, I have since asked her if I should take back the care of that garden, only to be told ‘If you really want to, but I so enjoy doing it!’.

I don’t get that kind of pleasure out of gardening. When I am out in my rear garden, I curse and swear at every shovel of earth I move, at every blade of grass I cut, at every job I know needs doing that I haven’t got time for.

On the other hand, I do like making plans and I do quite like seeing the finished article, and knowing it is my work. As such, I would say that I like gardening as much as I like decorating – which is not a lot, until it is all done.

Then of course, there is the exercise involved – which I do appreciate, but cannot say I enjoy.

Flowers and shrubs do absolutely nothing for me, but as I love cooking, the idea of growing my own fruit and vegetables does interest me. So by switching my garden’s aim to that purpose, it gives me more incentive to do something.

(And yes, I know sunflowers *are* flowers, but it’s a bit of a “guy” thing to see how tall you can grow them, no? And you can always harvest the seeds for sunflower bread!)

On the subject of training the pear tree, the technique is called espalier, which I think is more common with apples than pears, but works well with many fruits. The picture below is one I found on the internet to illustrate this. When I have a moment, I will replace it with a picture of my own tree.

April 28, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

April 28, 2008 10:54 A.M. Weight: 356.5 lbs.

Another cause for celebration – I managed to get some gardening in yesterday, giving the lawn the first cut of the year (yes, I know it’s late!).

I am not a natural gardener, and cannot honestly say I enjoy digging and planting. This house is the first home I have owned with a garden, and for the first few years, I just mowed the lawn, and used it as a place to sit.

However, last year, I decided to make an effort, and created two beds for planting. One was planted with tomatoes, the other with wild flowers; I also tried growing strawberries in a pot.

The flowers flowered and then died, and I can’t say I got any great pleasure from them. But cultivating the strawberries and tomatoes (and a row of giant sunflowers, planted on a whim) did give me a buzz, and food for the kitchen.

It also made a major effect on my general fitness, which was really the whole point of the exercise (no pun intended). This year I intend to plant even more tomatoes and maybe peppers and courgettes (zucchini) too. Over half of my strawberry plants survived the winter, and should crop even better this year. Having learned a bit about strawberries last year, I’ve transferred the plants to a strawberry planter, with lots of holes for developing the runners they send out into new plants.

The garden also has a pear tree, which was terribly overgrown and blighted when I moved here – it was supposed to be growing along a wall, but had been allowed to branch out across the garden path. The year before last, I cut it back to the trunk on a kill or cure tactic. Last year, I carefully trained 3 branches on each side of the tree, and cut back everything else. These branches are now looking very healthy, and though I don’t expect a crop of pears this early, it will be nice to see even some fruit develop.

April 28, 2008
Eating Well – A Diet Blog

April 28, 2008 10:41 A.M. Weight: 356.5 lbs.

Unfortunately, mum has been ill while staying with me the past month, having developed shingles.

She’s on her way to recovering from that, but is still not particularly well. Probably as a result of the various tablets she has been taking, she has been feeling nauseous, and generally out-of-sorts.

It’s easy to make excuses, I know, but as a result, I haven’t really given much thought to my diet for the last couple of weeks – simply coming up with food ideas that would appeal to both of us has been the priority.

Hopefully, mum is on the mend now, and I have suggested she stay with me until I am due to visit London in mid-May. No point in her going home to an empty house, while still not 100%

Despite all this, I do appear to have lost a few pounds. Having first gained a few pounds since the last blog entry, I have just weighed myself to find I have lost those, and a little bit more! No longer on-track, but at least I’m no worse off.

Anyway, I have just reset some missed targets, and am starting afresh.