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My Weight Loss Journey

Week 1

History

I decided on many New Year resolutions for 2018. Weight loss is one of them. Have I tried this before? Yes. Many, many times. I’ve done the lemon and maple syrup diet and the Cambridge diet. I tried boot camp (twice), swimming, boxercize, fencing, Zumba, Jazzercize, hitting the gym. You name it, I’ve tried it.

Did it work? Yes, most of them. Until mother nature decided that losing weight was not what she had in mind for me and threw a spanner in the works. I got shin splints, calcified tendons, torn tendons, and even a diagnosis of being ‘exercise intolerant’ (i.e. slightly asthmatic). I’ve tried going to the gym multiple times, but after a month I just get bored with it. Likewise with the diets. After three months of starving myself, I’m just dying for a snack and go overboard.

Do I really need to lose weight? Yes, I do. My BMI (body mass index) is 32, so just into the obese range. I nearly faint due to lack of oxygen when tying my shoelaces, and my clothes are screaming at me to buy a bigger size. Most of all, I didn’t look good in any dress I wanted to wear over Christmas, so something had to be done!

My Way

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This time, I’m going to do it differently. I’m doing yoga, to warm up my body for some exercise in the future, probably karate (as half of my family is doing it). Not only is yoga good for your body, but looking at Finlay Wilson’s nicely shaped body is also good for the mind 🙂 (don’t worry, the book was a Christmas present from my husband, so he’s okay with the eye candy).

I’m not doing a particular diet nor counting calories nor measuring amounts of food. I’m just going to eat less. Cutting out a lot of carbs in particular. This means not eating the potatoes/rice/noodles that go with our dinners and not having any biscuits with my tea in the afternoon. It also means I can’t have sandwiches for breakfast or lunch and have to be more creative. Variety is the spice of life, n’est-ce pas?

Results

Every week I’ll embarrass myself and show you photos so you can see the difference. I’ll show you the first photos taken and then what I look like that week. You won’t be going ‘oh wow!’ if I show you the photos from the previous week (except for this week of course) as I’m expecting my weight loss to be a slow process. My GP once said to me, ‘It didn’t get there overnight, so don’t expect it to come off overnight.’ Wise words. So here are my results for Week 1.

I’m (still) 1.58m tall (5’2″), and at the beginning of the year, I weighted exactly 80kg (12.6 stone). I’ve never been this heavy in my life! This morning, I weighed… (drumroll): 77kg (12.1 stone)! I only began my diet last week, so I must have lost some weight in the first week of January. We were home again from our overeating expedition in Holland (visiting the family), so my diet was a lot healthier when I got back although not optimal.

W1F

 

Note the lesser amount of shadow on my belly. I’m trying to ‘keep my stomach in’ about the same on all the photos, so I’m not cheating. I’ll try in the future to keep my hands on my hips so you can see the ‘saddlebag’ I’ve got on my right hip. I suppose everybody is, but I hate being asymmetrical.

W1S

 

As you can see in the W0 photo (when you take a loupe 🙂 ), I have an indent mid-belly that is almost gone in the W1 photo. Woohoo! My belly is still sticking out way beyond my boobs, so we have a long way to go still, but we’re working on it.

Did I notice losing the weight? Yes, I did. I was able to move up to the next hole of my belt, going from a waistline of 88cm (34.6inch) to 85.5cm (33.7inch). Also, my pants are feeling slightly loser around my belly.

Diet

As mentioned, I cut out a lot of carbs from my diet. No potatoes, rice or noodles. Did I cheat? Yes, I did. I had a small handful of french fries with my dinner one day, and I did have some licorice lollies when I had a sore throat. I managed to stay away from any biscuits with my tea, though. I didn’t cut sugar out as I can’t drink my coffee without it, but that’s the only added form of sugar I’ve head. Oh, and no desserts of course. I once had some yoghurt with raspberries, but that’s it.

Here are some images of the breakfast and lunches I’ve had this week.

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My breakfast for the last two days has been a berry smoothie: yoghurt, milk, rolled oats, raspberries, and blueberries. Very nice. I don’t measure or weigh anything, I just add them so I have about 250ml (8.8oz) in total. I try to fill my stomach with an amount of about the size of my fist (usually slightly more for dinner). One of the lunches with sushimi (love that stuff!) has a dollop of garlic and herb sauce on it (the light version). I’m not going fat-free. You need fats to be able to absorb certain vitamins (A, D, E, K), so I eat fat, but in the amount of a teaspoon per meal.

Have I been hungry? Yes, I have. But as my Mom always says, ‘when your tummy rumbles, it doesn’t mean you have to put something in it every time.’

Are you on a weight loss journey? Why not do it together? Let me know how you’re going and we can help each other staying strong!

 

Header Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

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Meet The Author…

I thought it might be a fun idea to introduce you to some other authors. Once a week I will pick out an author for you and direct you to their page.

Meet Gregg Savage

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This week, I felt the twang of nostalgia when I read Gregg Savage’s guest post on The Story Reading Ape’s blog. He tells his tale of how he became a writer after telling his (step)daughter Ruby a story every night. My mind was taken back to when I was prompted by my children to write. It is funny how life can take you in directions you never thought were possible 🙂

Click on the link below to read his journey to become an author.

Meet Guest Author, Gregg Savage…

You can find Gregg’s website full of children’s stories here.

Header Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

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Author Interview with Colin Garrow

A few weeks ago I met Colin Garrow at the foot of Bennachie (the iconic ‘hill’ of Aberdeenshire). Temperatures were freezing, but we had a pleasant walk and a hot coffee afterwards. We thought it would be a fun idea to interview each other and that’s what we did. You can find my answers to Colin’s questions on his web page. Here are Collin’s answers to my questions.

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You’ve mentioned in interviews that you wrote stories when you were young. Can you remember the very first story that you wrote? If yes, what was it about?

The first one I can remember writing was intended to be a novel. It was inspired by ‘2112’ (an album by Canadian rock band, Rush), and was a sort of sci-fi/caveman-type epic. By the time I got to the fourth page, I’d run out of ideas.

Instead of studying literature, like most people think writers do, you went to drama school. What part of drama school influenced your writing the most?

The course I did was more about community drama than acting, so we learned lots of things about running workshops, working with community groups and creative arts, as well as putting on a few plays. Working with other actors helped me to see what worked on stage and what didn’t, and the different styles of theatre (Brechtian, naturalistic, physical etc) all influenced what I went on to write, though it’s more difficult to say how that happened. Basically, my writing suddenly improved, so I can only attribute it to what I learned on the course.

You have written a number of books for children. Did you tell your child/children your own bedtime stories or did you stick to the published ones at the time?

I wouldn’t want to pressurise my son to read my work, though he has read a few chapters from a couple of my books. So, no, when we went through the story-at-bedtime bit, I stuck to books we liked, progressing from the likes of, ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’, to ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks.’

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In the Christie McKinnon stories, your protagonist is female. Why did you choose to write these stories from a female point of view?

The first two children’s novels I wrote had boys as the hero (though both had female sidekicks), so when I started on ‘The Hounds of Hellerby Hall’ I deliberately chose a girl (with a boy for a sidekick). It was also interesting to think about how she would react to the situations she found herself in and how she was influenced by her surroundings – changing attitudes to women etc. Nevertheless, she turned into more of a tomboy than I wanted her to be.

A lot of your stories are set in the past. This requires a lot more research (i.e. time) for writers. What exactly attracts you to write about ‘the olden days’?

Well, research is a matter of opinion – of course it’s possible to do masses of research, but I didn’t want my books to be packed with historical facts, throwing in historically-accurate descriptions just for the hell of it. I wanted just enough detail to give a sense of authenticity. With the ‘Maps of Time’ series, I read a couple of books, the best of which was, ‘Restoration London: Everyday Life in the 1660s’ by Lisa Pickard, as it has loads of info about food, money, jobs and housing. However, I think it’s easy to get bogged down in facts and I didn’t want to bore my readers, so unless I need specific information, I tend to just make it up!

 thearchitectsapprentice

As to why I write historical fiction – I think it’s that I’ve always had a fascination with the past and how amazing it would be to go back and see what it was like. So I created worlds I hoped would come over as realistic.

Most of your stories are ‘whodunnits.’ Did you ever solve a mystery yourself?

Sadly no. Actually, I’m not at all perceptive and things that’d be really obvious to anyone else tend to go over my head. The only time I can solve mysteries is if when I invent them. (Although, to be fair, since I never know how they’re going to end, I still have to solve them – does that count?)

Besides a number of novels, you have also written a number of short stories and flash fiction. Do you prefer one above another and why?

Short stories are a great way of exploring an idea, so they’re useful exercises if I want to try different writing styles, or genres. I also like them because they force the writer to be concise, throwing away longer passages that might work well if it were a novel, but interrupt the flow in a short story.

I think generally I prefer novels, since they give me something substantial to work on, whereas if a short story isn’t working, I put it aside. At the moment, I’ve got about a dozen stories I’ve started but haven’t yet found interesting enough to finish.

Where/when/how do you get your inspiration for your stories?

In the past, I’ve tried writing exercises as a way of ‘discovering’ something to write about, but now I have a very specific way of working – I come up with a title and use that as inspiration. The first Christie McKinnon book was inspired by Joan Aiken’s ‘The Wolves of Willoughby Chase’, though it was specifically the title that inspired me, because I liked the alliteration and wanted a title of my own that sounded similar, hence ‘The Hounds of Hellerby Hall’. Once I had the title, I wrote the book to discover what had happened at the Hall and why there were hounds involved.

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With ‘Death on a Dirty Afternoon’ it was slightly different, because I also had a first line. In my book on writing, I’d come up with examples of first lines to show how they might be developed. One of them became the first line of the novel, so I had the title and the first line to inspire me. Other than that, it’s just a matter of writing until I get to the end.

 Is there a particular issue you prefer not to write about and, if so, why?

Not sure. I probably wouldn’t write, say, a political thriller, because I don’t know enough about politics to write intelligently on the subject. However, I think it’s important for writers to grow, so I wouldn’t rule anything out.

 If one of your books was chosen to put into a movie, which one would you choose and why?

It would have to be ‘The Architect’s Apprentice’, just because it would be brilliant to see the streets and houses recreated.

What is the ‘most unknown book’ you’ve read that influenced you as a person (not necessarily as a writer)?

I couldn’t tell you the title, since it’s long since vanished into the rubbish tip of my mind, but it was a book I read dozens of times as a kid. It was about a little boy whose dad is missing in Africa, so the boy builds an aeroplane out of bits of junk and flies to Africa to rescue him. It was a lovely book and I still think about it today.

What was the best advice regarding writing you ever received?

It has to be Stephen King’s words of wisdom on the two things you have to do to be a writer:

  1. Read a lot.
  2. Write a lot.

You can find all of Colin’s books here.

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Writers’ Corner update 12/10/2016

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 12/10/2016!

I know I said no posts for a while due to my attempt to getting my book ready for the fair, but I can’t help myself, too many interesting articles. 🙂

For example the article about what makes a leader, or the one about what it’s like to have Borderline Personality Disorder. Very interesting articles for characters in your next book.

In my Focus on Filming there is an interesting article which claims that Guardians of the Galaxy is the deadliest film of all times.

And according in my Health Herald magazine I sure hope I don’t get breast cancer after I turn 75 in the UK.

 

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Digitalized Remake of AAWiL

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I was having a shower this morning and had this wonderful idea. I often get inspiration in the shower, not sure why. Maybe it’s because it’s just me, the sound of water and my music. No, I don’t have a waterproof radio, I just put my phone really loud on the benchtop next to the shower. Sometimes I sing along, but I get my inspiration when I’m quiet.

The idea was that I would love to see a digitalized version of ‘An American Werewolf in London.’ That would be awesome! This is a movie from 1981, so before the digital era. The graphics were amazing back then, but so much more could be done now. The movie is funny, but also has suspense, horror, romance and action. All the stuff I love in one movie! It would be a dream come true.

Just for your information, I took the following from Wikipdia:

Accolades

  • Academy Award – Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (1982) (Won)
  • Saturn Award – Saturn Award for Best Horror Film (1982) (Won)
  • Saturn Award – Saturn Award for Best Make-up – Rick Baker – (Won)
  • Saturn Award – Saturn Award for Best Actress – Jenny Agutter (Nomination)
  • Saturn Award – Saturn Award for Best Writing – John Landis (Nomination)

At the 54th Academy Awards, An American Werewolf in London won the first-ever awarded Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup. During the 1982 Saturn Awards, the film won for Best Horror Film and Best Make-up and nominated for Best Actress and Best Writing.

The American Film Institute nominated it for ranking on its 100 Laughs list.[16] An Empire magazine poll of critics and readers named An American Werewolf in London as the 107th greatest film of all time in September 2008.

So, if any Twitterers in the film biz read this, please make it happen. And please put my name in the credits for the idea, would love to see my name in the credits…