Where creative writing and general rambling go hand in hand :)

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Hopes for 2015

For the last couple of years of I have posted my hopes for the following year as I don't make resolutions so here's this years post.

My hopes for 2014 were;
1, To lose weight and get a nice dress for the wedding in March
2, To lose more weight in order to have nice graduation photos
3, To keep all my friends and hopefully make more
4, To write at least one of my ideas for a book and stop just thinking about it!
5, To see more theatre/comedy shows
6, To meet up with even more OU buddies

Turns out I was quite unsuccessful with the majority of these hopes, however focusing on the positives I did see more shows at the theatre this year! And I have started writing a book. Plus I had a great year as I was debt free, graduated with a 2:1 honours degree and had a fab time at the wedding despite not losing weight.

Moving on then to my hopes for 2015;
1.To complete my book
2.To enjoy my holiday
3.To get a new job (believe me I have been trying)
4.To continue on my weight loss journey and get to target by my birthday in July
5.To read more
6.To socialise more
7.To update my blog more

Thanks for being a part of my fabulous 2014 and Happy new year to all my friends and followers.
I hope 2015 is great for everyone.

Post Christmas weigh in..........

So I said I'd be back to let you know my weigh in results following Christmas on Cambridge.
And here I am, a little disappointed if I'm honest! Having followed the plan 100% with absolutely no cheating whatsoever I have maintained my weight this week. With the great results I have had on the plan so far I am obviously annoyed at this result but I'm not going to let it affect me.
Most years I would gain at least half a stone over Christmas so this is probably the first year I haven't gained any weight which in itself is great. I find it a lot harder to deal with though when I know I've not done anything wrong, if I had eaten anything off plan at least I could justify it. As I got grumpier throughout the day I decided to text my very patient consultant and have a moan about it. His reply has put things in to perspective. As pointed out by Andy it is a week completed and closer to my holiday, it's also a challenge as to how to deal with it. In the past I would have a blow out in order to justify it but that's obviously not going to help matters and surprisingly that's not what I want to do.
Therefore I will get over my grump about it and continue on track as I have for the past 8 weeks. Here's hoping for a good loss to start the new year off.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas on Cambridge

A few people have asked me recently if I'm going to follow the plan over Christmas or treat myself, the simple answer is both! You see by sticking to the plan over Christmas I am treating myself, to a new me. If I was to pig out like I usually do at Christmas it would take me much longer to get to target, is it worth it?
The last few Christmas days I've gone the non traditional route and had Curry for my dinner with lot's of added extras or pizza and garlic bread, a huge cooked breakfast, bread and pate, as well as the traditional mince pies, xmas pudding, sweets, chocolate .....I could go on!
As one person said to me 'you have to treat yourself it's Christmas.'
Do I? I mean after all, the reason I have got to the size I am is by using excuses like this, It's Christmas, oh one won't hurt, it's my birthday, it's someone else's birthday, it would be rude to refuse. Well it's not rude to refuse (it's actually rude not to respect the fact someone wants to follow their diet), You can celebrate birthdays without being greedy and no, one won't hurt but is that really where it stops!
I understand I am at an advantage that I live by myself and therefore nobody is sat next to me eating Christmas treats that will tempt me BUT as long as I'm in the right frame of mind I can resist.
So my Christmas dinner this year will be a Cambridge Risotto with mushrooms and chicken breast, this will follow a breakfast of Cambridge porridge and for the evening I will choose between rice pudding and hot chocolate (haven't decided which yet). My day will be spent watching DVD's drinking tea and hoping the alarm doesn't go off at work, because I will turn up in my pyjama's if I have to!
I'll be back on Monday to let you know how close I am to my 3 stone loss (currently at 2 stone 7 1/2lb loss) and to show it was worth having Christmas on Cambridge.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas whatever you may be doing.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Good things jar ....2014

I know it's not the end of the year yet but I am taking advantage of my last weekend off of 2014.
I'm pleased to say I was more successful with the task this year, as you can see my jar is quite full. However I should probably put a bit more detail on some of my notes as I'm sat here confused as to what I meant at the time.
So here's my year of good things.

Received a parcel from my sister (cross stitch, framed), was 'made over' with wigs and dresses on my head by Ebony & Mackenzie, for some reason I searched the court of King Caractacus on youtube which led to a great amount of laughter and some lovely memories from a holiday in Tenerife. Watched a member of staff jump in to a huge tower of toilet roll at work which was funny itself but more so that he was unsure whether I was being serious telling him to do it (I don't work in that store now so can share) received another high score for an essay, watched the Hi-lights present Over the rainbow, Babysat for Ebony and endured a lot of Little Princess shows, and though it's not written down I am sure this was when she was trying to explain someone else's funny story to me which resulted in a lot of laughter. Went to Whitehall for lunch with mum and she dropped her tray on the floor, fish n chips everywhere still makes me laugh now.

Great day out in Bath with mum and Leann, shopping and watching the Full Monty at the theatre, Fireworks at Weston Super Mare, donated my 3 piece suite to charity, Found a sign in the comments book at the RUH simply stating 'you are beautiful' and my Uncle told me to drive carefully (sometimes it's the little things).

Went to see Miranda in Cardiff, found a sign in the toilets saying 'Stay Beautiful' which made me smile, took a detour on route home and had a look around Barry Island for old times sake. Had a fantastic weekend in Cornwall celebrating Michelle & Ryan's wedding, got involved with some of the organising while there and received a lovely gift in the post when I got home as a thank you. Not that a thank you was needed as I had a wonderful time. 

Celebrated mums birthday with a cinema trip and food, had a dvd day with mum (also involving food). Made some money selling stuff on ebay and had a really funny day at work laughing at a customer with paint on her face (she was also laughing).

Read my first non study book in ages, got a lovely postcard from my parents, lunch out with my best mate, Mcdonalds and the circus with Ebony & Mackenzie. Received some fab pressies from my parents holiday including LOT'S of pens and some Highland Toffee, bought myself a Jane Eyre pendant from Scribbelicious and bought new pyjama's (my note also says green tea but I have no idea what that's about) 

Watched Thriller at Bath Theatre Royal and got free parking from a lovely lady before the show. Took my final exam and celebrated my freedom with a chinese with Wiggy and received a lovely little dream catcher from my sister. Got a lovely email from my final tutor following the exam. Had a laugh at work sounding like I was shouting at a customer when actually I was voicing my displeasure at the half naked man over the road, luckily the customer knew this! We had ice cream and cake on shift too. Discovered the Book Barn after taking a detour but rather enjoying the drive, had a lovely meal and got 25% off then went to watch Maleficent at the cinema. Went to pick the kids up from school with my friend, Ebony was very pleased to see me and refused to get out of my car at home unless I stayed for a little while.

Purchased some cheap tickets for a trip to London and found it was the changing of the guards when I got there (my plans were different but soon changed) was lovely to watch. More new PJ's and got a bottle of wine from my neighbour. Exam results came in with a grade 2 pass resulting in an overall 2:1 degree. Had a cream tea with mum, got my eyebrows waxed and eyelashes tinted for free from my beautician for my birthday and had a chinese takeaway. Received some lovely butterfly gifts from Sarah-jane and mother. Watched a production of Jane Eyre at Bradford on Avon with mum.

Some more lovely pressies from the Bardsley clan off their holiday including a pen made from corn on the cob, went to Salisbury shopping and successfully found my graduation outfit as well as a new top and some new work shoes (everything on the list).

Had a cleaning spree with mum (she likes doing bathrooms!) so my flat was sparkling, went out for lunch too.

Officially debt free, A little boy waved at me from his bike as his dad was saying thanks for letting them cross the road, really made me smile. My graduation ceremony which was a fantastic day, received some lovely gifts and cards. Car passed its MOT

Started the Cambridge diet. Purchased Take That tickets for 2015. Took the kids to Weston Carnival, returned to Weston the following week to watch the fireworks.

Won a few prizes on Marks and Spencer pass the parcel, survived a day in Swindon with mum (so close to Christmas I usually avoid).

There are more notes in my jar but for one reason or another I won't be sharing them. There are also other lovely things that have happened this year that didn't make it into the jar. I read the entire collection of Harry Potter books this year. I made myself a treat list when I started Cambridge so for each stone I lose I get a treat so far I have lost 2 stone so have ticked off 2 of those treats already. I made a picture wall in my living room consisting of photos that I love as well as some artwork. 

I hope 2015 sees even more notes in my jar.

Monday, 15 December 2014

My Cambridge diet journey.........it's not all about shakes!

Those who know me in real life or those who've read previous blog posts will know I'm no stranger to a diet, I'm also a big lover of food, hence the constant dieting. As it's coming up to the new year when people will want to diet I decided to write a blog about my new weight loss journey.
I've heard about the Cambridge diet before, described mostly as swapping food for shakes and I hate to admit it but I have always been sceptical of diets that don't involve food. Partly due to the fact I love food and partly because they didn't sound healthy.
but WAIT.............
Cambridge is about more than just shakes!
There are six steps to the plan and all but one of them involves food, even better it's not just shakes you can have. There are several flavours of shake as well as soups, porridge, rice pudding and even risotto, so much choice it's often difficult deciding which to order. I've lost weight before on diets that give you no limits but I get to a point where I'm bored and ultimately give up and gain the weight back,when I got to that point this year I knew I had to do something about it so I investigated the Cambridge plan and I am so glad I did.
First things first I needed a consultant, I personally find it easier to get on with male consultants (judging from past experience) so it didn't take me long to decide.
(you can find my consultant here http://www.cambridgeweightplan.com/consultants/22034/2/andrew-e )
Andy has been a great help on my journey so far and very supportive. I emailed several times with questions before I even set a date to start and was always met with patient answers and never felt I was being annoying. I had decided that as I had plans around my graduation day that I would set the beginning of November as my start date. For the first week I wrote a diary so I could keep track of how I was feeling, thankfully it was mostly positive. I was a bit light headed on day 3 and on day 4 I felt quite hungry (6 weeks later and that is actually the only time). I'm on step 2 of the plan which means I get products as well as a meal. During that first week I took my friends kids to Mcdonalds (they also had sweets, crisps and hot chocolate with marshmallows) and resisted completely. It paid off and I lost 9lb. Since then I have had nights out at the pub (fruit tea and water for me), cooked pizza for my goddaughter, sat with friends while they ate fish n chips and gave away the shortbread that seems to always come with a hot drink.
My weight losses so far:-
Week 1 - 9lb
Week 2 - 4lb
Week 3 - 6lb
Week 4 - 4lb
Week 5 - 3 1/2lb
Week 6 - 3 1/2lb

A total at this point of 2 stone 2lb, I still have a long way to go but I feel I am now on the right journey. I used to think about food constantly and this diet has changed that, I'm getting all the good stuff my body needs and still losing weight. I have very supportive friends and family and obviously a very supportive consultant (perfect mixture). I don't pretend it's not hard but thinking of the end result it will be worth it.
To keep me motivated I made myself a treat list for each stone I lose, so far I've spoiled myself in Lush and just purchased a new bag (with a free purse).
Looking forward to my next treat and to getting into even smaller clothes.

Friday, 11 July 2014

With a little help from my friends...........

I've achieved my degree!
There were times that I didn't think I would get to this point, I even booked my graduation ceremony the other day and wondered what would happen if I hadn't passed my exam. Well worrying over, I passed my exam and achieved a 2:1 BA (Hons) English Literature.
I have been lucky throughout my studying to have some really great tutors who have been both helpful and inspiring and I have enjoyed (despite anything I said at the time) every one of my courses in one way or another.
More than that though I have had support from my friends and family and work colleagues, all of which has been invaluable. Nobody made fun of me when I said I was starting this degree, nobody complained (at least not to my face) when I declined invitations for nights outs in order to complete an essay and my Facebook status announcing my results has been the most popular one I've ever written.
I am so proud of myself but also so thankful that I have so many people in my life that are also proud of me.
Open University has enabled me to make new friends, some of whom I have never met and most likely will never get a chance to; every one of them has helped in their own way whether it be just liking a TMA inspired status therefore showing they understand or proof reading my essays, or offering advice, or simply posting something funny at the right time.
I've been lucky enough to have met up with several of these new friends who I know, alongside my other friends and family will support me with whatever venture I choose to take on next . . . . . . . . . . if only I could decide what this venture should be.
Thank you to each and every one of you.

Friday, 11 April 2014

The end is nigh..........

It's April and this is my first post for 2014, what a slacker!

So far 2014 is going fabulously well and there is still more to come.

I am now just one 4000 word essay and 1 exam away from completing my degree and I can't wait.
While I have enjoyed studying and have learned a lot it has taken up a great deal of my spare time and I'm looking forward to lot's of things, including;
Reading for pleasure- my choice of book, the pile of which is getting bigger and bigger
Writing- having taken 2 creative writing courses as part of my degree I am looking forward to expanding this and getting pieces ready for publication
Socialising- I've never had a huge social life but the need to be at home writing an essay while your friends are out having fun really makes you want one
Job hunting- okay so not actually looking forward to the hunting but I am looking forward to having a change of direction in my life

So the end is in sight in fact it's only 8 weeks away- this makes me happy :)