Happy and Glorious – 2019 edition

Yet again it has been a year (near enough) since my last Happy and Glorious post! With being back in full-time work, extra study for my postgraduate qualification, the business of moving house and ‘setting up home, there hasn’t been a lot of time or energy left over for WordPressing. I’ve still been completing my ‘line a day’ journal which is a lovely, low daily commitment to journaling with a 5-year overview (once completed), as well as occasional updates to my personal handwritten journal; but writings of the internet variety have been limited to Facebook and a newfound love for Instagram.

Here is my list for the year – in the order I pull them out of my ‘Happy and Glorious’ tin!

Here’s the disclaimer – these lists are really for my reference and reflection but by posting them online it gives me a sense of accountability to keep filling the tin through the year. Read if you wish, ignore if you’d rather. These also only focus on the good bits, there have been not so good bits in between but that is not what this post is for, it’s for tallying up all the good stuff that has happened in the year. I may well have missed some good bits if I didn’t write them down quick enough after they happened!!!!

  • Cormac Maharu O’Beirne entered the world to upgrade some of my loveliest friends to one of my favourite families in the world (other than my own, of course!) : January
  • Seeing Captain Marvel at the Showcase Cinema Deluxe in Southampton (I may have a slight obsession with how comfortable the seats here are) : March
  • Met Cormac after ensuring I was completely germ free ❤️ : February
  • Shazam! Took me a while to get around to seeing Zachary Levi in his first starring big screen role: April
  • Surprise party for Diluki and a lovely weekend celebrating at Bath Festival and getting lots of cuddle time with Cormac : June
  • Reading about Binge Eating Disorder and through that understanding HOW my relationship with food is dysfunctional – this has helped me to manage my eating habits and loose weight : January/February
  • Got the keys to my little [rented] house in Devon : April
  • Moved in (properly) to my little house in Devon : April (a couple of weeks after I got the keys)
  • 6-months in the job.. they’re still happy with me and I’m still happy with them 😁 : June (also noted the same at my second 1:1 in February, I’m sensing a theme)
  • Dublin trip for Cormac’s naming ceremony and having some quality time with Diluki & Alan – a real treat… and proper Guinness too! It involved flying from Exeter airport and a flight path that went over my house : 28 June-1 July
  • Avengers: Endgame. Long awaited emotional couple of hours but overall a good end to the Avengers films : May
  • “I ❤️ my job. So glad I took the plunge and changed career” : Jan/Feb
  • Mum’s 70th Birthday Party. Helping to throw a lovely party, catch up with old family friends I haven’t seen for years (Jo Tanter, Wendy Miller & John & Joy) as well as raising enough money (mum requested donations in stead of presents) to buy a cow through Send a Cow! : June
  • “Having the best boss & employer” : November (supporting me through a tough time being off work with severe acute pain)
  • Baby Salt-Crockford arriving to turn more friends into a family ❤️ : December
  • Stevie Wonder (Plus Special Guest Lionel Richie) in Hyde Park – continuing Mum’s birthday celebrations : July
  • Getting my lovely kitten, Min ❤️ : July
  • The lovely Lucy, who I remember pushing in a pram back in the day, and Dom becoming a family with the arrival of Florence ❤️ : November
  • Romsey Show – being asked back to do the commentary for the sheep grand parade and generally having a lovely day catching up with friends from Mum & Dad’s ringside parking spot : September
  • Catching up with Ruth for coffee – been a scarily long time since we did that either in the parent’s kitchen or hers! : December
  • Catching up with Rosie C (yes, I have to clarify which Rosie!) : December (and possibly Easter-ish? I’m getting old, I didn’t write it down so I’m not sure when it happened!)
  • Catching up with Rosie M (see I told you!) away from all the madness of uni : September
  • Graduation! Made the transition from Graduand to Graduate on one of the hottest days of the year, in the full gear! : July
  • Getting out for a ride on Taoiseach and feeling great after not riding for a loooong time (I did take a precautionary hot bath and am on some hefty anti-inflammatories for the trapped nerve in my neck so it might not have been a true representation of my lack of stiffness post ride!!) : December

Happy And Glorious: 2017 edition

I’ve been keeping this “Jar of Good Stuff” thing going for 5-years now, it all started back in January 2013 – keeping notes of lovely stuff that has happened and allowing you to look back over the year and see what  you’ve done, when you might be thinking “what have I done with my year?”.IMG_8520

So, in chronological order, what did I do in 2017? Continue reading

Fast is the new Slow

This year, in my ongoing efforts to loose the weight I gained during my battles with Glandular Fever in the 90’s, Post Viral Fatigue in the naughties and eventually Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the naughties/”210’s” I have started following the “Fast Diet”, alternatively known as the “5:2” diet. Continue reading

Good and Tired

Hello old friend, how’ve you been.  I’ve missed you whilst you’ve been gone.

I’m talking about that good kind of tired you get from when you’ve done an awful lot of exercise, camping, staying up late, cooking, organising, partying and playing and your body just wants to get horizontal for a good long stretch (on a decent bed) and recover its reserves. Continue reading

Turn sideways and…

I’ll disappear!

Not quite but this dieting stuff is getting pretty damned exciting!   Sorry if I am boring any of you with these diet updates but for someone who has struggled for many, many frustrating years with increasing weight and decreasing ability to do anything about it, being on the verge of hitting a stone lost since Christmas is a BIG THING.   Continue reading

Same but different

As I sit here at my newly re-vamped desk, typing on my new computer (laptop finally becoming more limited by age than was good for work) and with the cat curled up in one of her favourite spots – tucked up my jumper – Continue reading

An Improving Trend!

This weekend has been manic!  My eldest sister and her three children came over on Friday to stay for the weekend and then my next eldest (from me) sister came over with her two children & husband and camped in the garden for Saturday night.  A busy weekend of entertaining 5 children aged 6 and under ensued – they are all great fun but as happens with kids who have seemingly endless amounts of energy they keep you on your toes!

I also went out for a good hour and a half ride in the morning, with lots of trot and canter work on Saturday morning.

Sunday morning I was stewarding at a carriage driving event with mum, which was lovely and fairly quiet and then all the family came and joined us for a picnic.

By yesterday evening I was really rather pooped – so much so that I tried washing my face with moisturiser!  So, I went for an early bed and slept the sleep of the righteous through to 8am this morning and still felt rather rough.

However, after all that I made it to my pilates class this morning and did pretty well managing to do most of the exercises at the higher intensity level.  I also walked in and back to the class and I feel a lot better for it – I’m certainly not as washed out as I thought I might be.

This is a great milestone in my recovery: a busy, highly physically demanding weekend and I’m not pushed into a setback.  Saying that, I’ve planned a few quieter, low energy jobs for this afternoon but I am in control of that, I’ve planned it as an insurance policy, not been forced into it by necessity.

Additionally, after a weekend of eating not wisely but very well, I’ve only gained back 1lb making a net loss of 4lbs since I started on the diet.  I’ve also realised, after having a look at myself in the mirrors in the pilates studio, that my body is changing shape, I’m getting a more defined waist and have greater control of my tummy muscles, which means that my net loss of fat each week is greater than 1lb because at the same time I’m gaining muscle which is denser (therefore heavier) than fat.

I’m enjoying this diet.  It’s something I never thought I would say about “dieting” but I think that’s because what I’m doing is not “dieting” in the commonly used sense.  It’s not a fad.  It’s not promising to shed masses of weight in a short period of time.  It’s not replacing meals with a shake or a bar.  Most of all, it’s not something that is going to fail as soon as I start to eat normally after loosing the weight.

What I’m doing seems very, very simple: cooked breakfast (grilled bacon & scrambled eggs with half a piece of toast or 2 boiled eggs), salad for lunch (with chicken, tuna, marinaded herring or other ‘extras) and then a normal main meal – with pudding – in the evening.  I keep off alcohol apart from Friday & Saturday nights (with occasional exceptions) and try not to snack.  I try to have a maximum of 2 slices of wholemeal/multigrain/seeded bread a day, and a lot of the time will have none.

It’s working.  The weight is coming off at a steady 1lb a week which, if it continues at that rate (I’m hoping that the usual difficulties of weight loss slowing down as you near your target weight will be counteracted by the increase in muscle mass I am trying to achieve and the attendant higher calorie requirement for maintenance) I will reach my target weight by next August.

The beauty of it is that I can go away for the weekend and have a couple of meals out, a few extra drinks and a few extra treats and it doesn’t wreck the whole diet.  It’s very low maintenance.

Part of me thinks that it is a long time to wait to reach my target but on the flip side, the longer it takes to come off, the less likely it is to be gained back.  Another advantage of this diet is that it is not something that will drastically change when I’ve reached my target weight.  There is also the fact that it will take me only slightly longer to loose the weight as I’ve been signed off from work – which isn’t a long time at all.  When you also consider that I’ve been carrying the extra weight around with me for the last 10+ years, what’s another year when all is considered.

I’ve also found that I have less cravings for ‘bad’ foods, and when I do have those cravings they are easier to resist.  I’ve also found that my relationship to food has become less “inappropriate” – I no longer find myself stuffing myself with food I don’t really want as some kind of punishment and then end up eating more as a ‘comfort’ because I’ve just blown the latest diet.

Although this diet is very simple, it has taken me a long time to get here because my head has not been in the right place to be able to cope with the changes.  I’ve been so unhappy, and just existing has been such a struggle that any diet I tried has invariably failed because I would either become ill or I would be emotionally unstable and resort to food for a comfort.  Also, I have always found that exercise is a key to any consistent weight loss for me but that if I took on any aerobic exercise to get fit I would suffer [what I can now identify as] a setback.  Having now received a diagnosis of CFS/ME I now know that my body responds to exercise in a different way and that the best way for me to do exercise to help my weight loss is to increase my muscle tone by doing things like pilates, rather than burn masses of calories doing highly aerobic exercises.

The time will come when I can get back to doing high aerobic activities [such as jive dancing which I miss terribly] but for now I’ll stick to the Pilates and keep saying “slowly, slowly catch-y monkey” and “less haste, more speed”.

I’ll stop rambling now and go off and give myself a pedicure!