Thursday, December 22, 2005

Roundup, part two - genius, chocolate, scaphoids

While I was staying with the D. B. my eating was not of the healthiest (hard when you’re staying as a guest, and harder still when you go out for dinner twice on the strength of the D. B not only having graduated with Distinction, but having won the faculty prize for the best project! Yes, I’m a little bit proud of him). And it didn’t improve all that much when we came back. I only made it to the gym once that week, and for some reason, was eating chocolate as if it were going out of fashion. The D. B. and I were both, I think, suffering a little from post-holiday blues, and he’s been having a slight depressive episode all week. Alas. I hope he will be feeling better soon – you just have to give it time, and give him lots of support meanwhile.

We did manage to get to his work night out, which was fun, but didn’t help the diet either. When I eventually weighed myself, I was up a pound, and I wouldn’t really have been able to argue if it’d been more. Well, it’s all a learning experience…

This week, I’ve been to the gym twice, although it is now going to be closed for Christmas on all the days I’m not working, and only open until five on the days I am. Which means I won’t get back there until the fifth of January. Of course, it’s perfectly reasonable that the gym staff want some time off too, but I will have to make good use of my free time and Actually, You Know, Go For A Run Or Something. Or I’ll make a very poor showing when I do my 5K in January. I am, however, down a pound again.

My department lunch was on Tuesday, and while I was not going to worry too much about calories, I don’t think I did too badly. It was a nice restaurant, and while I don’t suppose the food was too healthy, the portions were a reasonable size. Oh, and it was yummy. Mmmmm, crème brulée. Very civilised. We were walking back to work afterwards when I was grabbed around the neck by a maniac, otherwise known as my sister, just off the train home from uni. My bro was also skulking off to the side a bit, pretending not to know us. I love my siblings, but perhaps they could choose not to give me a heart attack in front of all my colleagues next time?

But it’s lovely to have her back. In fact, over the course of the next few days, all of my family have been wonderful, and we’ve needed them to be.

The D. B. and I were meant to be meeting after work on Tuesday and going for a drink with some of my colleagues. He’d been working late and I’d been at a work function, but he was going to cycle along and meet me. I came out of work to find him waiting for me, but in a bit of a state. He’d fallen off his bike while turning on slippery, damp cobbles, and landed on his wrist (and his shoulder and hip, although he didn’t realise until later – he’s rather bruised). After a moment, it had felt OK, but as he biked along to meet me it got more and more painful.

Needless to say, we didn’t make it to the pub but went straight home. The D. B. is not a great one for making a fuss (sometime I’ll tell you about the time he had meningitis…) but it was obvious he was in a lot of pain, so Mum and I took him to A&E – a longish trip, as it’s on the other side of town. Rarely have I been more grateful for parents with cars.

If you must injure yourself, Tuesday is the day to pick, because there was hardly anyone in there. He was dealt with pretty quickly (the D. B. didn’t even manage to finish his chapter of Harry Potter while we were waiting), x-rayed and splinted up. The x-ray wasn’t conclusive, so my brother, who is a medical student and had been taking a keen ("Can I see the x-rays? Cool,")and not unsympathetic interest in the whole thing, took him to the fracture clinic yesterday. They decided he probably has a scaphoid fracture, so he’ll be in a plaster cast for about two weeks. Which is a bit of a bummer. It could have been a lot worse, but people? Please don’t you fall on any cobbles.

Roundup, part one - mortarboards and progress photos

Tons and tons of stuff has happened since my last entry, much of it concerning the D. B. We went back to his home town for the graduation and stayed with his parents, who have been missing him. His dad and I went to the graduation on Friday.

The D. B and I met at university, and then proceeded to take postgraduate degrees at another, different university, and not at the same time as one another. However, for complicated reasons (one day I may write about them, but don’t hold your breath) I graduated in absentia, so I never got to dress up in the big robes and have my picture taken. (We’d already done that when we graduated from our first degrees, so it was not a huge deal.)

For fun, and because my mum quite fancies having a complete set of photos, I decided to hire robes and get my photo taken with the boy. Which we did, holding fake plastic diplomas and making last-minute decisions as to whether the hats should be on or off.

I didn’t really think through what would happen after that, because I then had to walk around robed for the rest of the morning. When we got to the Great Hall, I had to explain three times that no, I wasn’t supposed to sit at the front with the graduands because despite the robe and silly mortarboard under my arm, I wasn’t graduating today. The first two stewards merely gave me a “Well, it takes all sorts” kind of look, but the third said “So you’re just wearing that for fun?” in the sort of tone of voice usually associated with “Didn’t it hurt when they pierced your nipple?”

As I’ve said before, I have no idea what I look like and usually feel that some daft-looking stranger has taken my place in photos. I have no progress photos on this site mostly because with the measly amount of weight I’ve lost, I’m hard put to tell the difference between thin pics and fat pics. (Also I’m mostly hiding behind someone else.) When I look at the photos of my previous graduation, though, I really do look quite chubby-faced, so it’ll be interesting – and possibly discouraging – when the new ones turn up to see if there is any visible difference. Obviously the gown will be hiding my body, but the skirt I wore to graduate the first time is now loose on me, so I know I’m thinner in general.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Zoom zoom zoom

Just a quickie - I am going down south for the weekend to watch the Very Clever D. B. graduate, and probably won't be able to update while I'm there.

I went back to the gym on Monday, and had a good workout, which (I hope) means that the cold I was incubating was to blame for the rotten one I had last week. However, despite the lack of exercise, I lost about 2 pounds, bringing me to my lowest ever weight (just over 183) and breaking the plateau I spend most of my time on. So I'm happy, although I wonder whether the mere act of recording what I eat causes me to eat less, even though I'm not trying to or aware that I'm doing so. Either that, or having a cold burns a lot of calories.

And I forgot to record the piece of carrot cake the D. B. bought me on Thursday. Even more mysterious.

Anyway, I'll probably get plenty of walking in over the weekend, as the D. B. and I will be doing some Christmas shopping. Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Cheese of Doom

I take it all back. Obviously I do eat cheese every single day, or at least I did this week. I'm trying not to make excuses: it's been an unusually social week, and maybe not the most representative one to have chosen. However, maybe no week is normal. This week I'll be going down south to watch the D. B. graduate, so it won't be "normal" either. I suppose that you have to take going out with friends (and so on) into account, because nonstandard days will come up, and you have to allow for them.

Seven comments! That's got to be a record (I'm not counting my responses). I keep meaning to say that I love getting comments, so thanks to all the people who leave them and if you're reading this now, do give me a wave.

I'm now feeling a lot better, and am heading back to the gym after a week off.

Boring foody bit:


Breakfast: Rice crispies (there! I surprised you! Only because we’d run out of oats) with 1 tbsp flaxseeds, 4 tbsp muesli, about 200ml skimmed milk. Herbal tea.

Lunch: egg mayonnaise on white roll. (I was aware this wasn’t the healthiest, but I was in a hurry.) Apple. Nonfat latte from Starblend*.

More herbal tea. Chocolate coin (just 1) from the Christmas Elf**.

Buffet at pub quiz†: half egg sandwich on white bread (not very nice). Four small pieces of vegetable quiche (about an inch square). 1 gin and tonic, Diet C0ke. When I got home, cup of tea, plate of boiled peas.


Breakfast: Rice crispies with 1 tbsp flaxseeds, 4 tbsp muesli, about 200ml skimmed milk.

Lunch: sandwich (2 slices wholegrain bread, 40g cheddar, 2tsp Flora) and apple.

Tea – vegetable soup. I forget the main course. I didn’t write this down, because I thought I would remember, and I am stupid. Tesco’s apricot lowfat yoghurt.

Later: pineapple lowfat yoghurt. Half a pack of fresh pineapple. I must have had a serious pineapple deficiency that day.


Breakfast: Oats (Mum had been to Tesco) with 1 tbsp flaxseeds, 4 tbsp muesli, about 200ml skimmed milk

Lunch: vegetable soup. Toasted cheese (about 40g cheese, 1 slice wholegrain bread) and apple. A small piece of chocolate from the Christmas Elf, and about five jelly beans (from the D. B.)

Tea. Well now. The D. B and I went to dinner at the house of some friends, who are French. All that can honestly be said for this meal was that I didn’t totally overeat. We had “raclette”, which is basically potatoes, meat or vegetables with melted cheese poured over them. You melt the cheese at the table, a bit like fondue. I stuck to the vegetables, obviously, and had some salad, but I did eat something like 100-150 grams of melted cheese. It was absolutely delicious and was followed by little chocolate things.


Breakfast: Oats with 1 tbsp flaxseeds, 4 tbsp muesli, about 200ml skimmed milk

Lunch: vegetable soup. Roll with about 35g cheese. Apple. Small packet of chocolate from Christmas Elf (about 75 calories). Crunch cream biscuit (also about 70ish calories).
Tea: vegetable soup. 1 cup butterbean/onion/mushroom stew. About 2 cups of salad containing mixed leaves, carrots, grated beetroot, yellow pepper, snap peas, cucumber, cherry tomatoes. 2 potato croquettes (tsk tsk). ½ piece sponge cake filled with raspberries and whipped cream, small scoop ice cream. Coffee. Several cups of herbal tea later in evening.

*Obscure reference to book called The Telling by Ursula Le Guin.
** OK. It's like this. We have an elf who comes to our house and leaves us a little treat, every day of Advent. Yes, I know, we're very lucky. He's kindly leaving me only very small amounts of chocolate as he doesn't want to put temptation in my way...
† We won!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


The cold continues. I had a day off from choir, though not from work, which may have been silly. Oh well, I'm not exactly dying. I think the gym may have to wait until I'm less germy and can breathe properly, though. And sleep. I really should be in bed now!

I've only been doing this food diary for three days, and already it's become apparent that there's almost no variation in what I eat until the evening. No cinnamon toast, though, RG! (I used to eat a lot of toast at college, because it was about the only hot food we could have in our rooms. It was a bad habit. I still have difficulty eating just one piece, so mostly avoid it.)

Today (Wednesday's) food:

Breakfast: oatmeal with 1 tbsp flaxseeds, 4 tbsp muesli, about 200ml skimmed milk (Boring, you say? Me?)
Coffee with skimmed milk.

Lunch: sandwich (2 slices wholegrain bread, about 60g cheddar, 2tsp Flora) and apple. (That sounds familiar too.)

Tea: veggie burger, peas, cabbage. Two cups of herbal tea. Ginger crunch cream biscuit. Remarkably small apple.