Sunday, 5 January 2014

Mixed Messages

Literally everyone I know, barring one pregnant lady, is on a diet while I'm still blissfully tucking into bacon sandwiches and Lindt chocolates. After weeks of adverts telling us to eat this, that and the other, the ads are now full of dieting aids. Likewise the weekend papers are full of recipes guaranteed to reduce the intake of fat, sugar, carbohydrates etc, etc. Most of them scream 'lose 2/4/6/8 pounds per week on this fabulous tasty diet', well here's an idea, how about eating less and moving more?

Dieting aids such as soups, shakes or ready meals are notoriously expensive, mainly because they have the word 'diet' in them. Why not just eat less of your ordinary meals and eat fruit instead of chocolate? Seems simple to me and a lot cheaper. Looking at the recipes in the papers I don't wonder why most diets are abandoned within a month. The recipes all contain ingredients that you'd be hard pressed to find and take an enormous amount of time and effort, and again, expense to make.

One very, very sensible friend swears by just one thing when she wants to lose weight, soup. She makes up a batch of soup usually enough for a week and freezes it into portions. This soup is not a 'diet' soup, indeed it is usually made up of anything left over from the week before. At the moment it is turkey and ham with veg, and she has a bowl of this soup with bread for lunch every day. Of course she cuts out snacks, unless it is fruit, and has a normal dinner with the kids in the evening. It cost her nothing, works like a charm and takes up only about an hour of her time at the weekend. How simple is that?

Of course, while we are all being encouraged to lose weight and spend a lot of money doing it, we are also being bombarded by Easter egg adverts.

Aberystwyth during the storm. Picture taken by Phil Griffiths
We are not out of the first week of January yet and apparently we have to rush out and buy Cadbury's creme eggs because 'when their gone, their gone'.  How cynical is that exactly? Of course they are not going to run out. Usually you can get creme eggs well into the summer so hinting that they are extremely limited is rather dishonest don't you think? I remember when you didn't see an Easter egg until March and I have to wonder who on earth buys Easter eggs this early anyway. Don't they go off?

We are taking our Christmas tree down today. Out of everyone we know we are probably the last to do so and that is more from laziness than festive spirit.

Everyone I know feels that Christmas this year did not have a 'special' feel to it. Maybe it was the bad weather, maybe it's because of all the repeats on TV, maybe it's because I was working. Yes all those things make an impact but I think the biggest factor in losing that Christmassy feeling is that it all starts so early.

From September the mince pies, crackers and turkeys arrive in the shops, most with best before dates in November. Thus ensuring that if you did decide to buy early you'd have to go out and by the thing again closer to the date because the original purchase has gone off. January sales start before Christmas and you are constantly told 'Christmas would not be complete without ...'  Now Easter is also being destroyed. Where did it all go wrong?

The same view minus the water.
Right enough of the rant, back to my original point. I'm also on a diet, one to put more weight on and at last it appears to be working. I now weight 8st 1lb 8oz, that's exactly a stone heavier than I was this time last year. I've put on about three pounds since I last saw Papworth and with only two weeks to go before I see them again I stand a good chance of keeping it on. Hopefully they will be happier with me but I'm sure not quiet satisfied yet as my target weight is eight and a half stone.

On Tuesday I'm off to the Brompton to have my line checked, it is two and a half years since I had it put in and they want to check it's condition. I'm also having a full MOT to ensure I'm still fit for transplant and, with a bit of luck, I'll get my new drug. If you remember that was a bit up in the air just before Christmas when an administrative document had yet to be signed to allow me to have it. I haven't heard anything since so I'm assuming this is going to go down to the wire and I'll only know if I'm getting it when I arrive.

Of course I'm really looking forward to the freedom the new drug will afford me but at the same time I don't want it to make me terribly sick and cause me to lose weight again. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

The storm has taken it's toll on my poor home town of Aberystwyth and I've included a 'during' and 'before' picture of more or less the same stretch of prom. I would like to thank Phil Griffiths for the use of his picture in today's blog. If anyone from Aberystwyth has any pictures of the damage that they'd be willing to let me include in my next blog please let me know. I thank you in advance.

Today I'm copping out on the cooking and using a shop bought sauce to make a pasta bake for lunch. I'm feeling a little tired, even though I slept well, and just can't be bothered with the effort. To be fair I have been cooking solidly for almost two weeks now so a I feel I deserve a little break.

This afternoon I shall settle down and watch a really awful film while nibbling my way through the remainder of the mince pies and cheese. Well a girl has to keep her strength up.