I thought you might like to know how I’m doing in my struggles to get slimmer and fitter.


The good news is that I’m now pretty good at using the treadmill every day, and I’m up to 32 minutes at the fair old clip (for me) of between 3 and 3.6mph, during which I actually jog for a couple of minutes once or twice.  I add in an incline of up to 7% and vary the speed and the incline up or down depending on how close to collapse I feel, and I also do 15 minutes on the iJoyRide at the maximum setting which varies the speed randomly.  Hey, don’t knock it – this is a real achievement for this sluggardly couch potato!!  Remember also I have fibromyalgia, so sometimes physical effort is a challenge, so I feel that I’m doing OK there.

I also walk the dogs daily – usually twice daily – and I’ve started to take Jeffie off occasionally for a faster, longer walk by himself so Sid doesn’t getting too worn out trying to keep up, and I don’t get tangled in the leads as they both decide to sniff the same bush, which may or may not be on the same side of me as they are … uh … were.  My pedometer tells me that I’m keeping up the walking activity reasonably well and managing to average my 10,000 steps pretty much all of the time.  I might have a few ‘off’ days when I don’t get above 8,500 or so, but equally, there are 12,000 step days – and even, once, over 14,000!

I admit that I feel better for it.  I am much more active, and have more energy.  I don’t get so tired when walking or using the kit.  Yay for me!

So.  Do my clothes fit better?  Is the weight dropping off my suddenly sylph-like form?

No, and no.  Boo hiss.

Have I lost inches?  Well, that’s debatable.  Yes, I think I have lost some (tiny amount) off my waist, actually, and half an inch may possibly be missing from my bust.  But nothing dramatic.

I know I’m at That Time of Life when weight loss is suddenly enormously difficult.  I know having an underactive thyroid can’t help.  I know that the fibro doesn’t help either, because I doubt I’ll be able to push the treadmill numbers up much more than this, and I’m already suffering quite a lot with my neck, possibly due to the pounding, repetitive exercise.

So, there you have it.  It’s disheartening when I look at myself in the mirror and I know that I’m going to have to slice something off my food intake before I see any kind of real result.  I also know that once I do, and once I actually begin to lose some of the excess baggage, my blood pressure will be a lot better too .. but that’s a bit better already, actually.  I’m sometimes getting readings that are almost on the low side. I think the record for that was 104/61, and yes, I did feel a bit funny, thank you very much.  Kind of dizzy and lightheaded.  On the other hand, there are also days when my BP is a little above 90mmHg diastolic – which does tend to come down again after exercise.  Mostly it hovers between the high 70s and mid to high 80s.

It’s been interesting, actually, having it taken and recorded twice daily.  When OH first began to do it, it was consistently high.  After a week, it began to drop to the level I’ve quoted above.  Then there was a period when we didn’t take it and when we started again, the readings were again high for the first week, and then dropped.  I guess this proves that I do have White Coat Syndrome – even at home!

Part of me is rather depressed at the thought that I’m literally running to stand still on the weight loss front, and at the thought that I’m going to have to continue doing this for the rest of my life unless I want to balloon like Mrs Grape and die young .. although to misquote Billy Connolly, I’m already rather too old to die young!

You want to know the step count for today (with about two and half hours to go and one dog walk yet to be done)?

Ten thousand, one hundred and seventy three.

I should make it to 11,000 today, which after a really sleepless night and early (ish) rise today can’t be bad.

How about you?  Who else is trying to get (or stay) in shape?  Any tips?

Please tell me someone has invented a way to eat chocolate cake that burns more calories than you take in?


By the way, that woman up there is not me.  I wish it were!  Unfortunately, I look more like this …

Posted on March 6, 2012 in Life, the Universe and Everything, Oddities by Jay8 Comments »

Tuesday is the day. I have decided! Yes, Tuesday is the day when I will pose you a little puzzle composed entirely of, well, nothing much, actually. Anyway, what you must do is take a look at the shadow in the picture and then take a guess at what the object is.

Last week’s puzzle was way too easy, since all of you guessed correctly – well, those of you who posted before the answer was added did, anyway. This week it’s a wee bit harder, though it’s still pretty easy, I think.

Now. I know you lot. You want clues and you want plenty of them! Well, this is a very common object. There surely can’t be many people who have never used one! You find them indoors and out, and they come in many, many different types, sizes, and materials. They can be pretty much any colour you can think of, too. Some you can tuck under one arm to carry away, but some you can’t. Truth be told, for some I would need a forklift truck before I could carry them away .. but then, I’m not really very strong.

Anyway, you might not have one like mine, but when you see the whole picture, I promise you, you WILL recognise it for what it is.

As usual, the answer will be added to the bottom of this post tomorrow evening. That’s Wednesday evening, UK time. Meanwhile, off you go and have fun. Answers can be added in the comments!

Well. I’m clearly going to have to make these things a LOT harder!! You all seem to quite like the game though, so I shall soldier on and try to find a really challenging shadow game for you all next week. Meanwhile, yep – you all got it right, and here’s the picture to prove it! Well done, you lot!!

Thanks for playing!

I’d nearly forgotten about Sunday Selections, and then fellow blogger Carolina from Brinkbeest in English reminded me when I went to take a look at her blog this afternoon. So you can thank Carolina for this post – and so do I. Thanks, Carolina!

I’ve been forgetting a lot this week. Not only am I at the time of life when forgetting comes more naturally than remembering, but I’ve had trouble with my neck, which has given me a weird form of migraine with bits missing both from my vision and my memory. It has Not been Fun. However, Kim the chiro has helped quite a lot, and I’m seeing her again on Monday, so wish me luck on that one.

Meanwhile, here is my selection for Sunday. I took these shots around my village last February – so almost exactly one year ago. The weather seems nicer, somehow!

This is our church, St Benedict’s. Not much to say about that, really. It’s a typical English perpendicular, I think.

Oh, yes, and it is the home of the famous ‘Mooning Gargoyle’. The story goes that the stonemason was not paid for his services, so he got his revenge in the only way he knew. Nice touch, Mr Stonemason!

This is another historical building, Granville House. There is an inscription, which gives the date, 1792, and the initials ‘EW’, possibly commemorating the marriage of one Elizabeth Webster.

The owners cut down a beautiful mature honey locust tree a few years back, which had given me pleasure every spring since we moved there, with its racemes of fragrant, creamy blossoms. I shan’t easily forgive them for that. I mean, how often do you see honey locust trees in England?

We have historic houses coming out of our ears here, by the way. This one is the Old Bakehouse. Prettily thatched, it’s a typical ‘English village’ cottage, isn’t it?

I’m pretty sure it did actually used to be the village bakehouse, too. Between this one and Granville House (a distance of a few hundred yards), we have the Old Dairy, and Pond House, both historic, Grade II listed buildings. In fact there are 32 Grade II listed buildings in our little village.

This one’s a bit of a mystery.


It’s in the High Street, and I see it each time I go to the Post Office or take the dogs on one of their longer walks.  Each time I wonder what ‘Zlata Praha’ means and why it’s wrought into the iron of this gateway.   The best I’ve been able to discover is that it might be an old nickname for Prague, which makes it an even more odd thing to see here in the depths of rural England*.

Anyway.  It is, of course, another Grade II listed building … and that wonderful hedge up at the top there runs along its front border next to this gateway.

Don’t forget to pop along to FrogPondsRock for more previously unpublished random photos from people’s archives!



* Well.  Not ‘depths’ exactly.  And ‘rural’ is becoming questionable, but we’re not part of the city yet.