Take these measurements now !!

On any journey (odyssey!) there is a departure point and an end destination. It goes without saying (but typically I’ll say it anyway) that we have to be really specific about where we plan to end up and we do this by writing down our goals. It’s often said that a goal not properly defined is but a dream.

I sincerely recommend that you determine your desired outcomes for 2010 and write them down – before New Year’s day! No need at all for the elaborate measurement systems that I have created, just a simple record of where you want to be is absolutely fine. The one action needed is to write it down!

In my case, I have had to define several concomitant journeys and determine outcomes for each one of them. As each goal concerns a potentially life-threatening disorder, I have made sure that each & every outcome falls within medically determined parameters.

“Hmmm, this food is fine for my blood glucose levels, but what will it do to my cholesterol and weight?!”

I wrote recently about a fun afternoon I spent trying on clothes that had been hanging unworn in my cupboard for yonks – too small to fit bum, boobs and thighs!!! UGH! How did I ever let myself get into this situation?? To my amazement, I was able to button or zip up some of the clothes that I had last worn when terrorising poor little bank clerks!
So there I stood, grinning inanely at my own image and feeling really great. Little achievements such as that serve to renew my commitment to stated objectives.

The fact that said poor little bank clerks could sure as hell show today’s bank clerks a thing or two about efficiency and courtesy is a story for another day! But – really – they did love me; they staged an amazing surprise Chinese Braai farewell function when I transferred back to KZN …. oh s**t, perhaps that was because they were so glad to get rid of me!!! But I digress…..

Weigh-Less (don’t knock that organisation – more about my experience with them in a future post) recommends recording the following measurements at the start of a health journey:
Upper arms:
I have a little Excel worksheet on which I record the above measurements about every 2 months and the results are amazing. Total cm loss as of this morning is 33.5cm! Huge motivation to continue I can tell you especially when the scale is not showing substantial losses. 25% of the total cm loss is from the waist which is very significant given the specific dangers associated with abdominal obesity. (Good subject for a future post)

Weigh-Less also strongly recommend that full-length ‘before’ photos are taken; from the front and from the side. Be brave! – don’t suck in your stomach and turn purple in the face with the effort while the photographer fiddles with your camera or cellphone!!! Stand naturally – publish and be damned!!

I have had this done and sometimes I look my ‘befores’ and shudder. Don’t get me wrong, I do love and respect who I am but – already – only about half way through my weight loss journey the difference is astounding!

Who knows, I might even have the courage of my convictions to post ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos on this blog on 15th August 2010. All my journeys lead to that date…


Easy recipes I love: 1

I love pickled fish which is quite an expensive item these days.
This recipe is perfect for my specific health conditions.

With acknowledgements: The Ultimate Diet Solution Cookbook
Nicola Duffield RD (SA) and Anne Till RD (SA)
Published by Struik 2007

8-12 Protein Portions
Serves 4-6

4-6 x 100g fish fillets
2 large onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
250 ml white vinegar
50 ml water
20 ml sugar
5 ml curry powder
2 ml salt
2 ml turmeric
freshly ground black pepper
4 whole allspice
30 ml chutney

1. Cut fish into pieces
2. In a large pot, combine the onions, bay leaves, vinegar, water, sugar, curry powder, salt, turmeric and pepper.
3. Cover and simmer for about 10 mins.
4. Remove from the heat and add the fish
5. Cover and simmer gently for a further 8-10 minutes until fish is done.
6. Transfer the fish and onions with a slotted spoon to a deep dish.
7. Add the whole allspice and chutney to the sauce in the pot, pour over the fish, cover and refrigerate until required.

Dietician’s tip:
The recipe is ideal to make in larger quantities. Freeze in small portions for later use.

Nutritional analysis per portion:
Energy 660kJ
Protein 23.4g
Total fat 1.4g
Saturated fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated fat 0.6g
Cholesterol 70mg
Carbohydrate 11.9g
Sugar 8.9g

The rodent rambles…

Having, as we thought, safely imprisoned MR RAT in the guestroom with no way out and a bowl of rat bait, we were horrified to be woken up at 4am this morning with ‘ banging’ that seemed to be emanating from the kitchen.

Intrepid warrior WJJ, armed with a walking stick, ventured out of our bedroom and after listening to the ‘banging/thudding’ for a few seconds switched on the kitchen light. Predictably, all sounds ceased forthwith and silence reigned.

Eventually, we went back to sleep safely behind the closed bedroom door. Only to be woken again an hour later with the sounds of things falling and other things ‘ rattling’. (Am battling to describe the sounds!)

We decided to wait until daylight to further investigate and hopefully take steps to stop the property invasion at #6. (Topical subject this morning on the e-news channel!)

We found shampoo and bath toiletries lying in the bath; the hand sanitizer lying in the hand basin together with a blob of what must have been rat pooh. DOUBLE UGH!

The burning question is: did MR RAT then escape out of the open bathroom window?? At time of writing we do not know the answer to that question. There is no sign of the creature elsewhere and so the saga continues on this beautiful sunny morning this side of the mountain…..

All creatures great and small …

Do you know the feeling “I’m losing it!” ?

Well, I felt like that a while ago – cannot remember when exactly ha ha!! – while sitting staring at the TV screen one evening. All of a sudden I gave WJJ the fright of his life by letting out a shriek. I thought I had seen a rat – yes, a RAT – scurry out from behind the TV and disappear behind a couch. WJJ looked at me as if I was totally insane and I subsided in my chair, convincing myself that it must have been a fleeting shadow of some kind on my specs lens.

Last evening, Christmas Eve, we were sitting in the same places – so boring – flipping channels once again when from behind a couch – no the other couch – THE RAT ran towards me. Yes, THE RAT I was sure I must have imagined. Well, this time my shriek was probably heard all over Milnerton. Well ok, all over our block of flats. The petrified animal stopped in its tracks and hurtled back the way it had come, streaked under the dining table and out of the sitting room into the passage leading to the open front door.

WJJ was by this time out of his chair and together we saw the bloody creature divert his charge into the guestroom. Luckily I have WJJ to corroborate that this rodent is LARGE and has a tail as long as his body.

He – must be a he – has hidden himself in the guestroom which is amazing as the room is sparsely furnished with a double bed and that’s about it by way of furnishings. Stupid creature should have charged right out the front door – I said it must be a he.

We spent Christmas eve barricaded in our bedroom, all other doors closed and MR RAT left to his own devices in the guestroom with a bowl of rat poisin strategically placed on the floor. After all, where on earth would we have found a pest exterminator on Christmas eve? At least PnP was still open.

Today was spent out and this evening an inspection by brave WJJ – not me, of course – reveals that the rat bait has been eaten but MR RAT himself is lying doggo somewhere – probably burrowed into the base of the bed! Ugh!! The guestroom door remains safely locked and newspaper rolls have been rammed into the 2cm gap at the bottom of the door.

Hopefully, we will be able to locate a pest exterminator on Monday – rest assured I will be safely ensconced in the office in #8 – I have a lot of work to do.

So what did you do this year?

So what did you do this year?

At this time of the year, some of us are lucky enough to be on holiday. The rest of us are still hard at work earning our daily crust! Whatever time of year this is for you, I sincerely hope that you find yourself in a good place.

I started this post yesterday and am only publishing it today Christmas Day. If you are honouring this blog with your presence, I hope that your day was filled with peace and love and that 2010 will be your best year ever.

So often, we tend to bemoan our lot in life and take so much for granted. If we would just take the time to look around us we would realize that almost without exception, we have SO much to be profoundly grateful for. Let’s make the time to think on that and celebrate our many blessings in this world we live in.

Like most people, I usually have a couple of ideas about what I want or would like to do in a coming New Year. I cannot recall ever going so far as to write down any “New Year’s Resolutions” and that’s no doubt why I have so often failed to achieve desired outcomes! So let me re-phrase the first sentence: I have a few things I will be doing in 2010 building on my achievements in 2009. More about those in a later post.

As we reach the end of 2009 (can’t believe it!), I have decided to take a light hearted look back on a few recent happenings in my world. For the first time in my life –

• I joined a gym and finally realized that no-one gives a damn how old you are, how overweight you are or what clothes you are wearing! Everyone is there because they care about some aspect of their health. I have also yet to see any narcissistic poseurs; just some eye candy now and again passing by on his way to the weights!!! 😉

• I had my ears pierced and now can finally wear some of the Swarovski crystal or freshwater pearl earrings I love to make and not give them all away! Now just to make time to re-connect with my beading hobby.

• I let my grey hair take over and did not take fright or start re-colouring my mop as I have done in the past. I am lucky that the grey is actually a sort of silvery colour inherited from my mother. My hairdresser has seen me precisely twice in 2009; sadly for her employer whose annual turnover dropped several thousand rand as the result of my absence. I was so sure that with my usually bare face I would look all washed-out but that’s not really the case. If I make the effort and apply full warpaint I can still turn a few heads but that’s another story! My kids might read this! L.O.L.

• I followed a fairly healthy eating regime for the whole year. Having always been very l-o-n-g- on good nutrition theory and short on appropriate action, I am quite proud of myself in this regard. I go into 2010 just over 16kg lighter than the same time last year! I still have an awfully long way to go but it is great fun surprising folk I have not seen in a long time. I can also fit into a few of my ‘ bank manager clothes’ which I have not been able to do for years.

Several things I did for the first time in my life following the creation of my ‘bucket list’. Yup, a list of things to do before I kick the bucket! Inspired by the 2007 movie ‘The Bucket List’ starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

• I climbed to the top of the lighthouse at Cape Agulhas. One of my bucket list wishes was to visit the southernmost tip of Africa where the Indian and Atlantic oceans clash – violently! The highlight of a super trip was when I decided to climb to the top; following Marc & Julia up the wood steps while WJJ locked himself in the car – horrified at what I was about to do!

We reached the 4th level and the original timber steps became a very flimsy looking ladder (also the original 1848 timber) which would take us to the level just below the lamp. I watched Marc and Julia scamper up the ladder and I was left behind paralyzed with fear. I looked out of the little porthole type window down at the midget buildings and the coastline so far below and then contemplated the single plastic chair that someone had thoughtfully put up there. Marc was urging his Ma to ‘come look at the incredible view’. I still don’t know where the courage came from but I ascended that ladder – scarsely breathing and not daring to look down…. At the top of the ladder, Bredasdorp Tourism has installed additional steel rails so that one can haul oneself up off the ladder and onto the tiny circular concrete floor. I have never been so scared and never so triumphant and exhilarated as when I climbed out onto the circular steel platform just below the lamp. A further climb up onto the VERY narrow flimsy steel platform surrounding the lamp is the final hurdle and we all posed and agreed that we would all try to look terrified as by that time the three of us were giggling like lunatics. We shouted and screamed and leant over the flimsy rails trying to get WJJ to acknowledge us up in the sky above him still locked into the car! He never heard or saw us!

The pictures herewith give some idea of the great experience it was for me and on that ‘ high note’ I leave you to answer my question, ‘ So what did you do this year?!’