The Awful Tooth

Ww While going through the Boxes of Stuff at Chez Mothership earlier this year I found my old Weight Watchers weigh-in cards (click pic to zoom). Specifically the cards from 2001, as opposed to the cards from the seventy previous attempts. The 2001 cards were sprinkled with gold stars and hope and toil, as opposed to despair and chocolate.

Just one look at those stars and I'm back there in my brown size 26 trousers with the dissolving thighs, about to nick off for one last pee before facing the machine. Looking at the handwriting I see how the ladies didn't write my weight down until Week 6, only the result, so I wouldn't freak out. I knew the actual number – I saw it on that other card, you know the one they store inside the WW high-tech filing system of Rusty Metal Box With Dividers In It? But it was cool that they tried to conceal it, lest I wail over their scale again. I know I've said this many times but they were the kindest women I ever met.

Looks like after Week 6 it was deemed safe to write it down, and I went back and filled in the gaps. I must've been getting cocky. So sure of success after six weeks! Hold your horses sucka, it's going to be six more years!

It's kind of sad that I can look at a piece of cardboard from eight years ago and know exactly what happened when, each pink sticker like a family photograph. Oh bless, that's that 0.4 gain when McDonalds introduced the Crunchie McFlurry. And that kilo came off the week I started Body Combat! And look, now its back again, after a family feud and two Chinese takeaways.

Another treasure I found was my weirdo tooth x-ray from 2003. There's a bit in the DG book where I had to get all four of my wisdom teeth surgically removed and I had a Fat Girl Freak Out that there won't be enough anesthetic in the land to knock me out. If only I'd found this earlier so we could have illustrated the chapter! Disappointing.

Check out the freaky corner choppers, flying in from all the wrong angles! I know I talk a lot of rubbish but surprisingly I have a non-big mouth… therefore there was no room at the inn for wisdom teeth.

X-ray

Every time I see an x-ray I always marvel that underneath our clothes and words and personae WE'RE ALL JUST SKELETONS. Isn't that comforting?

Dramatic close up of one quarter of my wisdom…

Wrong

Disclaimer: I've not been sleeping well this week and I'm totally delirious so please excuse the random piffle of this entry. Tomorrow's my first salsacise class – maybe it's anticipation keeping me up?! Bless ye and goodnight.

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Recipe Corner: Instant Frozen Yogurt!

Instant raspberry frozen yogurt I was briefly trapped in the greenhouse on Saturday. I always forget that the sliding door has no handle on the inside, so if you close it all the way it's a real bitch to open again. I fruitlessly tried to drag it with my fingers, then with the spout of the watering can.

The greenhouse thermometer read 39°C. How did I last 25 Australian summers? I'm totally wilting, man. And home alone too, so there's no point yelling for help. What a stupid place to die! Surrounded by ants and weeds and tiny green tomatoes!

Finally I found freedom by using a tomato stake for leverage.

After all that heat and minor panic I thought, I could totally go an ice cream. We'd flop on the grass together and enjoy the fact that it was 20 degrees cooler than inside that glass box! But alas, there was no ice cream. There's never bloody ice cream. So I watched the Tour de France instead.

That evening I was still thinking about ice cream… when suddenly! I remembered we had ye olde frozen raspberries. This in turn reminded me of a recipe Rasp-recipes chopped out of delicious. magazine a few months ago for… Instant Frozen Yogurt.

There's three ingredients:

1. Natural yogurt (I used Total Greek Yogurt. See note below)

2. Frozen berries

3. Icing sugar (USA = powdered sugar)

Method: Just zap and eat!

It was easy and delicious – all the goodness of ice cream without churning or custards or ice cream machines. And dead healthy, because you only need a slight dod of sugar. One spoonful of frozen yogurt and you'll be thinking of how you'll do it next time. With honey or agave nectar instead of sugar. With alternative frozen goods… blackberries or strawberries or banana or mango or pineapple or peas or fish fingers?

Note: The original recipe simply says "natural yogurt" but I find Greek gives the best results. If you can't find Greek yogurt or if it's expensive in your area, here's how to make your own thick, greek-style yogurt from normal plain yogurt! It works a treat.

Here it is broken down microscopically with photos, Pioneer Woman stylee.

First, the ingredients lounging in the back yard. The light was shoddy inside. This photo doubles as a personal reminder: MOW THE GRASS.

Ingredients: frozen raspberries, greek yogurt   and icing sugar

Frozen raspberries, icing sugar and Total Greek yogurt. Yes that's full fat yogurt. Everybody stay calm! Normally I use 2% but the local supermarket has not stocked it lately. I can't find a single source of 2% in the West Fife area. But if YOU have spotted it… please dial 999 immediately!

Or alternatively post a comment. In the meantime I'll keep carting tubs of 2% back over the bridge whenever I go to Edinburgh.

Now here's the goodies in the food processor. It's 1:1 ratio of fruit and yogurt. The original recipe used 500g of each to serve 6. For two generous serves, I used 150g yogurt, 150g raspberries and a tablespoon of icing sugar.

Raspberries ready to rock

Zap zap. It did not look promising at first. The yogurt would not move and the raspberries looked like the gravelly bits at the bottom of a bag of dog food.

Rasp-halfway

Zap zap again. The machine grunted in protest. It's never been the same since the DIY almond butter. I dumped out half so it had more room to move. You can see it starting to blend.

Halfway there

Zap zap. Just like the almond butter there's a lovely moment when it suddenly pulls together and you're done. Party party!

It was whipped and glossy, like soft gelato. You'll like the texture if you're one of those kids who used to churn your vanilla ice cream in the bowl to a soft-serve consistency.

The original recipe suggests you serve it with almond biscotti but I just I chucked on some fresh raspberries. It was a little tart but in a good way – it tasted of proper fruit. It was deliciously creamy too but would be just as good with the 2% yogurt – and easier to blend since it's less thick. It would probably be fine with 0% if you want to be saintly.

If you like a firmer texture, I found a similar raspberry gelato recipe from Jules of Stonesoup where she freezes the mixture for a few hours. She used cream but reckoned yogurt would be fine too.

This recipe was a revelation for this reformed ice cream addict. Healthy, easy and minimal sugar. A definite keeper.

Instant raspberry frozen yogurt

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Summer Facelift

I've slightly jazzed up the blog templates so if things are looking weird, just hit Refresh a few times so the stylesheet can reload. I've been gawking at the same colour scheme for 8.5 years now so I wanted to give it some more oomph and zing. Dudes… I feel reborn. Carry on!

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Get Out Of Your Own Way

Recently our kickboxing coach went crazy with Microsoft Word and a laminator and made some Motivational Posters. I used to see bare studio walls as I huffed through the jack jumps and high knee jogging, but now there's a bounty of cheesy inspiration:

  • Pain Is Just Failure Leaving The Body
  • Over Prepare So You Don't Under Perform
  • It's Always Too Soon To Quit
  • Pressure Is A Challenge To Meet Rather Than A Threat of Defeat
  • In Case Of Fire Our Evacuation Meeting Point Is Adjacent To The Bus Station.

This is the one that's plonked in my direct line of vision:

Get-out-of-your-own-way

I get in my own way all the bloody time. I should have feet full of holes from all the times I've shot myself there. Some days it doesn't matter how much confidence someone has in my abilities, it's nigh impossible to believe it for myself. If you gave me one reason why I could do something I'd give you nine why I'd be rubbish.

Our coach deserves a knighthood for services to self esteem. The lassies on our team are a rich variety of ages, shapes, abilities and backgrounds. Whether you're a prize fighter or a galumphing amateur, he has utter faith in our ability to achieve. He quietly pushes us out of our comfort zones and sees no reason why we can't kick arse, literally and figuratively. I love observing the determined flush a well-time compliment can bring. You can see the posture straighten and the punches sharpen.

Personally there's been occasions when I've said "I can't do that move" and Mr Coach will say "Yeah you can!" so I do it, albeit clumsily. Then I see that the only real obstacle is my own mind – the insecurities and doubts and self-imposed limitations.

I talked about this stuff with a fellow foot-shooter and we reckoned that an important step towards getting out of your own way is to figure out why the hell you keep doing it in the first place. But it's still exhilarating to recognise when it happens, push the fears aside and go forth regardless. Even if it results in getting punched in the nose!

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Teach Yer Children Well

Teach! Your Children Well!The Annual BlogHer Conference kicks off in Chicago this weekend and I'm spewingly jealous that I won't get to see some truly brilliant bloggers host a panel called Blogs & Body Image: What are we teaching our kids?

In a society where more young girls fear becoming fat than they fear cancer, nuclear war, or losing their parents, some bloggers are taking a stand against teaching their children learned behaviors that affect their body image.

The panel stars MizFit, Roni, Kate Harding, Claire Mysko and Heather from MAMAvision and takes place during the Friday afternoon session. They are asking the question: How can your blogs be a conduit to transformation?

Join this session to discuss how your writing can impact kids, whether you should think twice before publishing that self-deprecating post, and how you have the power to influence positive change.

I love the sound of this and I love that the panelists represent a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints but have banded together for the positve body image/self esteem cause. If you're going along to BlogHer why not check it out? And get all their autographs for me?

Watrdbling Update: The ladies are just about to launch their new blog We are the REAL deal and already there's some fantastic posts up. They are also have a Pledge that you can sign:

"… Committing to an actual pledge, posted online for all to see, is meant to provoke an immediate change in thinking and a keen awareness of how often thoughts of negative body image thoughts impact your life.

We hope this will serve as a reminder to stay with the life changing principles described, and it will work as a motivational tool to help you you stick with us on this journey."

Pop along to find out more!

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Why gardening is like weight loss

Wee-greensWhile shoving a few seeds in pots and washing bugs from the crevice of lettuce leaves hardly qualifies me as a gardener, I’m finding this growing malarkey so addictive and relaxing. With all that learning and bumbling error, gardening is a great metaphor for life. But I know most people come here for the lard busting chat, so it’s time for another episode of… Dodgy Weight Loss Analogies!

It’s best to start small
I nearly went beserk on my first visit to the garden shoppe – OMG obscure berries and fancy tomatoes and potatoes with girly names! We should get chickens too! And keep a goat in the bathroom!

It was just like the old dieter’s mindset: Must lose 2 kilos, revolutionise lifetime of crappy eating habits and do 5 gym visits by Sunday!

So I slowed down – starting out small meant less chance of falling into a defeated heap two weeks later. I internetted “easy plants for absolute beginners” and settled on salad leaves and herbs for my debut.

Knowledge is power
If you’re out of your depth you can’t be afraid to ask for help. In this case it’s been my father-in-law, gardening blogs and “The Kitchen Gardener” by Alan Titchmarsh – a very straightforward book that explains the basics in gentle, encouraging tones. Whenever a plant does something weird or looks close to death our mantra is, “Ask Titchy!” The good thing is, the more you learn the more confident you become and eventually/hopefully you’ll get bold enough to test your own thoughts and ideas.

You gotta get dirrrrty
You could shove seeds in the ground then admire a la distance while hoping for the best. But if you want sexy results you have to get mucky. You have to nuture your babies, water them regularly and patrol for snails. As with lard-busting, it all boils down to time, sweat and toil.

From little things big things grow
At first it looks so pointless and insignificant – a broken pot, some dirt and £1 packet of seeds. Then you spy a tiny hopeful shoot pushing through. Then suddenly a few weeks later you’re greeted with a lush spray of poncy salad leaves. Just like when you start your healthy quest, a brisk walk and forsaking Pop Tarts for porridge can feel like it will never amount to anything. But give it time and patience and those small efforts sprout into bigger rewards.

Mind your own business
It’s easy to get Garden Envy when the neighbours are retired and have more time and fancy equipment and fancy flowers and whatnot and all you have is a rusty spade and a half-dead strawberry cutting. I was no stranger to lard-busting jealousy either – She’s losing weight faster than me! She’s got a personal trainer! She doesn’t have to work! Rah rah rah!

But you have to focus on your own situation and budget and channel that energy into making the most of the tools you have to hand. You might have a second-hand DVD instead of a personal trainer… but you still have YOU and your own imagination.

PERFECTIONISM IS FUTILE
Holy moly this is a lesson I need to learn. So often I’m frozen into inaction for fear being undeserving or doing something wrong or rubbishly. But the gardening is showing me that it doesn’t bloody matter if you cock up. It’s more fun to let go of the outcome and plunge your hands into the soil. What’s the worst that could happen? The plant might cark it but you only lose a few hours of your time or a few pennies for the seedling. Failure is your friend. Embrace ineptitude!

Some things are beyond your control
You can be diligent with your diet or pamper the hell out of your plants, but sometimes the weather turns nasty or a pheasant craps on your head or a snail gnaws away at your resolve. But at least you’re DOIN’ IT, baby.

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No Year’s Resolutions Update #2

I was meant to report back on my No Year's Resolutions at the end of April but now it's the middle of July and the year is more than half done! HALF DONE?

It is 10.33 PM so to continue this entry would be to break the Internet Curfew but I've not posted blogged for two weeks (attack of self-consciousness following series of unsavoury comments and emails) so I'm keen to break to seal, as it were. So will attempt to bash out an update by 10.45, when the computer is timed to explode if you're not off it.

The Minimum Standards Agreement Update

  1. Writing Down My Food - did not happen in March as was eating my way around Australia. Did not happen in April and May due to unseasonal gloom. But by June I was back in business and remembering what a useful, calming exercise it is. I tend to do well Monday to Friday but slacken off on the weekend.
  2. Exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes – Nae bad. I've even been doing yoga or pilates before work sometimes, as part of a campaign to get more bendy for kickboxing. But again, slackness on Sundays! Does weeding the garden count? How about watching Wimbledon or the MotoGP? I do a lot of blinking. That must burn 0.00056 calories per hour.
  3. 10.30PM Internet Curfew – not good. Only obeying about 50% of the time, which leads to restless slumber then next-day crabbitness. Why don't I learn!?

Pizza On the non-fat goals front I'm chuffed with all the tiny "live in the moment, man!" things happening:

  • On schedule to read 52 books in 52 weeks this year!
  • Halfway through the process to getting my UK citizenship
  • Started a herb garden
  • Finally made a pizza from scratch! YEAST YOU DON'T SCARE ME NO MORE! (photo is of pizza #1; pizza #2 was round and pretty!)

They're also starting salsacise classes at my gym, which is the closest I'll get to my "take salsa classes" goal for a wee while since Dr G believes salsa classes are what desperate couples do to find the flame again when they're on the brink of divorce. Salsacise will do for now as I'm bored to death with my usual cardio. Cannae wait to get those hips moving.

Poor excuse for an entry I know, but it's 10.54PM. Did you make any resolutions in January? How're they coming along?

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