Weight loss – 23 inches (off the main bits and bobs)

One of the first questions I get asked is if I’ve lost weight over last year’s challenge and this year’s. Now although that wasn’t the aim the answer is absolutely. At a slow and steady rate. I don’t actually weigh myself but I do measurements and I know I’ve gone down a couple of dress sizes which for me usually equates to a couple of stone. In total since the beginning of my first challenge (CrossFit) I’ve lost 23 inches of the main measurable areas, of course I will have lost a bit from everywhere. With the sugar and booze free year I don’t necessarily think it’s the lack of those two that have made me lose weight rather the avoiding those two means many less impromptu calories and many more sensible decisions made.

Thank you ♥️

I’ve wanted to write this post for months, but honestly I struggle with opening up. I’ve become very adept at coping with adversity. A side effect of that is that at times I have a wall around me which is hard for others to break through and for me to break out of. Those who know me well know I’ll always say I’m “ok” even when I’m not and I’ll never ever, ever, ever, ever ask for help. Even when I need it. Heck I have a hard enough time even accepting help when it’s offered! Really I’m a difficult person to get to know properly.

When I started my first bout of fundraising not only was I difficult person to get to know but I was very damaged. I was exhausted emotionally and jaded by people and life. I found it almost impossible to connect with others, their day to day life had really genuine concerns but they were more regular ones. I had had 3 years of slowly being dragged through the process of finding lumps in my daughter’s neck and wanting medical reassurance, to biopsies, to her surgery, to finding out it was cancer. This was followed by the diagnosis of Cowden Syndrome which means this is the rest of her life, she will always need checks and operations. She will always be at risk of cancer. This was followed the next year by a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. At each point when we were waiting to find out a diagnosis it was all consuming, at social events when I started to relax I’d loosen up and begin to talk about her cancer, or the next awful thing we were hoping it wouldn’t be (which it always was the horrible thing) and God bless the person I was talking to they would always get this look of “get…me…out…of…here” I made people uncomfortable. My life was the kind of experience at that time that parents live in fear of. Connecting became almost impossible. At the same time I had old friends of 20 or so years just vanish. I guess they found seeing a kid they’d known since a baby with all this happening was too much. I needed them though and the sense of abandonment was raw and painful.

All of this meant I’d essentially come to terms with the fact that it was me and my family. When I started the fundraising the first year being 260 workouts I’d slip into the gym during the quiet times and get it done. I hoped that people would sponsor me but I had no expectations.

I certainly didn’t see what actually happened coming. The amount of support I received was incredible. A wonderful woman ran a raffle at her business, people bought t-shirts and wore them to comps family and friends sponsored me, some brought in prizes for the raffle I ran at the end of the year, a gorgeous lady made an lovely hand crochet blanket to raffle. My son ran his first ever half marathon and it was up a Cheviot, one of our awesome coaches accompanied him (probably wise he might have gotten lost). My coach patiently programmed the workouts for me working around hospital appointments, exhaustion and general whining. Sometimes people would workout with me, before the sugar free year I had cake regularly left at the gym by a superb home baker and fabulous woman. I had people offer words of support and kindness, offers of coffee and hanging out and just being normal. These amazing people have become my friends and my life is so much better with them in it.

Thank you to each and every person who supported and continues to support me in any way big or small. Not only did we raise over three and a half thousand last year for the PTEN research Foundation in London but you healed my heart and restored my faith in people.

We still have ups and downs, my daughter has a great deal to face, her brother is fighting and doing very well at doing so mental health issues. Honestly at times I struggle with being a carer and homeschooling and the limitations it puts on both Charlotte and my life.

I know however that I have a lot of people who have my back.

Thank you ♥️

CrossFit, weekend treats and family time.

My elder son was in CrossFit contest today which we went down to watch for a couple of hours. My younger son came too to support him which was actually really nice. I haven’t spent time with him in a long while and it was pleasant to remember that actually we do get along and have many things in common, sense of humour included. He’s looking really well too which was lovely to see.

The weather wasn’t kind to those competing and seemed to flip from raining to sun and back again. So it was either too hot or drenched through. You can see how wet it is by the reflections! We weren’t close enough and my phone camera isn’t good enough to get decent photos of my son as he was on the far side, but he’s the blue t-shirt on the way over the fence.

This is a picture of all the competitors from our gym together looking rather damp. My elder son is the slightly taller one with his shirt off.

After that it was back to more mundane weekend stuff, washing dog walk etc. I did take Jasper on one of his favourite long dog walks which involves passing sheep, a wood and a castle. Along the way we also saw a family of ducks and a pair of beautiful dragon flies

Tonight of course is Saturday evening and I must admit I do like something enjoyable with a film. This week it was cherry and banana “ice cream” (basically blended together) and plain popcorn. Honestly it was amazing fake ice cream especially with extra cinamon in.

My total sugars today were the highest they’ve been since I started this challenge. I’ve had such a headache today and just wanted fruit. As the point of this year isn’t to avoid sugar but refined sugar why the heck not. I’ll be doing a weeks total sugars tomorrow same as last week.

Quick update

Not been brilliant at blogging this week, life has been rather arsey and is continuing to be so.

I’ve kept up with the no sugar no booze thing, regardless even if I haven’t blogged about it. My cunning plan is to screenshot a weeks worth of my fitness Pal data tomorrow once the full 7 days have passed. Clever huh!

The sticky points this week have been resisting the urge to bury my face in cake when feeling rather heartbroken over a few things equally while resisting drowning myself in wine. It wouldn’t make anything any better, but, oh nice things, I don’t think anything will improve either to be honest. I’m in a situation where I can’t see anyway forward. That has made the desire to comfort with food or drink very strong. Food and emotions are very much intertwined.

I’ve started experimenting with making bread as I miss toast and all processed gluten free bread has refined sugar in. This soda bread made with half buckwheat and half gluten-free flour turned out ok but a little crumbly. I’ve tried again today with the addition of xanthan gum, once I get it to work well I’ll share the recipe.

The other tricky time was eating lunch out with my son and a lovely friend. I found a soup I could have but the temptation of the sweet stuff!!! Oh so hard. But if this year is to work I have to cope with the tough stuff without caving and socialise as normal without caving.

Jasper and I have in the middle of this otherwise rubbish week had some lovely dog walks, particularly at Beadnell. I spend more time than I use at Beadnell right now as eldest child has a job there that seems to involve a lot of me driving him there after missed buses.

Exercise has been plentiful and abundant, mostly CrossFit but I also turn on the “cardio” button on my Garmin when gardening. I want those extra calories!!

We had a runaway cat wise who went out then forgot to return for a couple of days. He brought us many dead birds as way of apology. I wish he wouldn’t. Little s**t!

If you find anything of interest or use in my blog please consider sponsoring me and help work towards a cure for Cowden Syndrome. Thank you.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear

Day 27 – I discovered the most delicious blueberry and cocoa mousse.

At lunch time I was really fancying something dessert like, I threw silken tofu, frozen banana and frozen blueberries in the blended with a little cocoa powder it was literally heaven!

Food today in pictures and words

Breakfast

Corn crackers, mushroom pate.

Lunch

Broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas and baby corn streamed with eggs, olive oil and black pepper on top.

Dinner

Chicken cooked with coconut oil, a whole load of spices and lemon juice. With salad, hummus, coleslaw and grapes.

Snacks

Carrot

Bell pepper

Dark chocolate

Chocolate mousse explained above

Today’s exercise – adapted for broken toe

Total sugars

If you find anything of interest or use in my blog please consider sponsoring me and help work towards a cure for Cowden Syndrome. Thank you.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear