Feeling quite chuffed actually

There you go.  The title is a British is you can get.  Actually.

Three quarters of the way through the year 2017, and I’ve written a daily entry in my Moleskine A5 size diary for every day bar about five or six days.  (That was the old-fashioned way of blogging.)  My best year (so far – three months to go) ever.

I guess it’s a case of self-discipline and just getting into the habit.

Still more Adrian Mole than Samuel Pepys, however. 🙂

Have an entry a day, won’t you!

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Meeting a Fellow Blogger

Today I was in the library.  I got chatting to a young lady who I’d seen last week.  She was writing copious notes on an A4 writing pad.

Is that study notes for your university course starting next week?

No.  Notes for my blog, which I’ve recently started.

Wow, a fellow blogger!  Do bloggers do secret handshakes and codewords?  No.  We just swap stories and tips, many of which I had picked up from Blogging for Dummies and Blogging for Creatives, as well as from my lovely Schatz, who introduced me to blogging all those years ago.

Blogging is good.

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Have a creative day, won’t you!

Blood sugar diet: day 22 of 56

What have I learnt so far?

  1. Don’t panic if you have a blip.  Stay focussed.  Start afresh.  One week’s weight gain or loss is, in any event, but a small step when you remember it took years to put the weight on.
  2. The 72-hour rule of thumb.  If I have had a blip, it takes about me about 3 days for the “blip weight” to pass out of my body.  (I won’t get too scatalogical here…)
  3. If you do have a blip one week, don’t starve yourself.  Just go back to what you were doing that was helping you to lose weight.  Last week I had a few too many Haribos and Balisto snacks, probably about 3000 calories worth, equalling about 0.5kg, which is what I put on last week.  This week so far I have had literally three, maybe four, Haribo pieces.
  4. If you are tempted to have sweet things, have an ice cream, rather than sweets.  A Magnum ice cream bar has “only” 259 calories and is more filling than a pack of wine gums.  The ice cream is also quite a nice dessert after a salad lunch.
  5. Do some exercise in the evening.  The last two evenings Düsseldorf has enjoyed glorious sunshine.  I have made the most of it.  I’ve already caught the sun after only 20 minutes at lunchtime today.  (Well, what do you expect from a redhead?)  Two 50-minute cycle rides to explore and recce new routes.  I’ve also found a new “salmonellaburger van”, where I can stop off for a coffee.  Another advantage of cycling is this: you can’t comfort-eat while you are cycling – especially if you don’t bring any money with you.  (“Lead us not into temptation.”)  The Union Flag cycling top still turns heads.

Finally, here is a pic of me in my favourite cycling top, back in 1998 in God’s Country, the Yorkshire Dales.  Dennis the Menace from The Beano comic.

Dennis

Have an un-menacing day, won’t you!

Blood sugar diet: day 15 of 56

So, the past weekend.  I allowed the shackles to come off a bit.  Over the weekend, I ate white bread rolls, and I also had curry twice.  Oh, and a couple of bottles of beer.  I probably blipped up a bit on weight, but on Monday I was back in the groove today.  I tend to think of it as being analogous to a prisoner going on weekend leave and returning to HMP Wherever.  (Vocab note: HMP – Her Majesty’s Prison.)

Since the weekend I have been as good as gold, albeit with about ten Haribo sweets altogether.  I had been tempted to eat a Halbeshänchen (half a rotisserie chicken) on the way to a meeting yesterday evening, but instead chose to enjoy a nice home-made omelette (mushroom, ham and sliced gouda cheese – most pleasing to the palate).

Yesterday I cycled to a church meeting in glorious sunshine.  I cycled back in the dark.  I wore my Union Jack Flag cycling top and Union Flag helmet.  The rationale was not patriotism, but somewhat more prosaic.  One month ago, I could not get that top on.  Well, maybe I could have, but I would have done a very good impression of Doctor David Banner turning into the Incredible Hulk, with the slow rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-rip sound of shirt material slowly tearing.

Yesterday evening the top fitted me, albeit slightly tightly, but it certainly came down below my belly button.  I shall keep wearing the top every time I go cycling to measure progress in terms of looser clothes, as well as scales being friendlier.

Here I am in Union Flab Flag clothing.  It turned a few heads as joggers and cyclists headed past me along the banks of the River Rhine…

UnionFlagPic

Have a patriotic day, won’t you!

The Eight-Week Blood Sugar Diet

My name is Ginge in Germany.

I am obese.  I weigh 122.4kg.  My waistline is 120cm.  I am a type 2 diabetic. I am maxed out on tablets.  I do not inject insulin (yet).

I have tried various diets, as well as hypnosis.  Hypnosis has been the most effective method so far, dropping from 120kg down to 108kg in 12 weeks back in 2003.  A week ago I was chatting to an old classmate of mine, who is now a nurse.  She recommended the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet.  This is the book.

Minutes after chatting to the aforementioned classmate, I had ordered the book off Amazon.  Two days later the book arrived.  Schatz was away all weekend.  I dedicated myself to reading the book from cover to cover over the weekend.  The first section was all about VLCD: very low calorie diet.  I get the idea.  I whizzed that part, yellow highlighter pen in hand.

On Sunday I bought a pocketbook at the McPaper stationery shop.  This book has now become my food diary.  Everything gets jotted there.  Today I started in earnest.  Smoked salmon omlette for dinner.  Most pleasing to the palate.  On the way back from the supermarket  I called in at my local cafe.  Tempted as I was, I refrained from ordering my usual piece of cake or bread roll.

Nur eine grosse Tasse Kaffee, bitte.

The lady sitting at the table next to mine turned out to be from Croatia.  I ended up practising my very rusty language skills with her.

Dugo nisam govorio hrvatski.

One hour and three cups of coffee later, time to head home.  I had forgotten all about eating sticky, sugar cake.  As Barak Obama once said…

…Chuffed to bits.

Any cold turkey?  Any cravings?  So far – no.  Perhaps coincidentally a slight headache, though that may be caused by the dull overcast weather or slight dehydration.  I am following expert advice and drinking 2-3 litres of water a day while on this WOE (way of eating).  On the other hand, I think my blood sugar has already improved.  I feel more alert, energetic and awake already.  Maybe it’s also because I’ve also given up on drinking cola…  Nothing like a good de-tox.  Oh, and I feel a lot more cheerful and positive, with an improved attention span.

Today I decided to work from home.

Lead us not into temptation.

That way I avoided colleagues offering me sweets, birthday cake, encouraging me to go on, have the lovely dessert, etc.  Close confinement at work, with minimal food in the flat.  If it isn’t there, you can’t eat it.

It’s day 1.  Let’s see how it all looks on day 56.

Have a healthy day, won’t you!

 

Birthday Nostalgia

So, last week was my birthday: 21 again, and more.

Where was I on that day of the year…?

  • 10 years ago: Doing pgce teacher training in Middlesbrough.  Not my cup of tea.  Ler’s just leave it at that.
  • 20 years ago: Started my first ever permanent job, working in the International Programme Liaison team at Mercury Communications Ltd.  I did a lot of telecoms courses in that year.
  • 30 years ago: At sixth form college in Middesbrough, re-sitting my O-levels.  That was where I started studying Russian.
  • 40 years ago: At Wolfenbüttel Primary School, near the East-West German border, being sent to the headmaster’s office to take a phone call from my Dad, then stationed at HMP Maze, Northern Ireland, to wish me happy birthday.

Have a nostalgic day, won’t you!

Being Old-Fashioned

I’m quite old-fashioned, and proudly so.  I believe in:

  • Saying please and thank you
  • Holding doors open for people
  • Waiting with female friends at the bus stop until they’ve boarded their bus
  • Saying “shedule”, not “skedule”
  • Using a fountain pen

I use a fountain pen.  I use it when writing my diary (Anne Frank/Samuel Pepys/Adrian Mole-style), which I often write while sitting in the local old folks waiting room local cafe. I’ve often found it to be an effective ice-breaker.

“Are you left-handed?”

(Your hearing might be going, but by Jove, your eyesight is still good, Kumpel.

“Is that a fountain pen?  It’s really stylish-looking.  What make is it?  Where can I buy one?”

Actually, they don’t bombard the questions.  That’s just a summary of what they ask.

The piece de resistance is when they see me filling my fountain pen with ink.  Even traditionalists who write with a fountain pen tend to use cartridges.  Not me.  I use a converter.

converter

 

Imagine the look of amazment on the face of a nine-year-old member of the Ipod generation, watching a left-hander writing a diary entry with a fountain pen and then seeing him drawing ink from a bottle into a converter.  She must have thought she was watching an episode of How We Used To Live.

Edit: Here is a sample of my handwriting, in in English and Russian/Cyrillic.  I messed one word up on the second line.

20161004_174900

Have an old-fashioned day, won’t you!