Monday 19 October 2009

Monday catch-up

Happy Monday you all you lovely people

I've had a super last few days and thought I'd share them with you :-)

Thur 15th Oct

Yes, yes, I know I posted on Friday but that was only a little brief thing ;-)

Thursday afternoon I was feeling a little dejected because of not winning the Maximuscle Body of 2009 comp. Which is daft I know because I'm hugely thrilled by my achievement of getting through to the finals, but I couldn't help but feel disappointed because I'd rather stupidly allowed hope to creep in and push aside realism!

You see, from hearing that I'd made the finals right up until the point where I saw the other girls at the photoshoot, I did actually think I had a good chance of winning.

But I was up against a woman who not only had lost a tonne of weight but also built an enviable amount of muscle and looked awesome in her boxing outfit, another woman with a lovely little figure who was 10 years older than me but didn't look nearly that old at all and who was very passionate about exercise.

And finally, the girl who won it, who is very young and pretty, has lost a lot of weight and coincidentally looks similar to last year's winner - who has a look which I consider to be achievable for everyone - if I didn't I'd not have entered the competition!

I don't know what her 'story' is but I'm sure it's going to be a good one as she has won the 'Inspire' category and I found the other women pretty inspirational too :-)

When I got home I told Joe that I knew I'd not won it... so he was confused by my being disappointed when this was confirmed haha! Men and women are different creatures... just because I was positive that I wouldn't win, doesn't mean I'm not going to feel a little bereft when it's confirmed!!

Anyway, enough of the whinging! I'm actually quite cool about things now and also excited for the winner as it's such an amazing thing to happen to one so young, she's just graduated, won an amazing competition and a heap of cash - very bright future ahead of her and I can't feel anything other than pleased for her, it's all pretty damn awesome, I'd be floating on air if I were her!!

So, Thursday night I went out to dinner with a lovely friend of mine (let's call her M) who was, until quite recently, one half of a well-established couple. I've known her as long as I've known Joe as her (now ex) boyfriend went to school with him.

They'd been together for 8 years and, although their splitting is very sad, it's not really come as a huge surprise to me.

Although Joe and I fight like hell and we really get up each other's noses, we're still pretty tactile, we have a lot in common and do get on really well (when we're not trying to kill each other) and I think he's the most gorgeous man ever and, when he's not being a cock, I adore him entirely (sorry, bit sickening I know but it's good to fancy your other half I reckon, I spent so many years with my previous partner wondering why I didn't and trying to convince myself that I did - that thing just shouldn't be forced!!).

When we were out, M and her ex used to get on okay, and when they'd had quite a bit to drink they'd have a dance and look like they were enjoying each other's company... and I don't think that was forced, but it was telling that they didn't appear that close when they were sober. They sat at different ends of their living room, I don't remember ever seeing them kiss, although obviously I'm sure they did!

It was a bit concerning talking to her though about their arguments, I'm not going to go into detail on here obviously but apparently they'd say horrible things to each other and just be really nasty - when Joe and I fight we do the same, I say things to him that I wouldn't *dream* of saying to other people, we're really horrible at times and I think it's something we need to address... get to the bottom of it.

We're both so similar though and really fiery, stubborn and quick to snap. Neither of us like to EVER admit we're wrong... seriously... this is a big sticking point... in fact, look at this email chain from August:

From: Tara#####
Sent: 21 August 2009 11:22
To: ###### Joe
Subject: you know...

...we're both incredibly similar in that neither of us are very humble.

It takes a lot for us to see our own faults, let alone admit to
them... saying sorry is an even bigger deal!!

I think our egos are a little too large perhaps - definitely think
we're both guilty of a little too much self pride

what do you think?


Tara ####

wrote on 21/08/2009 11:57:20:
I think you may have a point, but you have to remember Tara - I am
always right. If you could only remember that, things would be a lot simpler...

Only kidding ;)

You are right - I don't like it when I'm in the wrong, and neither
do you. I guess we just need to accept that about each other... ?


We both recognise that we're not 'easy' people to be in a relationship with, in fact we both have a huge amount of baggage from not feeling good about ourselves when we were growing up and then both coming from long-term relationships in which we felt trapped and unhappy... personally I'd *hate* to date me!

However, all that aside, we do get on really fabulously well when we're *not* fighting (which doesn't happen all the time, believe it or not ;-) !). We have similar goals, beliefs, ideas about family, what's right and wrong etc as well as TV, film and music tastes (well, he's getting an eduction from me and now *voluntarily* puts on XFM!).

I think above all we just both really enjoy each other's company, which I think is hugely important. There's no point being wildly in lust, or love with someone if you can't stand being around them for any length of time... if you've nothing to talk about, nothing to plan... or even if you *do* have nothing to talk about - not feeling happy just sitting in silence enjoying the other's presence - I think that's pretty damn important too!

I don't think M and her boyfriend had that. I think he's the same person he was when they met those 8 years ago but she's moved on.

It's telling that years ago they bought a house together, with 2 bedrooms, a nice garden, nice area, good schools etc... but they hadn't got married and/or filled their extra bedroom with children - that had been the purpose of the place and location, but there were never any indications, that I could see, towards any of that ever happening. They just seemed like two individuals, not one unit, not where and when it mattered.

So they've split up, he's living with his parents and she's still in the house until it can be sold - As she works in London I'm hoping she'll move here, it'll be great to have her closer :-)

It was also M's 30th birthday last week (not great timing for it huh?!) and I ordered her this necklace from which is one of my favourite online shops. I *adore* silver jewellery and they have some lovely items. This is called the 'Cabana Beach Chain' and I think it's pretty lovely... I didn't want to part with it, haha, my friend said she liked it too, hope she did :-)

I took M to Mews of Mayfair for her birthday dinner, which I've not been to before. It's very swish inside and ordinarily a bit out of my price range but I found it on and they had a special deal on for London Restaurant week where you could have 2 courses and a glass of wine for £20, or 3 courses for £25.

I *had* only intended to go for the 2 courses but the portion sizes were pretty minuscule compared to what I'm used to when I'm dining out (I *like* having to leave something on my plate - but this didn't happen until the 3rd course!).

For my starters I ordered the "Warm Ragstone Goat Cheese, Beetroot and Toasted Hazelnuts", which looked like this:

Nicely presented, and very tasty too.

For my main course I ordered the "Pan-Fried Cod with Provencal Olive Crust, Romesco Sauce" (I've peeped at the menu online to get the precise dish name, by the way, my memory isn't *that* good!!)

This was also absolutely delicious but soooooo teeny tiny. There was a teeny amount of mashed something underneath. I could have eaten two of these!

So, because of my bijou first 2 courses I felt less than satiated and decided that I *must* order a dessert, this being the cheese board, which came with some rather tasty rye bread

We also had a rather nice bottle of Pinot Grigio and a good chat. M, although sad, is fantastically optimistic and also, I dare to say, excited about what the future will bring. All in all, their splitting is definitely without a doubt the best thing to happen and I hope that they'll both find happiness with themselves and future partners. They're both really lovely people, M especially is lovely, bright and looks fab at the mo having lost a lot of weight.

It's funny how sometimes when you improve your outward appearance it can make you look internally at what other factors make you happy, or not. I think weight is the first thing you change as it's something that you can control and affect and quite often without help from others. It's also a very personal thing - appearance to oneself, as well as how you *feel* about yourself in general, as a person, as a friend, a worker, mother, father etc...

Change is good, but change is scary, and I'm proud of M for being brave and choosing life over complacency, change over routine... They might both agree it's for the best but M was the instigator and is in the driving seat whereas it seems as if her ex is the not-unwilling passenger.

Fri 16th Oct

Friday I felt much more positive about the competition result, and still had a warm glow from the lovely email I'd received back from the lady organising things. I'd responded to her email on Thursday (congratulating me for having got as far as I did but informing me I'd not been successful) saying 'thanks for letting me know, obviously I'm disappointed... blah blah blah' (you know how I can go on!!) and replied, copying the contents of my email but with a comment next to each line I'd written. I was very touched that she took the time to do that, she didn't need to, I know she's a mega busy woman, but I do think that Maximuscle employ the nicest people :-)

I decided to weigh myself on Friday too and to try and publish this on a weekly basis - I know I haven't in ages but it's been sooo up and down lately! At the moment it's up on how heavy I was just before the photoshoot, at 10st 8lbs, but I found an old diary entry from September last year in which I moaned about being 11st 2lbs so I'm really happy that I'm in the 10s and I'm feeling confident at getting back into the 9s by crimbo!

Here are my weight stats according to my Scales:

I'm still massively unhappy with how much fat I apparently have on my body. I'm not sure if the scales are accurate and over a third of my body is comprised of fat - or if they're off :-(

My Visceral Fat has gone down though, it's now only at 4, which is very low so I'm pleased at that:

Friday daytime was a bit of a boring work blur, but Friday evening I met my son at our local picture house and went to see The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

It was a very enjoyable loooooong film. But I did come out thinking "err, what the hell just happened...?!" and my son agreed to feeling a little confused at things too.

It was a bit here and there, up and down, all over the place and round and round! Good fun though and I liked the many incarnations of Heath Ledger and did think that it actually worked quite well.

Incidentally, my son is now in love with Lily Cole who plays the lead female role in this - rather fantastically well!

Sat 17th Oct

Saturday was fun. A friend of my son's that he made locally (hurrah!) at the summer youth scheme I sent him to, came round and they had a sleepover.

He's a really sweet kid actually, very chatty with good manners - quite unlike the other kids we have in neighbouring areas! He lives with his granny, his mother and stepfather and his younger brother too live in Kent. It seems a strange setup, he claims it's because he was settled in school and is now going to a secondary school which is meant to be quite good. But he doesn't live in the best area and, unless you can afford to send you child to the many private schools around, it's best to get *well* out of the borough!

In any case, perhaps living with his gran has made him the lovely kid he appears to be, but there's no way on earth I could not live with my son, it would be the most awful thing ever, I'd miss him far too much :-(

Joe and I went to the gym during the day, he did some speedy intervals on the treadmill and I did my free-weights upper body routine. I'm still using 8kg dumbbells for the shoulder press, biceps concentration curl and upright rows though I might increase it back up to 9kg in a week or so, I'm just keeping an eye on my shoulder/top of biceps, which is thankfully feeling pretty good, not 100%, but a lot better than it was :-) I really need to build up the muscles on my back to draw my shoulders back, I think my right one is too far rounded forwards (probably as a result from extensive work on a PC - using a mouse etc) so that needs to be addressed.

We've got some new rather brightly coloured stability balls at our local gym, I'm not sure if I like them or if I think they look ridiculous! Jury's still out... what do you think?!

In the evening Joe and I took the boys first to Nandos (I was starving by this point, only had had a protein pancake with 0% fat greek yogurt and almond nut butter to eat beforehand!) where I had 1/2 a chicken (hot and spicy of course ;-) ), spicy rice and their new 'macho peas' ha! very tasty :-)

We took the boys (and our lovely neighbour) to the cinema (again!) to see UP in 3D. What a lovely movie, there are few films that'll make me laugh out loud but I was properly guffawing at several points, not least the part with the malfunctioning translating dog collar!!! :-D

The boys were very excitable and didn't get to sleep until quite late, despite us taking *all* electronic devices (mobile phones, games consoles etc) out of my son's room we caught them up reading jokes to each other at gone midnight!!

Sun 18th Oct

Yesterday was very successful in terms of sorting out lots of stuff in the house. Our bedroom is now clutter free (hurrah! we're both untidy hoarders) and my paperwork is now filed in our shiny new black filing cabinet (I'm so sad for being excited at that).

It's all coming together nicely and soon hopefully we'll have sorted out *all* the clutter and will live in a mess-free utopia

oh shit, I have a 13 year old son...

okay so *most* of the house will be a mess-free utopia, I might just give up hope at ever seeing what colour the carpet is in his room!

We had a scrumptious dinner of rump steak and chips (I had sweet potato mash), I think I need to eat steak at least *once* a week to feel happy ;-)

Sunday evening was rather special. I discovered that Stephen Fry, who I love, cherish, adore, admire and want to adopt me, was going to be in conversation with Alan Yentob at the Criterion Theatre in London's West End to raise money for Leukaemia Research.

It was very special indeed, I felt so privilaged to be there, it was such a small venue, so intimate, and I felt like I was overseeing him having a chat in his living room.

I do hope they televise the show at some point and, if so, will let you know when it's on.

The wonderful thing about Stephen Fry is that he appeals to all ages. He's so stupidly bright. An oxymoron, I know, but he does seem to be a collection of oxymorons because, on paper, he shouldn't really 'work', but he does, so well!!

You can celebrate and be in awe of his intelligence without it making you feel inadquate and thick. He is so funny, such a quick wit, but so warm, human, accessible. He makes information interesting, makes me want to read and learn more. His appearance seems so old fashioned but he is about as far from archaic as you can get... just look how many people follow his Tweets, have a read of his blog.... there is someone who is not in any way shape or form techophobic!!

It's wonderful, he's wonderful and I'm so thrilled to have been there in person to listen to his stories.

I tried to take a picture with my inadequate BlackBerry camera and this was the pathetic image I got:

I was then told off (albeit politely) by a member of staff and had to act all shocked and repentent at my 'act of ignorance' in taking a flash photograph - despite the fact that the rubbish flash of my phone couldn't even reach the row in front of me, much less Mr Fry and Yentob!!

Joe and I came out of the theatre all warm and glowy, feeling as if we'd been treated to a secret meeting with a much treasured icon.

One of the things that sticks with me from his talk last night was when he was speaking about his own experiences with depression. He said that he'd got to the point where he'd 'done everything he'd set out to' and, far from feeling satisfied by this, he felt hugely unfulfilled.

Stephen highlighted something which I'd been thinking about lately which is just how dangerous it can be to set 'goals' for yourself because, after you've reached them, what do you do next? Once you've reached the 'top' so to speak, where else is there to go but down, straight down!

I think that's why so many fail to maintain their weight after they've lost any excess. You set yourself this wonderful goal of a certain weight/size and then work soooo hard, put all your effort into attaining it and then, when you have, what is there to put your effort into?

Okay you've got the challenge of maintaining your weight, but, as hard as it might be, it's not mentally as much of a challenge because you've got no finite end in sight, nothing to strive 'for'. There's just no finish line!

Maybe we should do away with goals? I think I'm going to do so when it comes to my weight. I don't think I have a real 'goal' as I've never been at any one weight for any length of time, my body has *never* settled into one weight or size, it has fluctuated for nearly 2 decades!

I think I might instead set myself a goal weight 'range', because nobody stays the same weight all the time, from my own experience I can put on and lose many pounds during a week but I'm not sure that's true weight or just water.

I'm not sure what it'll be just yet, I need to give it some thought, but I think that maybe aiming to stay somewhere between 9st 3lb and 9st 10lbs would be a good start. What I think I'll do is carry on as I am, losing weight gradually, and then maybe see where I settle and where I feel happiest :-)


On a separate note... Joe and I were walking home from Brixton Tube Station, totally immersed in conversation when we started to become aware of bits of debry littered around. Given that Brixton is not the nicest/safest/cleanest of areas we didn't think much of it until we noticed that it was actually bits of car!

At first I saw what I thought was a bit of a big black vase and I was wondering what it was doing there unti I realised it was actually part of a lampost!

We looked up to see a car, which had mounted the pavement and gone smack into a lampost!

There was a police car just sat in front of it, but no police tape, no sort of barrier whatsoever. It was all a bit strange. I tried to take a picture and I'm just a bit pissed off with my rubbish BlackBerry camera, this is what it came out with:

If you click on it it'll open in a new window and you can probably just make out the car in the background.

I'm just glad there was obviously nobody actually walking on that stretch of pavement when the car struck as they'd have been a gonner!

There was a huuuuuge fire under the railway arches a couple of weeks ago, took out 3 arches and with them a hairdresser's. There are so many along that stretch of road, so many wigs, hair products etc... I can imagine the place went up in no time at all!

Right, got to get off now, I'm going to The Castle tonight to climb with friends. I'm really looking forward to it, haven't been for ages! I miss my climbing buddies and going to the pub afterwards for a pint and a Pad Thai or Massoman Curry.... will have to decided during climbing which meal I've worked hardest for!!

Hope you're all well and have had fabuloso weekends



  1. Wow you've been busy!

    So sorry you didn't win. You easily deserved to xx

  2. 2 things...

    those fat scales are notoriously unreliable! as I understand it the best way of getting it done is with those caliper things, or in one of those big tank things. Soooooo.... don't get hung up on the numbers on your scale honey.

    2ndly - Stephen Fry. Sorry love, he's going to adopt ME!! ;-) (although I guess I could be a much younger sister for him instead!!)


  3. BandF - thank you very much, that's really sweet, I'm touched :-) xx

    DF - err no, hands off he's going to be my dad/uncle/errm something or other ha! :-) he's super isn't he, such a national treasure!

    Yeah, I think I might stop using those scales, they're just depressing me! I think a handheld device would be more accurate/painless! xx

  4. Really not believing the fat % on those scales at all! Full body bio-impedance or calipers are likely to be more accurate if you can get a measurement via one of those routes I'm certain it'd be appreciably lower. I think the hand-held ones are much like the ones you stand on in that they do a shortened route for the current (the current -will- take the shortest, lowest resistance route; so a hand held one will go up one arm, across your torso horizontally and then down the other arm).

    I get a full body bio-impedance done at the gym once a month and sometimes I jump on the normal weighing scales that do shortened bio-impedance (basically the current goes up one leg across the groin and down the other leg instead of from finger-tip to toe-tip) and the two differ by around 4% for me (full body being lower). I wish I had the time and money to get one of those water bath measurements, but...

    Oh and Woooooooo! for Stephen Fry - seriously brilliant man! :oD

  5. I was going to comment about the fat scales as well, have read a lot of bad things about them. I picked up a pair of calipers in a "Vy-tam-in" store in America but they were $50 and I was only on the first day of the holiday so I wanted to have a look around for other ones but I never got around to it (was also spending $$$ like H20 as well which didn't help ha ha!)

    Love Stephen Fry...but of course! QI is one of my favourite programmes.

  6. Diese and Tot - these are my scales they're meant to be a 'certified medical device' used by health practitioners, that's the only reason I bought them!

    let's see what they have to say for themselves tomorrow eh? ;-) x