Clash of the 2 Tonnes – Week 4 …….

We’re a month in to #ACCLteamdiet, so it should be becoming a way of life, right? wrong! Well, for me anyway 🙂  This week has been a complete diet right-off 😦 Struggled this week after gaining a pound last week, putting on weight is not really my understanding of how a diet should work! Especially when I felt I’d done OK, I don’t know, maybe I’m just being a tad naive??! Rather than take it on the chin, accept that these things happen, re-motivate myself and embrace the diet culture once again, I have instead gone a bit mad this week  🙂  just couldn’t be arsed…! what’s the point?! Have only been out walking twice this week (well, it has been a bit taters of late) and Thursday night saw me sat in watching Mad Dogs with some chilli pistachios and a large glass of wine – nom nom! We won’t get into the guilt I felt on finishing them though….!  I had a night out with the girls on Friday, which was supposed to be a meal (yes, 3 courses and yes, I had all 3…) and some belly dancing, so I did think I could burn a few calories and redeem myself somewhat by shaking my hips….! Sadly the belly dancing didn’t happen, won’t bore you with the details why, but instead we ended up in a NightClub that hasn’t seen me ‘shake my thang’ for at least 22 years! Judging by the way I felt the next morning (and I’m not talking about hangovers…!) my body did have a workout, I ached all over, proving I still have the moves like Jagger…..! and, guess what? I got on the scales this morning and I have LOST 1 POUND????!!! I should be jubilient at this news, but let me tell you, I’m not….! How the hell did THAT happen?? I have been BAD! Right now I’m feeling like I should just go back on the chips and chocolate and be done with it!  This is why me and diets don’t get along, it makes absolutely no sense to me? Anyway, the long and short of it is that this week I will make no promises to myself, just gonna go with the flow, lets see what next weeks weigh-in brings, although I have gone out and bought myself a skipping rope………

Wayne has had a busy week, he got the keys to his new home on Friday, bless him, he’s been like a kid on Christmas morning 🙂 so excited! He’s been lifting and moving boxes all weekend so has had plenty of exercise, returning to work on Monday for a break! Looking at him this morning you can definitely see that he has lost weight, really starting to show in his face, “not in the belly though” he tells me…!  He is still eating nothing but the 3 gruel meals and 1 soya bar a day…hmmm – top man! (stupid man??!) He’s loving the new house and with plenty of renovation needing to be done, and his girlfriend on his case to get it done 🙂  it will be keeping him fit if nothing else…..!  I have to tell you that he did cheat at the weekend though, it pained him to ‘fess up 🙂 yep, Wayne Connors, diet God has fallen off his pedestal a bit this week – he was so hungry with the moving that he grabbed the only thing available to him, a spear of raw broccoli! Call the diet police – major food crime committed! Blimey, if I’d only cheated with a piece of raw veg I’d be ecstatic! His weigh-in has seen him lose another 7 pounds this week, careful Connors you’re wasting away…..!

Sally hasn’t had a bad week either, managed to walk past the wine rack at the weekend without  grabbing a bird!  although she did succumb to a few squares of Galaxy chocolate, cookies and some Jelly Tots, tut tut! having said that she only had the orange and lemon ones, which contain natural fruit juice, so you could argue that was part of her one a day??! OK Sally, I’ll let you off but only because I’ve been REALLY naughty, once again, I’m taking it for the team…..! In terms of exercise she has still been doing the walking every day (note to self: get a dog, will HAVE to go on daily walks!) with a Masquerade Ball to look forward to this coming weekend, she has managed to get into the ‘thin wardrobe’ trousers, good girl, obviously still moving in the right direction!

Dee is still plodding on with the steady weight loss, 2 pounds lost this week – not too shabby 🙂  Dee has been on the diet ‘journey’ a lot longer than the rest of us and is struggling to remain motivated, let’s face it, it’s boring! and Dee has had the same lunch every day for the past 3 months (yes, 12 weeks…!) because she knows exactly how many calories she’s eating and it requires no thought…..Heinz tomato soup with 2 ryvita’s and cottage cheese, feeling your pain babe 🙂 She’s at the stage where she is looking for any excuse to fall off the diet wagon, today is a perfect example of this as it’s her husband’s birthday, tonights dinner is Lasagne, a couple of glasses of wine, finished with a large helping of chocolate birthday cake served with lashings of cream – you go girl, would be rude not to! Again, she owns dogs (a diet must have!) so is off doing daily walks, lunging her way through the countryside, sheep watching from the safety of their field in amusement!

Cable Theft – Is it a Fair Cop….per??!

How many times recently have you heard that trains have been delayed or cancelled due to cable theft on the railway? Organised rail related metal theft has been causing misery to many rail commuters of late and is on the increase, rising to a record 2627 incidents last year, up by 9.6% on 2010. In these recession hit times people are risking electrocution and being caught by the police stealing copper cabling from lines, it’s a risky business considering up to 33,000 volts can be flowing through it at any one time!  At least 2 people are being killed every month according to London’s Metropolitan Police.

It has cost an estimated £43 million in repair costs and compensation pay outs since 2009. The biggest single theft was in July 2011, 150m of fibre optic cable and 18km of earth bonding cable were taken, each worth £300,000. The price of copper continues to rise and the forecast is that there will be a 26% increase over the next 12 months, whilst analysts are predicting a shortfall of 234,000 tons as demand increases by 2.5% next year.

Scrap metal is a £5 billion industry in the UK . Each year 15,000 tons of scrap is stolen costing the economy an estimated £770 million a year in disruption to services and replacing stolen components. The government is cracking down on the illegal trading of scrap, calling for more robust licensing, plus a strict ban on cash deals, with the suggestion that there should also be a holding period for newly purchased scrap so that payments have time to be processed, thus making it harder for thieves to dispose of stolen cable. Police also need to have the power to close down rogue scrapyards,  proper records should be kept for customers and a provision that property handled in breach of the proposed rules would be treated as criminal assets. Once caught tougher sentences need to be put in place for the cable thieves and the rogue scrap dealers who assist them.

Network Rail has fought back by identifying its cable in various ways, however, industry sources concede that once the cable cores are extracted and melted down they become untraceable. The thieves have been trying new techniques, including at least one attempt to melt cable at the scene with a domestic barbeque……!

The railways are not the only industry to be affected by metal theft, there have been incidents around the country in which homes, businesses, churches and even hospitals have suffered power cuts and surges as a result of thieves stealing copper from power substations. Telephone cables are also targeted with BT stating a 12% rise in attacks on its network last year compared to 2010.

So with the recession still biting hard, what do you think can be done to resolve the issue? Feel free to let off steam (maybe this is the answer?? back to steam engines….!) and tell me your cable theft travel woes……

Clash of the 2 Tonnes – Week 3

I started the week seriously feeling the pressure to lose weight, everyone else is focussed and doing so well, I’ve been really impressed with their motivation, however, it highlights to me just what little willpower I have…..but it then got me thinking how boring it would be if we were all the same? All sticking to the plan and losing a few pound every week blah, blah, blah…! Not exactly an exciting read is it? You need someone to mix it up, someone who doesn’t properly play the game and yes, that rebel without a cause is me 🙂 who would have thought it?! (shut it Lawrence!!) This whole diet thing sucks quite frankly! The fact that I lost 1 solitary pound last week didn’t help, felt that I’d given up loads of yummy things and for what?? Without wishing to sound too gross, I could do a poo and lose a pound!

I have to confess the idea did pop into my head that I could lie! Who would know? I write the blog – poetic licence and all that! Then the realisation dawned that I’d only be cheating myself, where’s the fun in that? I somehow need to get back on track, lose some weight and ultimately feel better about myself and the way I look, who knows where that might lead?? The week did start ok, good eating habits, walking every day – check me!  but it all went a bit pear-shaped from Thursday when I met a friend for dinner, what I ate wasn’t too bad (seafood pasta) but I drank half a bottle of wine 😦 well, not seen her in ages, would have been rude not to really. Pay back came in the form of a nasty hangover Friday, what’s that about after 2 glasses of wine? The days of Faye ‘the drinking legend’ when I would still be standing after consuming my body weight in vodka have long gone it would seem. Went out again on Friday to visit a friend, I would like to add at this stage that I don’t normally have a social life, typical, start a diet and all of my mates come out of the woodwork! Conspiracy? I’m beginning to think so…..! Anyway, we don’t see enough of each other so when she brought out the bottle of wine how could I refuse? Didn’t want to hurt her feelings….! Had a sneaky jump on the scales on Saturday morning and seriously wished that I hadn’t, had to have a bacon and egg muffin just to console myself!  Final weigh-in of the week has left me in mourning  for my diet as I am back to my pre-diet weight – gutted! I’m the first to admit I’ve not been brilliant but to put a pound back on is harsh!  Safe to say this week has been a write off for me, I did say I would be rubbish, only now I’m publishing it for all to see….! #EpicFail

Sally’s had a good week on the whole, eating healthily and doing plenty of exercise, I hate her! She is, however getting rather bored of eating fruit! The bananas are just about ok for the time being but if she sees another satsuma she may just lose the plot…..! woman on a diet – not always a pretty sight 🙂 She had friends over this weekend, so, as is the norm, she had bowls of chocolates out, however the complete bowl of Revels got demolished without her getting a sniff, she was a bit miffed, to say the least, one wouldn’t have hurt?! She then spent the entire night looking daggers over at her friend secretly thinking “greedy cow”….. however, unbeknown to her, her friend was thinking the self same thing, turns out the dog had scoffed the lot whilst no-one was looking, and left the two friends eyeing each other suspiciously all evening, as only true friends can, eh Sally??! She also downed a couple of glasses of wine over the weekend, purely to be sociable, a girl after my own heart 🙂 Her horoscope for this week says that now is a good time to start exercise, so  she is back on the lunges whilst walking the dog – go girl…! Sally is wearing a skirt today that was fitting a bit too snugly but now has room, so despite the fact she hasn’t hit the scales it’s safe to say things are moving in the right direction for her at least, really pleased for her, no, really I am….. 🙂

Dee has also gained a pound this week! Not just me that’s rubbish then?! I shouldn’t gloat, but she has made me feel so much better 🙂 She doesn’t live far from me, so maybe it has something to do with the air? yeah, that has to be it because we have both been relatively good?! well, I think we have, although like me she has had a couple of nights out over the past week. The answer is probably to give up the social life but stuff that, you only live once eh?!

Wayne has been nothing short of incredible, seriously never thought he’d have the willpower to stick to such a rigid plan, and let’s face it, eat slop. He has given up on the chilli con carne and shepherds pie though as being a step too far…..vanilla milkshake is winning in the taste stakes. The haliotosis has kicked in this week with a vengeance, seriously, you can strip paint with his breath….! It’s not his fault, bless him! it wasn’t me that broke the news to him, it was nasty Steve 🙂 whilst they were out visiting a client, I just hope that he was as tactful as I would have been….. 🙂  I’m thinking that we should make him a badge to wear, explaining his predicament to the world at large, all suggestions gratefully received, I’m thinking on the lines of “Diet in progress – Beware of Badger Breath” !!! The support from his girlfriend is waning too, she has moved to the spare room, citing that she’d rather put up with his snoring than his dog breath. The home is permanently freezing where she has all the windows open, allowing the fresh air to come in and eradicate the nasty niff, Febreze alone ain’t gonna do it!. Poor Wayne is not feeling the love……..but he is feeling the weight drop off, can’t have it all, can you?? You only had to look at Wayne’s grin this morning to know he’d done well, 8lb this week – that’s a stone and a half in 2 weeks – steady Boss, wouldn’t want you to waste away…!

I do need to shout out this week to the non-dieters in the office, Keith and Steve, who have been nothing short of admirable, ensuring that all the biscuits and chocolates left over from Christmas have been eaten, taking it for the team – thanks guys, we are forever in your debt…..! you could have enjoyed them a little less, just a minor criticism…..!

Clash of the 2 Tonnes, week 2……..

A full week of dieting has now passed, and what a long week it has been, for me anyway 😦 I’m rubbish at this diet thing and knew it would be debatable whether I’d manage to lose any weight at all! I have had days where I have been very good (well, good for me! ) but days where I have been unable to resist the urge for something yummy, crisps, leftover Christmas chocolates or a glass of wine with my lamb roast on Sunday for example. I have been walking most days though and hoola hooping in front of the TV, my boys have been barred from entering the living room whilst I’m in there ‘doing my thing’ as rather than offer encouragement, they would prefer to stand and laugh at my hip wiggling…! I’m not that good at it either so I do have to clear the area so I don’t send things flying! Before stepping on the scales last night I submerged myself in the bath and shaved within an inch of my life, not that I’m a wookie or anything but I knew I’d need all the help I could get this week…! and the result is I lost a pound, yep, that’s it, one solitary pound, slightly disheartening. Note to self – must try harder!

Sally has embraced the diet thing wholeheartedly and has been very good – cow! Eating more sensible foods and limiting her portion sizes. She’s not weighing herself though so It’s difficult to see how much weight she has lost, if any (of course she has, I’m just jealous 🙂 ) she says her tummy appears to have shrunk, she has a novel way of monitoring this, in a similar way to how a child will ask you to check their height against a wall, Sally checks her tummy width…. although she doesn’t mark the wall because that would be mad, right Sally….nutter!  the clothes are starting to feel less tight, though she’s not attempted ‘the’ jeans, I think it would be a tad optimistic to think they’d fit yet….! She has her favourite pair of trousers to get into for a do at the end of the month which currently fit snugly, by her own admission though she has the same trousers in her ‘fat’ wardrobe so could just stuff her face for the next 3 weeks instead, yeah, do that Sal…I’m such a cow 🙂

Sally has also incorporated lunges into her walking routine, which by her own admission looks pretty stupid, although she is having to re-think it going uphill is virtually impossible without falling backwards, surprisingly, no-one now wants to go out walking with her unless it’s under cover of darkness….! even the dog hides when she gets out the lead 🙂 on the plus side she will soon be cracking nuts with her thighs….Last night’s brisk walk in the woods had her stopped by the local police, no doubt thinking she was fleeing the scene of a crime…!

Wayne, poor Wayne on his gruel diet…..had a few hairy moments this week, couldn’t do a number two for 6 days, bless him!…..His body must have gone into shock! dropping to 500 calories a day (a man should be consuming around 2000-2500 a day) must fool the body into thinking it’s being starved, therefore feeling the need to desperately try and hold onto everything, good or bad! relief eventually came in the form of Senokot, Movicol, basically any laxative he could get his hands on, preemptive calls had been made to DynaRod, just in case…..!! paid off though, he lost a staggering 13 pounds in his first week, the weight of 2 small new-born babies! You can imagine how I felt hearing that, knowing I’d only managed one pound – fail! His reward is that he has now dropped down from 4 Lighter Life meal sachets to 3 a day with the 4th sachet being replaced with a cereal bar, woo hoo! – almost proper food…!  On the face of it though, these sachets sound yummy – chilli con carne, Shepherds Pie, chicken & mushroom soup, chicken casserole but don’t be fooled, anything that you add water too and shake in a cup ain’t gonna taste great and believe me it looks even worse! (Wayne’s words “cross between a pavement pizza and something you’d leave behind after a dodgy curry” – we get the picture!) on a positive note, he is getting used to the daily porridge, which looks exactly like lumpy wall paper paste *shudder* I’m pleased to add that his girlfriend has been very supportive and has bought industrial strength mouthwash and extra toothpaste for the anticipated Bear Breathe, which I am relieved to announce hasn’t yet kicked in, the office is still haliotosis free……

Our Accounts Manager Dee is also on the #TeamACCLdiet, I didn’t include her last week, partly because she has been on a diet since October last year and partly because she has already lost a stone and is motivated AND is looking good….yet another person to hi-light my failings…..! Dee’s approach is to be very good through the working week but allows herself treats at the weekend 🙂 my kindred spirit! doing this she loses on average between 1 – 2 pounds each week – top bird! Home life for Dee is very busy, she moved out into the country last year and is living the Good Life, Barbara has nothing on our Dee…although she has no goats – yet! she does, however look rather good in dungarees! She has husband Graham and 2 adult children living at home, a cat and 2 dogs, so always on the go…. this week she has managed to lose 2 pound, yes, twice as much as me…! She has another half stone to lose but is focussed, I have to up my game or I’m going to be left behind, the last fattie standing…….!

Clash of the 2 Tonnes – Week 1……

See what I did there??! when I talk about clash of the 2 tonnes, I am talking about the amount of weight to be lost and not talking about any person 🙂 Right! so this is it, the moment can be put off no longer. The ACCL Team Diet has begun in earnest this week, I  thought I’d get ahead of the game and cheated by starting last week 🙂 Lot of good that did me! lost 2 pound, yay! then celebrated my success over the weekend by not being very good at all and put a pound back on…….oh well, new week, new start.

So, I hit the scales on Monday, breathing in as I did so, lose at least a pound doing that, didn’t you know??!! 9 stone 3lb (can’t believe I’ve published that!!!) heaviest I’ve ever been in my life and it’s been steadily creeping on over the last year, so I know unless I put a stop to it now I will end up looking something like Vicky Pollard, yeah but, no but! I’m not about to let that happen as I’m at a period of change in my life so need the body beautiful, or as near to it as I can get, being a woman in my 40’s with 2 children…..! I’m aiming to get back down to 8 1/2 stone, that’s 10 pounds to lose, so not a vast amount, with regular exercise and healthier eating that should be achievable right? RIGHT??!

 Willpower is something I don’t possess so I know it’s going to be a battle. Monday evening, classic example, had a tasty, healthy dinner of fish, new potatoes and veg, problem was it didn’t fill me up, so when I went to the cupboard to get something out for the boys I stumbled across an opened bag of peanuts, deadly! rather than closing the cupboard and walking away I thought ” a couple won’t hurt” before I knew it I’d had 2 large handfuls and spent the rest of the night wracked with guilt that couldn’t be alleviated by doing 10 minutes with the Hula Hoop! I’m fed up with all of my clothes being tight so I have to succeed, failure is not an option and I’m hoping that having my mates on the journey with me will spur me on…….we can celebrate our anticipated success with a decent slap up meal at a Greasy Spoon caff in the Summer – good things come to those who wait, don’t they???!

Sally has decided she is not getting on the scales, she wouldn’t be able to take the shock 🙂  instead she has her favourite pair of jeans hanging up that’s she’s not been able to get into for sometime as her inspiration, they’re not going past her knees at the moment….!

Like me she is not on a diet, the mere mention of the word has her heading for the biscuit barrel! It’s all about sensible food choices, portion control and a lot more exercise! Oh yeah, and giving up the alcohol, not sure I’m doing that bit yet, sometimes ‘needs must’, anyway wine is made of grapes, one of your 5 a day, so it’s ok in my book…..! So the daily dog walk has been upped from 3 miles to 4 miles, nice and brisk with a couple of mountainous hills to boot 🙂 Sally has also been chewing gum at a rate of knots to keep her mouth busy, something she never has to do normally, it’s amazing how your jaw is happy to stay still when you’re not thinking about trying to lose weight! Trouble is she was nearly taken to A&E yesterday, unable to move with stabbing pains shooting through her stomach! the doctor’s have referred her for a scan on her colon but I’m convinced it has something to do with the build up of stomach acid due to incessantly chewing gum, fooling your stomach into thinking food is on it’s way, then leaving it bitterly disappointed when nothing arrives is not a good idea, pay back comes in the form of sharp pain!

The boss has the largest amount to lose and has gone for the most drastic approach by joining the Lighter Life programme. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this diet it basically involves giving up ALL normal food for meal replacement sachets which you take 4 times a day, dissolved in water…..! they look and smell revolting and I take my hat off to him, you need a serious amount of motivation to see this one through……not for the feint hearted, gruel should remain in the work houses of Victorian England in my opinion… The doctor gave him the ok so he had his weigh in on Monday evening weighing in at a whopping (he won’t mind me saying that…!) 21 stone 1 pound, not good at all by his own admission. He wants to get down to 16 stone and is aiming to do this within 6 months, an incredible amount of weight loss, just over 6 stone. He did do this diet a few years back and incredibly lost 10 stone, but that was a ridiculous amount of weight and he didn’t even look like Wayne, people actually avoided talking to him because they thought he was ill :)!!! He has had a headache for the past couple of days but has been in (surprisingly) good spirits! we have been warned that sometime in the near future he will develop serious halitosis and has asked that, as a mate, I tell him when this happens. I have assured him I will do this as sensitively as possible – I’m thinking something on the lines of “bog off dog breath”!!

Motivational messages will be much appreciated……….


Diet Dilemmas………!

It’s the start of a new year and as with every year before it I find myself, along with most of the female population, thinking about losing the pounds! I am at this point the heaviest I’ve ever been and if I continue to shovel in the crisps it won’t be long before I’m looking for clothes in the same shop as Demis Roussos – not a prospect that brings me joy..! Every  year starts with good intentions but there’s always something after Christmas that needs “finishing off”!  The odd sausage roll, a few remnants of smelly cheese, Christmas cake, to name but a few….this year though, it’s all going in the bin!  It CAN and it WILL be done….!

The problem I’ve always had, apart from a seriously absent will power, is that as soon as I tell myself I’m starting a diet, my body starts craving naughty foods, even ones I’ve not had for years!  What’s that about??

I decided this year to do some research as there are so many different diets out there all making fantastic claims.  This is BIG business, even the large supermarkets are jumping on the diet “bandwagon”.  I personaly need one that I will, hopefully, be able to stick to and that means to not constantly feel like I’m depriving myself!  I searched the web vigourously for a “Vodka and Chip” or “Wine and Chocolate” diet but alas, they don’t exist! You have to accept before starting any diet that more or less anything you consider delicious is out!  No chip butties or death by chocolate cake….welcome to the world of the wilted lettuce and tofu, washed down with carrot and beetroot juice, keep focussed and think of the babe that will emerge from the coccoon of fat you have been hiding in!

For me, as I said, I need a diet that still allows me “treats”. So I wrote off, without looking into the detail too much, all the diets that excluded alcohol. Not that I’m an alcoholic you understand, but I do like the odd glass of wine… month’s without alcohol would have me climbing the walls…..and heading for the biscuit barrel!

Weight Watchers and Slimming World were definately worth a look, as were a Low Fat diet plan and the GI Diet, but what puts me off of all of them is the rigidity.  I can’t be bothered to check lists for acceptable foods, or count points, I know that I would lose interest really quickly. It has to fit in with my life, working mum with two hungry teenage boys and I’m not prepared to cook two different meals every night, love them to bits but there is so much more to life!

So, I decided that I just need to stop shovelling rubbish into my gob, cut back on the portion sizes, eat less fat and more veg, lay off the alcohol and get my arse into gear and do some exercise….tall order?  We shall see!

I’m not alone on this journey, which is good, a couple of my ACCL colleagues are coming along for the ride, always helps with motivation. Sally is going the same route as me, just cutting back on food and increasing the exercise. The boss is back on the “Lighter Life” diet, last time he was on it he lost 8 1/2 stone!. Sally and I are starting on 3rd January with Wayne following us the week after. Weekly blogs will follow with our progress. All messages of support will be greatly appreciated but please DON’T send in any chocolate…..!