Stating The Obvious

This post was imported from my short-lived, now-defunct food blog, Cooking With Ginger.

Food labels, while essential and informative, are often amusing in their painful obviousness. Like when your bar of Hazelnut Cadbury Dairymilk says "May Contain Nuts" on the wrapper. But a recent purchase from Marks and Spencer really took the cake. M&S have a new range called Eat Well, with over 1,000 products that are nutritionally balanced and contain no artificial flavourings, colours or sweeteners. In order to distinguish them from their delectable melting chocolate puddings and highly addictive caramel shortbreads, all Eat Well products are marked by a bold sunflower logo.

 

eatwell.jpg

M&S seem keen to let us know they're flogging healthy stuff too, but are we really living in an age where we need a little sticker to tell us a potato doesn't contain any colours or sweeteners? Plus a wee note that you really shouldn't eat the sticker? Next thing we'll see Suitable For Vegetarians or FAT FREE labels splashed across a bunch of celery.

Stickability

Wednesday Weigh-In: 0.7kg (1.5lb) gone.

So I’ve now finally lost my Portugal Pounds. 6 weeks to lose 6.5 pounds. So much for the idea that Holiday Gains are temporary! That said, I’ve only been working really hard for half of those weeks. I still want to take it up a notch this week, and get both exercise and eating right in the same week. I want this loss to stick. I want Virgin Territory next week! Woohoo!

. . .

I cannae type no more, cap’n. My shoulder is killing me. In fact, the pain starts in the side of my neck then shoots down the side of my forearm, through my wrist down to my freakin’ thumb. My good ol dodgy right shoulder again. Not sure why. Maybe too much furious writing/typing? Maybe I pulled a wrong move with the weights. Och well. I have a date with some ice and ibuprofen. Rest, rest, rest.

In the meantime, please chat amongst yourselves. How’s life treating you today? What’s been happening?

International Thermostat

On Sunday afteroon I was reading about Kathryn and Phillipa shopping for winter coats in chilly Melbourne. Meanwhile in Scotland, I looked up from the screen to see a bunch of blokes outside, sauntering down the streets with their shirts off. Pale, scrawny, sunken chests giving off a ghostly glow beneath the piddling spring sunshine.

I checked a weather site and discovered the maximum temperature for both Edinburgh and Melbourne on Sunday was 14 degrees! (57'F)

It all depends on context. If you're in Britain and the sun manages to squeeze past the clouds after a long and dreary winter, you're looking for any excuse to show some flesh. Likewise in Oz, after those endless scorching summers, everyone is busting to dig out their jumpers and scarves. I remember in high school, I used to listen to the weather forecast on the radio each morning in eager anticipation. If it was 14 degrees or below I'd declare it Trackie Weather, cool enough to wear my beloved sloppy trackies/trackiebottoms/sweatpants to school!

But over the past few years my thermostat has adjusted to Scotland and now 14 degrees sounds positively sub-tropical. I am thinking salads, long walks and ice cream. I am completely useless in the heat now. It reached 20'C (68'F) in Portugal and all I could do was slump on a park bench and moan, "Water! Water!".

Here's the forecast for this week. I predict mittens, casseroles and roaring fireplaces for Melbourne. And short skirts and barbeques for Edinburgh!

Weather

. . .

Just a few wee items of housekeeping!

  1. Try not to take things out of context. Simply saying that I liked Dr Phil's catchphrase, "You Gotta Name It To Claim It" does not translate to a ringing endorsement of said doctor. There's no need to keep emailling to remind me that Dr Phil sucks. I have always thought him a complete tool; I just think the catchphrase is handy in terms of clearly defining goals.

    This is no doubt my fault and possibly a cultural misunderstanding. When I said Dr Phil was "a bit of a tool". I meant tool as in wanker, idiot, moron. Not as in, "something regarded as necessary to the carrying out of one's occupation or profession" as defined by dictionary.com.
     

  2. Please don't pimp your business in the comments. If you have a product you'd like to me to review or try, why not send an email, as most companies are kind enough to do? But if you simply post a comment chock full of URLs flogging your wares, that is spamming and your comment will be removed. This is a personal blog. I do not have advertising on here and I am not looking to make money. I just want to talk to my pals, tell a story and have a laugh.
     
  3. I'm compiling a FAQ for this site to help out with the most common queries, including the ubiquitous Loose Skin Conundrum. I am always happy to share what has or has not worked for me in this lard-busting caper, so if you have any burning questions please let me know – dietgirl @ this domain. The most frequently asked will obviously go to the FAQ, woohoo!

. . .

Pilates started up again yesterday after a two-week Easter break. Holy FLAMING CORE, Batman!

. . .

I am thinking of getting a bike. I can't actually ride a bike yet, but I am hoping that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Keep Going

You know, Dr Phil is a bit of a tool, but I have always liked his mantra, You Gotta Name It To Claim It. Dieting in secret never worked for me, and neither did keeping my writing ambitions secret. Being secretive just meant I faffed around and achieved nothing. But now I’ve finally stopped the vagueness and properly defined my goals. And most importantly, I have Claimed ’em out loud. Now that openly declared that I want to Finish The Lard Busting and that I want to Write A Stinking Book, I feel motivated and focused. Saying it out loud makes it feel real and accountable.

It’s also making me better organised with my time and energy. I am about to finish my second week in a row of Proper Planned Exercise! My muscles ache deliciously and it’s great to feel smug two weeks in a row. Woo bloody hoo.

. . .

My favourite mantra is actually a quote by Winston ChurchillWhen you’re going through hell, keep going.

It’s particularly useful during catastrophic events, but also works for trifling inconveniences, such as When The Bloody Scales Won’t Go Down.

I’ve been having my Fat Camp fantasies again. When I was super lardy, I used to dream of being banished to a type of gulag for the obese, where I would be pummeled into shape by a crack team of nutritionists and trainers, before being returned to society a brand-new, slim and healthy person. Oh, just to be removed from society for a year or so, to focus on nothing but losing weight! No work, no social events, no family dinners, no Christmas feasts, no corner stores with chocolate bars.

I hadn’t thought about Fat Camp for ages.  But lately with my less than spectacular results, I’ve been daydreaming about being Sent Away to finish the job without Real Life getting in the way. I’d only need two months of extreme regime. Three, tops!

Last night we went to a friends house and the plan was to get an Indian takeaway for dinner. I’d been sulking in advance all week, knowing that even the vegetarian dishes would still be greasy. Why do we have to be social anyway? Can’t I just live in a vacuum til I’m done? Bah humbug!

It was fine in the end. The veggie food was nice, I ate too much naan but didn’t drink the wine. I’m not one to waste calories on liquids. It was great to see our friends. I realised once again that life does not stop for weight loss. I am not about to bring along a bowl of lettuce to someones house.

I guess all I can do is aim to be consistent as much as I can, and minimise the damage on these special occasions. I have to remember what works for me in the long term — slow and steady, no extremes. If I stay consistent, my efforts will bring results eventually.  Which of course brings to mind another quote by another great 20th century philosopher, Rachel Hunter.  As she famously said in the Pantene commercials, It won’t heppen overnight, but it will heppen.

rachel hunter

. . .

Here’s a most excellent, sane and informative podcast that’s well worth a listen even if you don’t have kidlets – Getting Children To Eat Well, by Dr Joel Furhman, author of Disease Proof Your Child. All via the lovely Loobylu.

Recipe Corner: Wild Mushroom Risotto

This post was imported from my short-lived, now-defunct food blog, Cooking With Ginger.

mushroom.jpg Healthy recipes tend to taste light and clean – full of fresh herbs and strong flavours, like Elise's amazing Seared Tuna that we've been devouring every week since she posted it. Just one mouthful of dish like that makes you feel holy and virtuous. But sometimes you don't feel holy and virtuous. Sometimes the body screams out for decadence, comfort and stodge! 

Traditionally, comfort and stodge means a pound of butter and/or a pint of cream. But the best healthier recipes make the most of ingredients that add maximum richness and flavour without mega calories. This Weight Watchers mushroom risotto proved a great example – rich and creamy without actual cream or dodgy low-fat dairy. Just look at the main ingredients:

  • arborio rice – inherently creamy and starchy
  • white wine – just 150mL but it adds a bit of posh
  • dried porcini mushrooms – soaked in boiling water, both shrooms and stock adding richness
  • parmesan cheese – a scant 50g for four serves, but plenty to give creaminess

The beauty of most Weight Watchers recipes today (apart from the shitey ones with artificial sweetners) is that they cleverly reduce the amounts of the most calorific yet flavoursome ingredients, while adding bulk with low-cal or low-fat stuff like vegetables. The recipes taste a bit lighter than the Original versions, but not so "diet-y" that you feel you're being defrauded. It was nicely luxurious, with all those mushrooms making for a meaty and satisfying meal for this faux-vegetarian. 

My tiny mods to this recipe: I used bog standard cheapo button mushies but added a pack of Tesco "Mixed Exotic" mushrooms for fun. I should have written down their names, but we're basically talking all the odd-shaped weird ones. They were mighty flavoursome. I probably twice the specified quantity too, that way I got to have more in my bowl! I forgot to buy parsley so chucked in some baby spinach, which was noice. I also stirred in the parmesan in the saucepan, as opposed to sprinkling on top, so you get that nice creamy cheesiness in every bite.

WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO 
Source:  How To Cook The Weight Watchers Way 
Serves:  4 

20 g dried porcini mushrooms 
150 ml boiling water
low fat cooking spray
1 onion, finely chopped 
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
350 g arborio rice 
100 ml white wine 
1.2 litres hot vegetable stock 
200 g mushrooms, sliced 
a small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped 
salt and freshly ground pepper 
50 g Parmesan cheese, finely grated, to serve 

Place the dried mushrooms in a measuring jug and add the boiling water. Soak for 25 minutes. 
Heat a large, heavy saucepan, spray with the cooking spray, and gently stir fry the onion and garlic until softened. Add the rice and and stir to mix well, then add the wine. 
Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the stock, chop into small pieces. Strain the soaking water through a fine mesh sieve or piece of muslin and add to the risotto (I did not strain it: too lazy/hungry), with the reconstituted and fresh mushrooms. (I actually stir-fried fresh mushies a wee bit before I added the porcini and liquid) 
Add the vegetable stock in small quantities, cooking and stirring frequently until all of it has been absorbed. 
Check the seasoning and stir in the parsley (or spinach til wilted). 
Serve with the parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top. 

Per serve:  418 calories, or 6 WW Points 

NB:  Photo is copyright of and unceremoniously nicked from the Weight Watchers UK website, as once again I forgot to photograph before eating! Oh dear. 

UPDATE: Thanks to Pamela who cooked this recipe and pointed out there was no mention of stock! Oh dear. The ingredients list has been amended πŸ™‚

I Want Something’s Flesh!

Do you think I need some red meat?

Saturday night I had a dream, in which I arrived home from work, starving as usual. I went to the fridge looking for the half hamburger I’d put there for safekeeping. I love cold burgers. If I go to a takeaway in Oz or an overpriced gourmet burger joint in Britain, I like to take half my burger home in a doggy bag, just so I can eat it the next day. A night in the fridge gives the bun and the salad and the meat time to mingle so deliciously…

But alas! My dream burger was not in the fridge!

I stormed into the living room where my father and his Third Wife sat. "Alright you two, what have you done with my burger?"

"What burger?" said my father. Third Wife said nothing as she doesn’t speak English.

"The burger I had in the fridge! For me to eat when I got home from work! That I had been looking forward to ALL DAY LONG!"

"Oh that burger. I threw it in the bin, I didn’t think you’d want it."

"WELL I DID."

"Oh."

"ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!"

I woke up angry, and craving burgers.

Sunday night I dreamed I was in Goulburn visiting the Mothership and she went downtown to get us takeaway for dinner. She came back with a fat parcel of chips under her arm.

"Sooo, where are you hiding my hamburger?"

"I didn’t know you wanted one!"

"You asked me what I wanted, and I said I wanted a burger. I said please!"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes I’m sure!"

"Oh. Well I have some steamed fish in the kitchen."

"ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!"

Again I woke up mad as hell and craving meat.

Two burger dreams is coincidence, but if I have a third then it’s a definite pattern! I see a visit to Wannaburger in my near future.

. . .

I hope I didn’t offend any Maintainers with my last post! I do realise that the journey doesn’t end at goal, that maintenance is extremely difficult, and most of all that I won’t be cast out of the fatblogosphere when I reach my goal weight. I just had a funny image in my head of being physically removed – my slightly lighter body being hoisted out of town by chanting crowds with flaming torches. Ceremonially banished!

I neglected to mention the biggest reason for my not racing to the so-called finish line – Because I am happy. I look in the mirror and I like what I see. There’s no loathing anymore, just quiet pride and acceptance. I feel strong, fit and healthy.

Maybe because I used to be so flamingly huge my expectations are lower. Maybe if someone else occupied my body they’d feel far from satisified. But I like what I see now and sometimes it’s hard to muster any urgency to lose another 6.9 kilos just because the charts say I need to. Some might call that complacency or laziness, and you might take one look at me and say, "But you’re still a pork!". Yet I believe losing these remaining kilos (and possibly dropping another size) is a purely cosmetic thing.

To be happy to just be myself, after sooo many wasted years of gloom, feels like I’ve already won the prize.

But dudes! Never fear. I will still finish the task on paper. Just so I can say I did it. Just so for once in my life, I can finish something I started.

I am motivated. I am pumping myself up for action as we speak, Lleyton Hewitt style. C’MONNNNNNN!

Lleyton

. . .

All that said, I’ve been more focused on improving my fitness and muscles than making the numbers go down. I just completed my most BLOODY BRILLIANT week of exercise all year. I had made a lofty NY resolution to do 3 x cardio, 3 x strength plus abs and flexibility each week, but this is the first week I’ve actually done it all properly, without shortcuts. There was even extra cardio. I feel all stretched out, sporty and smug.

Wednesday is Rest Day, so tonight I’ll sit on my arse and watch The Hairy Bikers. Woohoo!

. . .

Wednesday is also Weigh Day – I maintained this week, which follows my paltry 0.5lb loss the week before. This Dress Rehearsal for Maintenance is getting tiresome! πŸ˜›

Do The Job Properly

Help! Can anyone identify this strange vegetable that appeared in our vegie box today?

Update: It’s kohlrabi. Thanks everyone!

. . .

Everyone tells me that the Last 10 Pounds are the hardest to lose. I think this will be the case for me. But I have to admit, it’s mostly because I am making them the hardest.

I’m being a tad premature, since I actually have 15.3 pounds (6.9 kg) til I reach just the top of my healthy weight range. But there’s no doubting I’m at the business end of this lard busting adventure and it sucks. Why is it taking me so bloody long? You’d think after losing 170 pounds that a piddling fifteen more would be a breeze. I should be overjoyed! I should be throwing myself into completing the task! So why I am dawdling along in a halfassed manner?

I think I’m chicken shit, to be honest. I’m scared that I’ll get to a healthy weight but will still look like a flabmonster, therefore I’ll need to lose even MORE weight and never be free of this stinking task. Therefore it’s better remain comfortably overweight so I never have to properly finish and find out.

Or maybe part of me is scared of finishing the job because once it’s finished, I will have to find another obsession to throw myself into, and I have become quite fond of this lard-busting journey in a way, with all its ups and downs. It’s comfy and cosy and a great way to avoid any other Issues in your life.

Another part of me worries that if this journey Ends, I’ll no longer be a legitimate part of this lovely cosy blogging world. I’ll be like some middle-aged fart who keeps hanging around his old high school, because that’s where he spent the best years of his life. All his old teachers have moved on and the current students think he’s some sort of pervert, but he just can’t let go.

Or perhaps I am simply too lazy. You know when you’re a kid and there’s certain phrases your parents have to say to you over and over again, so often that it becomes permanently engraved on your brain? Mine was always, You always leave things half-finished. Do the job properly!

Mums are smart, I tell you. She had my character sussed right from the start.

But I can’t let this become just another half-knitted scarf or play-without-an-ending, shoved up the back of the cupboard. I want to finish this job. I will, I will! Just have to keep reminding myself of what I want, especially when confronted with Caramel Shortcakes.

So here’s to the Final Fifteen. They’ll only be as hard to lose as I let them.

. . .

I’ve never been a fan of gym cardio – treadmills, bikes, elliptical trainers. I always feel like I am huffing and puffing on the road to nowhere. But with crappy weather, crappy knees and some of my classes being permanently cancelled, I’ve had to venture back into the mirrored sweatbox.

But it’s actually enjoyable with a bit of forward planning. I’m a big fan of interval training, the variations of speed and intensity make the time go much faster. It’s even better if I bring Pedro, my iPod shuffle, and work the intervals into the Playlist.

This will probably be of no interest to anyone unless you’re particularly nerdy, but I’ll tell you all about yesterday’s session anyway. It was about 50 minutes, split between the bike and the cross trainer machine.

Playlist

For warm-up we had Jump by Van Halen, because it’s incredibly cheesy and makes me laugh. You may as well get yourself into a good mood if you’re going to spend an hour getting sweaty.

Tracks 2 – 4 gradually got faster and more intense. I varied my speed and the resistance on the cross-trainer, sometimes going backwards for variety, and putting on bursts of speed for the choruses.

Track 5 was Thunderstruck by AC/DC. It’s one of my favourite Body Pump shoulder tracks, but here it is good active recovery, slow and pounding. Once I got my breath back I increased the resistance to fry the legs.

Track 6, Smack My Bitch Up, is hella fast and furious! It always gets me in the mood for moving. I decreased the resistance but basically sprinted like the clappers, as fast as I could for the five minutes. Same deal for Track 7. After this I am sweating like a bush pig, to borrow a phrase Pete used to say. That’s when I had a quick stretch then jumped on the bike.

The bike started with James Brown, a medium-paced funky track to recover. Woohoo! Then it was Transmission by Joy Division, with the best bass ever, and 3 minutes 34 seconds of sprinting! Killer!

After that it’s Do You Want To by Franz Ferdinand, a slinky and perfectly paced recovery. Again I increase the resistance once I’d recovered. I also used this time to sing along and watch the big freaky blokes doing their weights. I love how their eyes always dart around when they’re checking the mirrors, to see if anyone’s checking them out.

Next it was that old chestnut, Girls And Boys by Blur, in which I sprinted through the choruses. Then I cruised into the B-52’s track, a nice and steady pedal with mediun resistance to finish off the sweaty section

I cooled down with a laid back Lemonheads song then hopped off for some stretching. Then it was a ten minute walk home to finish. Huzzah! If you’re a certified cardiophobe like me, I say iPods are the way forward!

Today it’s upper body weights. Woohoo! Hope you’re all having a lovely Easter!

Back To The Fat

Finiiiiiished!

Book_1

Ha ha! Not really. This hefty blockbuster is just five years of Dietgirl ramblings, printed for a handsome fee by Blogbinders. Still, even a giant print-out of blog archives is a cool thing to hold in your hands!

Yesterday I finished my rough outline/plan of the book, so I’m onto the gruelling task of reading through 424 pages with my pencil handy, making notes and sorting the wheat from the chaff. It’s great to have so much source material but it’s going to take awhile. Luckily it’s fun! Especially when you read things you’d totally forgotten about, like that my resting heart rate was 100 beats per minute at the start of 2001. ONE HUNDRED?!? How the hell was I not dead?

. . .

Aside from starting The Book Project, my biggest achievement this weekend was to hem some trousers. The bastards have been mocking me with their lengthy legs for almost six months! They’re wide-legged ones, only Β£15 from H&M. I’d bought two pair since they look far more expensive than they were. The only problem is that they were designed for Scandinavian giraffe women. I’m 5’8" and don’t normally need to hem things, but these pants were three inches too long.

You’d think being such lovely dacks that I’d have hemmed them right away, ready for winter. But nooo. At first they were unwearably tight so I chucked them in the cupboard. Once they fit, I wore my gym pants and trainers on the train then changed into the trousers at work, where my boots were juuust tall enough to make them wearable, if I was careful not to tread on the hem walking up stairs. But then last week I forgot to change and wore them home with my trainers, and being Scotland there was a torrential downpour, so they absorbed about a litre of water and mud as I tripped through the puddles.

On Sunday I took advantage of my burst of productivity and finally said RIGHTO! Time for action! It took me about three hours to hem the two pairs. I thought it would be quick and easy, since I am a highly qualified seamstress and all (where qualified = earning my Sewing badge at Brownies circa 1986). The reality was multiple stabbings, ironed fingers and accidentally sewing one trouser leg to the other.

Och well. Now I can wear these dacks without risk of injury. But since I waited so many months they’re now on the verge of baggy. So hopefully I have learned my lesson – procrastination does not pay, kids!

. . .

Hang on! This is meant to be a fat fighting blog, isn’t it? I should update you on the fat. I’ve been doing great! Where great = Monday to Thursday, that is.

The weekends have been shoddy. No wild bingeing, just still too much food. I didn’t need two portions of trifle at Chez In-Laws on Sunday night, but down they went. Jelly creamy goodness. Sometimes I fantasise about plunging into a giant bowl of trifle. How nice would that feel? Slipping past the cool cream and custard, wriggling through the fruit and jelly, with no risk of head injury due to the soft boozy sponge cake at the bottom. Oh baby…

My sister and I were having an email Bitch Session and seems she is having the same Weekend Issues. Being Chicks of Action, we’ve been brainstorming the problem together. One idea we’ve copied from the lovely Renee – we’re going to be e-mail buddies. Each morning we’ll be writing each other with our eating and exercise, talk about plans for the day and any Upcoming Challenges. We already email daily, and were good at lard busting when we lived together, so now we’re going to try it long distance. I really need to add another layer of Accountability, and there’s no bullshitting with me and my sister. Wish us luck, comrades!

Hott XXX Bunz!!!

This post was imported from my short-lived, now-defunct food blog, Cooking With Ginger.

bun.jpg

I made a pilgrimage to the Edinburgh Farmers Market this morn and my eyes fell upon a most holy vision of loveliness. A giant, fragrant pyramid of fresh baked hot cross buns. Only yesterday I'd received an email from Tesco offering me a free six-pack of their Finest Hot Cross Buns with my next order as thanks for my loyal custom. I know I'm supposed to trot around to local providores and cheesemongers in search of groceries, but I live out of town so we get a weekly delivery from the evil global conglomerate. So I was going to add these Free Bunz to my shopping list tomorrow, but then I saw these lovely fresh ones in Edinburgh today, just 50p each. That's 50p more and five less than the free 6-pack, but that's when I had to ask myself, Do I need six free hot cross buns? 

My mother used to have one of those flippy calendars beside the telephone, you know those Day To A Page ones with a daily quote from Confucious, Winston Churchill or some other approachable smart person. I was about ten years old when I read this quote:

Cheap is dear, because it tempts us to buy what we need not.

I can't remember who said it, but I do remember filing it away in my insufferable ten-year-old memory. On our next trip to the supermarket, I trailed behind my mother waiting for my moment. As soon as she started scavenging through the reduced-price yogurts and discounted mince, I intoned sagely and smart-arsedly, "Cheap is dear, Mother; because it tempts us to buy what we need not." 

Pre-teen smugness aside, it's good advice in terms of weight loss. Six free hot cross buns may sound like a good deal on paper, but one good quality 50p hot cross bun, savoured slowly with a smidge of butter and a cup of tea, is much better for the size of my arse. Happy Easter, groovers!

If You Can’t Stand The Heat

Rumours of my spectacular failure at this stinking food blogging caper are entirely true have been greatly exaggerated!

I am having to re-evaluate my Writing Goals at the moment, to phrase it in a wanky fashion. I started the year out with massive lists of ideas for all of my blogs, with the intention of ploughing through said lists like a MACHINE! But instead I seem to spend an average of six hours per blog entry on What's New Pussycat, faffing around and angsting over every word. Everything on Dietgirl is written in an awful, guilty rush, and poor Ginger falls by the wayside, and not helped by the fact I keep cooking lovely new dishes but bloody forgetting to take a picture before I scoff it all down!

Meanwhile, the idea list keeps growing and growing out of control. I am not getting anything done and getting stressed, which is bloody hilarious when you consider blogging has no deadlines and noone is putting pressure on you and/or cares about your blogs as much as you (cf. brilliant Blog Depression

The real problem is that I am not doing any of my other, non-blog projects. A quarter of 2006 is gone, dammit! It's time to stop pissfarting around.

In terms of my blogs, I am attempting to recapture the good ol days, where I blogged quickly and unselfconsciously and with a big middle finger to perfection. This was meant to be fun, dammit. So you may see more typos and clumsy language, but I am going to give myself a time limit and just churn it out and enjoy it. Blogging needs to be toned down so I can focus on my other tasks. So it will be more of a fun diversion instead of an outright Avoidance Tactic.

Here's a few links I've wolfed down while I was busy with my Blogging Paralysis:

The Pheast has the dubious honour of being the place where Gareth and I dined immediately following our wedding(s) at Graceland Chapel. We were going to splash out on an overrated overpriced "proper" restaurant, but I got my head ripped off by a condescending wench at the Bellagio when making a simple enquiry the day before our connubials, and I was bloody fragile and FREAKED OUT as it was, since we'd just been to the courthouse to get our marriage licence and there were convicted felons wandering round in orange overalls, and everyone seemed to have a GUN and Vegas was so overwhelming and the portions were so huge and I thought my dress wasn't going to fit plus there was just general wedding nerves THEREFORE I never got round to finding us somewhere nice to eat after our spectacular elopement.

So that's how we ended up spending our first married meal at the Pharaoh's Pheast. I'd desperately wanted a meal to remember, not only for romances sake but because I'd been so vigilantly healthy to get into that damn wedding frock and now I wanted to celebrate. I ended up with was salmonella salads, questionable meats and painfully sweet desserts. Yet sitting there surrounded by faux-Egyptian decor and surly waitresses with my brand new husband was somehow so bloody perfect and hilarious considering the how the wedding turned out.

We were so full of bloat and regret after the Pheast that all we could do was slump on our hotel bed and moan in pain, as opposed to moan in the midst of consumating lovin'. We watched Judge Judy reruns then waddled out to see Tom Jones perform at the MGM Grand. Happy, happy day πŸ™‚