There are no Rules of Architecture for a Castle in the Clouds...

To those of you who have braved Blogger long enough to venture beyond the Blog Title - then Welcome!

I'm Wytchy. In my head I live a frugal but fulfilling existence in a dainty cottage, the likes of which would grace the hallowed pages of Country Living. There's a cauldron of soup simmering fragrantly on the hearth, packed with vegetables plucked from my slug and caterpillar-free vegetable patch this very morning and freshly baked bread wrapped in a red and white gingham cloth on the table.

In reality? What's that then? (The slug and caterpillar-free vegetable patch gave me away didn't it?!)

Come in my pretties, and sit awhile...

Friday, 19 September 2008

Frugal Friday


Sorry I've not posted for a few days - I've not been well yer know!!!

I am now, thankfully, feeling a tad more chipper and inclined to sit at the computer for a while longer now that my tummy is no longer protesting.

So - how's it going? Well - weigh in was on Wednesday. I was absolutely convinced that I wouldn't lose this week as a result of me having to take medication for a water infection and other contributing factors of a delicate nature (about which I shall refrain from posting on such a genteel blog as this one. Cough).

BUT.....despite my stomach feeling like a tumble drier...... I lost another 5lbs!! So after my little happy dance around the scales and running around the room with my teeshirt over my head in a goal scoring stylee I paused to reflect that I have now lost 13lbs in two weeks. It's ok isn't it? Not up there with the mega losses (of which there were more this week from the 'skinnier' side of the class) (not that I am remotely jealous) (at all) (no really, I'm not!) but ok. A pound away from a stone. Woo hoo!

Side effects: Jeans becoming baggier around the legs.
Jeans actually attempting to escape over hips as I polish the tiles in the bathroom. Must be the shimmying action that did it!
Jawline beginning to make a shy appearance from behind folds of flesh.

It's all good!!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

A Strange Day (Food Mention - sorry LL'ers!)

Day 11 on the LL programme and I am not a happy bunny today.

I'm cranky, tearful and fed up and it's all food related.

September is my favourite month of the year - I love all the fresh produce which comes into season at this time of year. I'm usually in earth goddess mode now; making bakes and stews and casseroles with autumnal fruits and veggies, looking forward to hot jacket potatoes, swede and mash and the like. It struck me this morning when shopping that this year I won't have that pleasure and it's depressed me all day to be honest.

Up until now I've coasted through this programme with a pretty blase attitude so I suppose it was bound to pop up and bite me on the bum at some time or other. It's also made me realise that you simply can't brush all this food angst under the carpet. The angel on my shoulder is patting my head, telling me that it's fine and that this abstinence is just for ONE short season, that I have to be strong, have to make this sacrifice in order to get to where I want to be.

That's all very well and good until the devil on the other shoulder is telling me how many colourful, hot, nutritious and tasty meals I'm missing out on and perhaps if I just made a pact with myself and stuck to the vegetables that I truly adore and nothing else - then I'd lose weight anyway.

It's so very difficult.

Another thing that threw me off kilter today was the preparation of my little boy's pre-birthday tea. Little hot savoury picky bits - nothing majorly horrific cals wise - but so, soooooooooo gorgeous smelling that it made me feel weak with longing. Then I totally ruined the moment by watching the other three members of my family fall upon the mini feast with whoops of joy by running upstairs in floods of tears. I just couldn't cope with it and felt totally excluded - imagine how that felt.

I feel slightly embarrassed by having admitted to this but I suppose it's cathartic in a way.

Sorry this post has been a bit of a downer after all my positives. I suppose it had to happen at some point and I suppose it's part of the journey.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

I've Lost My Head!!!

Some of you may know this already!!

Well... my first weigh in proper was last night and I lost the princely total of ONE HUMAN HEAD.

That's 8lbs for those of you not well versed in the bodily parts weight comparison stakes!

This chart had been posted on the Minimins Forum recently and it makes me laugh every time I look at it!!

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human’s skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale’s brain
20 pounds = an car tyre
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant’s heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant’s penis (yep, weights more than his heart!)
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the World’s Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and she’s 5’11”)
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and she’s 5’4”)
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger
300 pounds = an average football lineman
400 pounds = a Welsh pony

Well I had a few mixed feelings at this loss really. There are around 10 lovely ladies in my group and we have a scream - we've all bonded really quickly thank goodness - and the average loss was around half a stone I guess - but there were a couple of people there with less to lose than me who had lost more! One of them in particular 13.5 pounds!! Why that's a whole Bald Eagle AND a DOZEN Krispy Kreme donuts worth of weight!!

But hey - I'm over it now.

We had a good group discussion last night. Week Two of the programme concerns making goals and we discussed what we were looking forward to doing when we'd reached a weight we were happy at.

So guess what today's "FIVE" Theme is about? Yup - you guessed it!!

Five Things You're Looking Forward To When You Reach Goal!

Here's mine - which I have to say are the very tip of a very huge iceberg!! :- (mmmm iceberg - is it wrong to have cravings for lettuce??)

  1. Bungee Jump!! (yeah really!!)
  2. Go Skiing (looking slim and elegant in dark glasses and a sexy black quilted ski-suit a la Posh - and not like a hippo who got tangled in the duvet)
  3. Sit elegantly and calmly with my legs crossed at the knee and not be constantly trying to rearrange my limbs into some semblance of order which causes the least discomfort, fidgeting, trying to make myself look smaller, trying to reduce the size of my boobs by folding my arms over them, making sure my top is well pulled down so ensuring safe coverage of any potentially escaping muffin top. Muffin top - who am I kidding? It's the whole bloody cake shop under there!!
  4. To not have to eye up a chair with arms and have the trauma of deciding whether it's going to accommodate my hips without having to shoehorn them into it with the result of it a) digging it's cruel arms into my flesh and b) attempting leave with me as I get up.
  5. To go swimming with the kids - or on my own even. I've never taken my children swimming. How sad is that?!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Grumpy Monday - Day Five.

**adopts a strong New'astle accent** "Dayyyyyy Fiiive in the Lighter Life Howwwse. Wytchy is is in the garden. Sulking!!"

This product is gorgeous - and I see that they have made a range especially with me in mind.
<~~~ Grumpy Cow!!

I'm typing this with my arms folded, my nose in the air and big pout on. Yes people, I am officially "in a STROP"!

Still not hungry. But BORED!!! BORED BLOODY WITLESS OF SOUP! I hate the stuff in real life and would run down the street away from it usually. I think I may be sticking to the shakes from here on in.

I hate the feeling I have in my mouth that seems like I have a dead rat lodged somewhere under me tonsils.

I hated going in to the supermarket today to get stuff for the family and being assaulted by freshly baked breadsticks. Even the salad looked appetising. God I'd kill for a bit of iceberg right now!!

ENOUGH!!! Ok that's all the negatives out of the way.

It's a blip. We shall over come and all that. I'm over it. (nearly). It's Monday evening and I have two days until weigh in. I've managed FIVE whole days now and really - it hasn't been that bad at all. Perhaps it's cos I'm PMTing that I just feel a bit down. We shall see.

In accordance with my stroppy mood, the "Five Things" thing today will be "Five Things Which Hack Me Off About Being Overweight".
1. People who say in that lovely patronising way that makes me want to slap em - "oh you've got such a lovely face" which is really another way of saying - "if only you weren't so fat"!!

2. People who say "Oh you're looking really well" when they really mean - "God aren't you fat?!"

3. Evans fashions which are styled for skinnies but in tent sizes and look bliddy awful. I mean come on designers - Hotpants? In a Size Thirty? That's not bloody liberating it's just obscene!
4. Seeing an advert on telly for, ahem, "Anti Chafing Powder" and agreeing with everyone else who goes "EWWWWWW" whilst secretly thinking - "what a bloody good idea"!!!

5. Not possessing one bra which doesn't look like a carrying device for two bowling balls.

Just call me a grumpy old cow.


Sunday, 7 September 2008

Day Four - Still No Sign of the Hunger Monster!

I don't like it.

I'm scared that it's hiding around the corner waiting to ambush me with a slice of millionaire's shortbread.

Or lying in wait under a drain cover preparing to assault me with a pasty from Greggs.

Today I actually 'forgot' lunch. Granted that I was with my friend for most of the day and once
we start chatting then there's no stopping us, but that's no excuse really.

I suppose I don't like it because I think that it's lulling me into a false sense of security that it will always be like this. I know it won't be. There are times where the two soups/two shakes regime is just not going to be enough and I'll get an ASBO for loitering with intent in the bakery section of Waitrose.

However - I suppose until then I shall just revel in my new found angelic behaviour. It might take a bit of getting used to - I haven't had a lot of experience to draw upon!!

A dear friend suggested to me today that I should concentrate on a 'five things' list to feature on my blog. Thanks Sherri!!

Today, as the light is a little poor for any photography, I'm going to feature 'Five Things I Want to Look Good In". And no, that does not include a black bin bag!

1. A Leather Jacket . I haven't had a leather for years. Even when, in my post punk days, I had one of these little beauties I could never find one that would zip up properly and I always felt like I'd got a strait jacket on. I think I'm a bit old now for a biker jacket - but I like this one. A lot:-

2. A Little Black Dress. I have NEVER had a little black dress. Sob. I've had a few tent sized ones but never a little one!! I don't 'do' dresses usually - I just don't feel comfortable in them and feel like an over stuffed sofa. It's the chest you know. How about this one?

I would happily accept being able to step into a size 16 never mind a 12!

3. A Short Black Skirt. Not one that looks like a pelmet. Just short enough to look sexy but long enough to avoid pant-baring scenarios when climbing aboard the Number 9 bus. Kate Hudson has got it just right I reckon.

Of course - she models herself on me y'know!

4. A Pair of Knee Length Boots - I have a pair already - worn em to death though and they won't see another season. I bought them from Evans 'cos I was amazed when I was able to zip them past my ankle without trapping three inches of skin in doing so. But I'd love a new pair. Several in fact. In different colours. Sigh.

5. A long, fantastic winter coat. Which doesn't make me look like a square block/a matron/anything in between the two. Like this one. Swoon.

So there you are. That's my wish list. What's on yours?

Friday, 5 September 2008

Day Two .... So How Come I'm Not Hungry Then?


What's that about?

I woke up this morning expecting to be chewing on my own elbows but not even a wobble! (Keep your comments to yourselves there at the back!). Not even a pang was panging! I had my vanilla and coffee pseudo latte shakey thingie this morning first thing - not bad.....

Vegetable Soup for Lunch........ yeah...... palatable... can live with it. Hey - I'm doing ok!!

Had a bit of a scare mid afternoon however when an innocent trip to the office kitchen in search of tea became a bit of a challenge. In fact, ANY trip to the office kitchen on any day of the week is the same. The place positively breeds bloody food!!

This afternoon for instance, I had to ignore a huge box of Cupcakes, M&S Butter/choc biscuit confections and choc hob nobs. I did well. You'd have been proud of me. I was nonchalance personified as I merely glanced accusingly at the teetering pile of sugar and carbs whilst dunking me teabag, then, tossing my hair in disdain (wherever that is), I turned to flounce out of the room. They gathered menacingly at one end of the counter by the microwave and threatened my resolve momentarily, however by using a combination of stealth and cunning, I managed to outwit them and get out unscathed.

It was a close run thing though I tell you!

One of my worst times is when I'm cooking tea for the kids. It's always a trigger time for me. This evening I managed not to shake out an extra ten oven chips on to the tray. Previously I'd have known that there would have been more than enough for the two of them - but I'd always add a few more on 'just in case'.

Strange then how it always goes that, miraculously, I'd have cooked far too many and as it would be a shame to waste them . I'd pick at them whilst I waited for my own meal to cook. Perhaps on a couple of slices of bread. With lots of butter for the full drip effect. Cos my meal would take all of ten minutes longer wouldn't it and that's SUCH a long time to wait when I've been at work ALL day. Tsk.

Oh and THEN - I had to stop myself from automatically licking the spoon after I'd put the baked beans out on the plates. It's these daft little habits that you studiously and conveniently fail to remember when you're telling people that you "don't really eat a lot".

So all in all an empowering day really.

Mushroom Soup was fine.

Raspberry Shake whilst watching the Soapfest on the box this evening went down a treat.

And I'm still not hungry.

Where has the Hunger Monster gone?

I'm going to wake up in the morning and it will be sitting on my chest glaring at me won't it?

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Day One - Suitcases Packed - Ready for Boarding!

Oh gawd. It's here!

The first day on plan! It's 20 past seven in the evening and guess what? I'm am **looks around to see who's listening** not hungry!! I know! I don't believe it either!!

I had a vanilla shake this morning for breakfast - was really nice - not too sweet which I was dreading. I made it with ice cubes in it and it really did the trick.

I had chicken soup for lunch - hmmm, not entirely convinced by that one. It tasted a little bit chemically enhanced for my liking!! But hey - it filled me up along with the three pints of water and tea and coffee I've drunk today. I was dreading tea without milk but do you know what? It's really not too bad at all if you just show the teabag to the mug of water and don't make it strong enough to stand your spoon up in!

Yesterday I bought one of those stubby one litre bottles of mineral water to keep in my desk at work. I thought that I'd keep it as a good measure of my water intake. The cleaners, however, had other ideas and for the first time in history chose yesterday to clear my desk of detritus - including my bloody water bottle!! I threw a bit of a tantrum this morning - you know when tiny things appear HEWOOOGE to you when you're feeling a little sensitive? Yeah well that was one of those times! Ho hum. I got over it!!

This evening has been the Thai Chilli soup - my fave so far. Really tasty when made with not much water so it's nice and thick . Yum!! I shall be getting more of those!

And so..... I have a real treat later on - a chocolate shake!! Get me eh? How rock n' roll am I?!

I nearly didn't get started this week thanks to my daft GP! I had an appointment to see him on Monday and bounced into the room (actually - perhaps this may be why he was in a grump - he was probably traumatised by the bouncing!) and launched into telling him about my new found saviour - and he didn't want to know!!

He said he 'didn't believe in VLCD'! I was gutted. He's usually so supportive and he knows how much this weight loss thing means to me. I was annoyed when he tried to get me on new tablets though. What's the point of that? Here I am trying not to burden the NHS - trying to do something for myself, doing it now before I get in to gastric band territory - and he refuses to help!

Luckily I had a contact for a Private Doc who signed the form for me so ner ner na ner ner Dr Price!! I'll show you!!

See you tomorrow then for another thrilling instalment. Can't guarantee it will be as chirpy as this one though!

Can't wait now can you?!!