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Day 501 -Et tu Brute?

Day 9 of my 21 days challenge to stay on my diet 100% and so far, I have aced every day.

Special thanks to my little sister for her love and support, and for making me accountable to her. Having to report my daily progress to her, has helped me stay  committed because I do not want to let her or myself down.

In other news…

Get your popcorn ready. UK politics continues to play like some Shakespearean tragicomedy.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is being stabbed left, right, and centre by his friends screaming at him:

“Resign! Resign! Resign!”.

Drowning under the betrayals and before he could spit out:

“Et tu, Brute?”

The Prime Minister goes hood and says:

“For heaven sake man, go!”

Print

In the other camp, Boris, the king of Brexit, who didn’t really believe in UK being OUT but thought he’d never win anyway, but would make a lot of noise and further his ambitions to be Prime Minister. So he campaigns passionately for Bretix. And when his side wins, he looks like utter shit and like me, on the morning of the Brexit vote, he goes:

“Oh, fuck.”

But never mind the fact that Boris the Buffoon has us in the shit. Onwards and upwards. He’s pumping his flabby muscles ready to be prime minister but wait…dum dum dum…

boris

Boris gets stabbed by his wing man and campaign manager, Michael Gove the former education minister who just a few days ago, was selling us Prime Minister Boris and ruling himself firmly out claiming Boris was the man for us and being an education minister was the best job in politics, young people, blah, blah, blah.

But oh no, the tides have changed. Power is up for grabs. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Gove’s missus gets in the game and emails her husband and I have taken artistic license with her email:

It’s every man for himself. Get real Boris. These are not times for friends or political alliances, my husband. These are not times to stick to your very public statements. You can say what you want and backtrack completely. Lies? Lies are truths the other way.

email give

And so….Michael Gove, the previous Boris chief campaigner for prime minister decides at the very last minute to go for the power himself.

He doesn’t do it quietly though. He changes his tunes and stabs Boris firmly in the back by doing a 180 and saying:

“Boris cannot provide the leadership for the task ahead and is not fit to be prime minister.”

Boris makes a long speech which sounds like he’s announcing he was running for leadership and therefore prime minister.

But wait…. like the joker he is, at the very last line, he rules himself out from leadership.

I for one, didn’t see that sweet twist in this tale coming. I bet Cameron is chuckling in his tea and smacking his head.

cameron europe

For the next instalment in this saga, watch this space…

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Day 499 -Am I Bothered? Me? Bothered?

My mantra for the week: I can’t be bothered to stress about things outside my control.

I got very passionate about my belief that the UK should REMAIN in the EU.

I did my bit by contributing to discussions, dragging myself to the polling station on a day that I was in such agony with back pain, I could hardly, sit, stand, let alone function. I even nagged my friends and family to get out and vote.

The nation voted OUT.

The prime minister has resigned, the labour party is in turmoil.

That seemingly impossible nightmare of an alternate universe where Boris Johnson is prime minister and Donald Trump president could be a stark reality.

Share prices have gone crazy. The pound has hit a low.

Hate crimes have increased because some arseholes now think the vote means that racism and xenophobia have been vindicated and can now be openly celebrated. Britain first power to the traitors, to quote the scumbag that killed Jo Cox MP.

But thank fuck the chancellor hasn’t abandoned ship.  

Like some who cannot quite believe that common sense has not prevailed, I joined the nearly 4 million that have signed a petition calling on a second referendum. I write to my MP pointing out that my London borough voted remain. I follow statements from the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, hoping that maybe, just maybe, Scotland’s MPs may block Brexit. I look with scorn at Boris’ shock at the vote and his pathetic comments yesterday as the financial market went crazy that everything had miraculously settled. I look at even more disgust at the revolting Farage’s fuck you performance at today’s the EU meeting. My God, this prick is even worse than I thought.

I’m not in denial because I have accepted the fact that the majority have spoken and the UK will exit the EU. Everything else is probably an exercise in futility. But maybe, just maybe…

Whatever happens to our beloved country and the financial consequences that I might face as a result of Brexit, is outside my control.

I can’t be bothered to stress about things outside my control.

In other news, the divorce saga continues. April’s court was postponed because my ex didn’t comply with some court mandated documents in February and his excuse was similar to that old favourite – the dog ate my homework. There is yet another risk of July’s court being postponed because he has once again failed to return some documents he was being chased since early May. My lawyer will get final confirmation this week whether the July hearing will need to be postponed yet again. I hope that it doesn’t get postponed but I am resigned that this nightmare ends when it ends.

Whatever happens is outside my control. I can’t be bothered to stress about things outside my control.

am i bothered

What I am bothered about is losing weight and getting fit. That much is within my control.

I have set myself a challenge of 21 days of staying on my diet 100% after some bad days when I ate crap for four days.

I am on day 6 of 21 and I have done 6 days of being on my diet 100%.

If I can do 21 days, I can do another 21 days regardless of whether I am in court in July or whatever turmoil is happening in my life.

If I can stay on my diet for 3 months without fucking it up yet again, I can lose 2 stones.

If I can do 3 months, I can do another 3 months.

If I stay 100% focused, I could reach goal or be very near to it by Christmas.

Now that is something I can control.

I have full control of my hand and full control of my mouth. The movement from hand to mouth is within my control. I am not being controlled by some robot.

from-hand-to-mouth-pavlobaron-1-728

Eating when I am stressed or depressed continues the vicious cycle of obesity.

It is time to finally break that cycle.

vicious_circle

Now that’s something worth being bothered about.

 

 

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Day 484 -My Dinners Rock: Lentil & Chicken Curry with Cauliflower Mash

Day 8 of staying 100% on my diet. Last week, I worked out 3 days, aiming for the same this week.

My workout today was basically 10 minutes easy ride on a recliner bike, 10 mins easy cycle on TechnoGym’s Top XT which is basically like cycling with your arms, and using 2.5lbs dumbbell and yoga band, I did three exercises that work the biceps and triceps, doing 30 repetitions of each exercise.

At the end of my work out, I had an egg. Given that I am on a low calorie diet, I am not going mad in the gym.

Another magnificent low carb, low fat and low calorie dinner suitable for Step 2 of the Cambridge Diet or any diet or just healthy eating.

This time lentil and chicken curry with cauliflower mash. This tasted like restaurant quality food and I couldn’t believe I can eat food this amazing on a diet.

Yep, I made chicken and lentil curry without typical ingredients like yogurt, tomatoes and oil and it still tasted amazingly fabulous.

Curry 3 June 2016

The cauliflower mash came about from a disastrous blending of cauliflower – I couldn’t be bothered to grate into rice size and used the wrong blender which required water. I got a milky consistency which I added a little garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and decided to experiment – the result was sumptuous.

Not the best picture of the cauliflower but it hopefully shows the milky consistency I started with…

Note to self: check photos on your crappy phone!

Cauliflower June 2016

For the Cauliflower mash

Blend 80g of cauliflower with water to get a milky consistency.

Season with a little garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne chilli or whatever you like

Spray pan with coconut one calorie spray and simmer for about 10 minutes

Transfer the pan to oven pre-heated to 220C and cook for another 10 minutes or until slightly brown.

Serve with fresh basil

Curry 1 June 2016

For the lentil and chicken curry.

Ingredients

40g red lentil – dried weight

125g of chicken

Tumeric

Cumin

Ground corriander

Paprika

Curry powder

Garam masala

Garlic salt

Fresh garlic

Fresh ginger

A little low salt vegetable stock

Two teaspoons of milk

Coconut light spray

Method

  1. Boil red lentil briskly for 10 minutes and then simmer for another 10 minutes. Set aside
  2. Combine the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, paprika, garlic salt, curry powder, garam masala with tea spoons of milk to make a curry paste. Set aside.
  3. Cube the chicken, chop garlic, ginger and using a little bit of the curry paste, marinate the chicken with garlic, ginger and a little paste. Leave in the fridge for an hour or until you want to cook.
  4. Pan fry the chicken with the garlic, ginger, and remaining paste turning once browned.I made sure my chicken is cooked before starting the next step. You can’t be too careful with chicken.
  5. Dissolve a little low salt stock in warm water and add the stock to the chicken, simmer for 10 minutes, checking and adding more water if required.

 

Curry 2 June 2016

6. Add the cooked lentil to the chicken mix. Combine properly and simmer for another 10 minutes adding water if required.

7. Serve with fresh basil.

Verdict: I cannot begin to explain how super yummy this was. Smacks lips.

Curry 4 June 2016

 

 

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Day 480 – Carb Free Prawns and Egg Fried with Cauliflower Rice

I am trying to keep my diet fresh and exciting by trying something new daily.

Cambridge weight plan step 2 means that I basically have one cooked food once a day, with 80g of vegetables from an allowed list. The other meals, consist of milk from a weighed allowance and three Cambridge weight plan products, in my case usually the porridge, yogurt bar and peanut bar.

Experimenting with my evening meal instead of basically eating the same thing every single plan has allowed me to experience some previously untried flavours.

Last night’s dinner was this seriously yummy prawns and egg fried rice with no rice. Yes, instead of rice, I grated cauliflower and used that in place of rice.

Guilt free, low carb and off the scale yummy.

prawns june 2016

I weighed out 125 g of frozen prawns (half of my protein allowance, the other half being 1 egg) and because I like to marinate food, I added some fresh basil leaves and Thai chilli and left the prawns in the fridge to defrost.

prawns 2

I grated 80g of cauliflower so it looks like rice. You can use a blender if you prefer. I also chopped a little ginger, garlic and one spring onions.

prawns 3

Using one calorie spray oil, I used garlic oil as I like garlic but you can use any oil, I pan fried the prawns, chilli, garlic and ginger, for 1 to 2 minutes until pink.

I then added one beaten egg, allowing the egg to fry a little before scrambling, for about 1 minute.

prawns 4

Lastly, I added the cauliflower rice and a teaspoon of light soy sauce, tossed everything around to mix properly, before adding the spring onions last and stir frying.

prawns 5

Viola. Yummy goodness, served with some basil leaves. You can serve with coriander if you prefer.

Verdict: Off the scale yummyness.

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Day 479 – Easy, Quick and Tasty Kale Crisps

If you’re on a diet and fancy something tasty, crunchy, healthy, guilt free and very quick to prepare, try this.

It could also be eaten as part of your vegetable allowances in Step 2 of the Cambridge Weight Plan:

Kale crisps

Ingredients

60g of Sliced Kale (you may wish to remove the stalks but I leave mine as I like munching on these)
Garlic salt or ordinary salt if you prefer
Black pepper
Experiment with any spices you like but don’t use too much as the dried product soaks up the spices
I use a bit of cayenne pepper, paprika and cumin to give it a tick
1 calorie fly light, I experiment with garlic spray, chilli spray and even the coconut spray to give it  twist.

Method

1. Wash your kale and soak up the excess water with kitchen paper towels. The less water remaining, the quicker this will crisp up in the microwave.
2. Spray a microwavable plate with the one calorie oil and spread out the kale evenly and thinly on the plate.
3. Season the kale to your taste, making sure the seasoning is evenly spread.
4. Spray the top of the kale with one calorie spray.
5. Place in the microwave and cook on full power for 3 minutes
6. After 3 minutes, check and continue cooking in increment of 30 seconds to 1 minute until the level of crispiness is achieved.
7. Note that if the water is drained and removed vigorously from the kale, it crisps in about 4 to 5 minutes. However, if it isn’t drained and soaked up properly, it might take 6 to 8 minutes to crisp.
8. Serve and eat immediately.

I haven’t experimented with storage to keep the crispiness….as these are seriously yummy and are gone!

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Day 478 – Changing the Narratives

My last post upset a lot of people, I am very sorry about that, but that’s life, with it’s ups and downs and this blog is my space to be honest about my feelings.

I’m definitely on the UP from Sunday night.

I spent much of Monday still very teary but also actively trying to lift my mood.

I ate well, kept to my diet, had fish (whole sea bream) for supper as I believe Omega 3 is a natural anti-depressant and when I needed a snack, I made some yummy crispy kale, recipe coming up.

Even through the tears, I listened to my I Will Survive playlist on a loop. I wrote about some of the songs in that playlist in a blog on the link above.

Vitamin D and exercise are natural anti-depressants and I therefore spent some time outside in the sunshine attending to my herb garden with the fragrance emitted from 5 newly planted rosemary bushes, three types of thymes, mint, chives, another more established rosemary bush etc.

I also attended to some newly planted evergreen clematis that are already climbing through my pergola even though they were only planted in April.

I watered and fed the newly planted red bush hedges and newly planted red roses and climbing pink roses which have already magically produced a lot of flowers even though they were also only planted this April. My gardener swears a specific plant food he made me purchase have resulted in the buds. I’m inclined to believe him as I don’t understand how else roses planted in April will already produce so many flowers.

Roses June 2016

As an aside, last year, I had refused to plant anything new in the garden because of the uncertainties with settling our finances. This year, I decided that I would no longer suspend my life waiting for a protracted divorce process to conclude.

I need to tap into that defiance and that refusal to let anyone steal my joie de vivre.

I also ordered myself some flowers with a card for myself that included the words of one of my very kind readers (thanks J), who had written privately yesterday. She reminded me to just breath, take it one day at a time and that this too shall pass.

I figured flowers were definitely a better option than greasy takeaways.

Flowers June 2016

Today, I am eating well and given as it was raining, I worked out in the gym instead. I have decided to restart working out regularly, regardless of whether it slows down the weight loss, because it will help my mental health going forward. However, nothing too crazy, just gentle exercises because I’m on a low calorie diet. I will also slightly increase my food intake from 800 calories, perhaps having an extra protein bar or egg after working out.

Yesterday, the friend who had spent Friday night at mine continued to call me endlessly and she said she was about to call the police, when she hadn’t heard from me in over 36 hours. We usually talk and text countless times daily. When I finally replied to say that I was OK and was just dealing with the headfuck of the anniversary, she reminded me of my WhatsApp Status:

Change the Narratives

Flip Your story

Turn your negatives to positives

Dream, believe, achieve

And so, I am changing the narratives.

I am dragging myself out from the low moods.

I am a survivor.

I have the strength to see this nightmare divorce through to its conclusion.

I am a warrior.

I am a winner.

I won’t let the bastard or “douche lord” (thanks J) grind me down.

 

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Day 476: 12th Wedding Anniversary -Dark Cloud of Pain

Update: Wednesday 8th June, 2016 – I have been debating whether I should delete the post below because I most definitely do not have those thoughts and it’s only been three days.

The dark clouds have definitely shifted.

For now, the post stays as a reminder to me of what darkness looks like.

However, I promise myself and my loved ones that if I ever feel remotely like I did on Sunday, I will pick up the phone and call my mum or any of my wonderful three sisters who love me very much and who I love more than the world itself, or call any of my close friends.

If anyone stumbles upon this post on a dark day, please trust me when I say that the dark cloud will shift and there will be sunshine.

Please call a family member, a friend, the Samaritan free from any UK mobile 116 123 or send me an email with your phone number and I will call you back, wherever you might be in the world – I have Skype and WhatsApp and can call none UK numbers.

I don’t feel like the post below means that I have lost all the progress I have made as a person since my marriage ended. On the contrary, it has inspired me to be that person that carries on, stays positive, who is a survivor and not a victim, and who keeps looking forward.

I might have taken 50 steps backwards on Sunday, but right now, from where I was that day, I have taken 60 steps forward. I have made progress.

Rainbow_1574

Double rainbow forming on the western outskirts of Innerleithen, Scottish Borders

 

WARNING: This post is dark and talks of suicidal thoughts. It may cause upset.

Today is 12 year since the day I married my husband – I call him my husband because we are not yet divorced.

Today is also exactly a year to the day since my husband sent me the anniversary present of getting the lawyer in the same divorce law firm as the sister of the married woman he had an affair with, to write me asking for divorce.

Two years ago, we were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, having returned to the same wonderful hotel in Mauritius where we spent our honeymoon.

Today, my husband changed his Facebook profile picture to a picture of himself smiling by the sea.

Today, something else happened to remind me of my so called empty life; 40s, discarded, unwanted, undesirable, used goods. I do not want to talk about this other event.

Today has been a fucking miserable day.

This evening, I had a pizza, two cans of diet coke, chicken wings, garlic pizza bread and half a tub of ice cream. I didn’t have breakfast or lunch. I had pizza and it was good.

I feel so fucking depressed it is unreal.

I am currently sitting on my sofa sobbing my eyes out.

Earlier, as I sat here looking at my wedding photos, I know I shouldn’t do so but what the hell, when you’re down, out and on a pity party, you might as well keep going and depress the fuck out of yourself.

My wedding 12 years ago was a totally awesome wedding. It was so full of fun, joy, music, dances, different, my husband and I smiled like we were the king of the world. We were drunk with happiness, happy as anything I’ve ever been, laughing and smiling broadly all day.

For several years, friends would say how much fun our wedding was.

To be clear, I have accepted the end of my marriage, that much I am certain of.

Earlier today, as I sat at this sofa, I thought about going upstairs, taking a handful of the anti depressants, anti psychotic pills, strong sleeping pills, strong painkillers codeine etc. by my bedside.

I imagined going upstairs to my bedroom, setting out my will, writing letters to my family and just how peaceful it would be to swallow as many of those pills as I can, keep swallowing them and falling into a very deep sleep from which there would be no waking up.

No more emotional or physical pain. Just peace and quiet.

I imagined the peace of never having to experience the back pain that sometimes completely cripples me – I am wearing a TENS machine set to the highest level as I write this; that highest level is insufficient for my pain. TENS machine is given to women experiencing the pain of child birth. I live with that level of pain on a daily basis.

I imagined the peace of never ever having to deal with the prospect of going to court next month and having to face seeing my evil, psychopathic ex who continues his life completely oblivious to just how evil, unfeeling and inhuman he has been.

I imagined the peace of never having to deal with lawyers in the mess my husband has made of trying to end his marriage, one year later, this evil, wicked, heartless man still has all of this hanging over me like an unending nightmare that just won’t go away.

I imagined the peace of never having to think of the pain and betrayal my husband continues to cause me.

I imagined the peace of never having to deal with the fact that my life as I know it is empty and bleak.

I imagined the peace of never having to deal with the fact that I am destined to spend the rest of my life alone. Please do not write to tell me that one day, I will meet a man who will love me for me. I am realistic about the prospects of that ever happening; it won’t, that’s just my reality. Having spent 14.5 years with a man that would look at me with eyes full of love, I will never ever submit to any such fallacy called love that will end in monstrous pain.

As the urge to take those pills magnified, I thought of my mother.

On Friday, one of my closest friends had spent the night with her two children. On Saturday as we had some heart to heart, I told her about my mother and how much loss that woman had endured in her life. I told her how my neurosis probably started because when my mother was pregnant with me, she had been so convinced she would die in pregnancy or giving birth, that she had written letters, prepared her affairs and asked her best friend to marry my father when she dies and to look after my two elder sister.

My mother’s premonition were not completely unfounded. Her mother had died the year before I was born. Her closest sibling, her handsome brother had died, in his twenties, the year I was born. Her father had died the year after I was born and my beloved father would die in a plane crash, 10 years after I was born.

Four years ago, my mother was crushed by the death of my 24 year old sister-in-law who died giving birth to my brother’s son. The little boy died too. She left my 6 years old nephew who my mum now looks after. Last year, my mother lost her closest remaining sibling, an elder sister who she adored.

As I contemplated, ended it all, I thought of my mother. She had tried to call me this morning telling me that she knew what day it was and hoped that I was alright.

She called me again as I sat pondering whether to end it all, I initially ignored the call but when I saw her face with her WhatsApp photo, I finally tried to answer but the connection was poor and I didn’t call her back. My mother lives abroad.

I started Googling and reading pages about how parents and siblings deal with the suicide of a loved one. Given everything my poor mother has endured in one lifetime, do I really want to deal her with yet another cruel hand? Would she survive my death? Do I want to be ultimately responsible to my mother’s demise?

I read about how suicide tears a family apart like a hand grenade dropped in the middle of a room. The closest to the grenade suffer forever. Do I want to drop a bomb to the family that I love so much?

I think of the close friend who had spent Friday night with her two children one of whom is my God daughter. She had lost a friend in January who had died sitting on his bed, with his laptop open, on a Saturday afternoon. He was only 39 years old and with his whole bright life ahead of him. The conclusion was sudden adult death syndrome. His death had devastated my friend and she still hasn’t recovered from it. She would have to deal with yet another friend dying unexpectedly and explain to her little ones that the “auntie” they had only hugged and kissed just yesterday had died.

This friend calls me twice, sends several messages, I ignore her calls and messages. I will call her tomorrow.

I thought of my siblings explaining to my nephews and nieces that I had died. I wondered if they would tell them that I also killed myself.

I read this poem on a random blog talking about mothers and their children’s suicide. I sob like a baby as I read this because this could be my mother.

My Mom is a survivor,
Or so I’ve heard it said.
But I can hear her crying at night
When all others are in bed.
I watch her lay awake at night
and go to hold her hand.
She doesn’t know I’m with her
to help her understand.
But like the sands on the beach
That never washes away…
I watch over my surviving mom,
Who thinks of me each day.
She wears a smile for others…
A smile of disguise!
But through Heaven’s door I see
Tears flowing from her eyes.
My mom tries to cope with death
To keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows
It is her way to survive.
As I watch over my surviving mom
Through Heaven’s open door…
I try to tell her those angels
Protect me forever more.
I know that doesn’t help her…
Or ease the burden she bears.
So if you get a chance, go visit her…
And show her that you care.
For no matter what she says…
No matter what she feels.
My surviving mom has a broken heart
That time won’t ever heal.

Sunday 5th June, 2016 will pass and I will still be here.

Before you write and tell me to seek medical help, I know. I do not usually have suicidal thoughts, it was a tough day, in a tough period.

Realistically, I am not overly confident seeking help will do anything other than give me more pills when I have more than enough.

Tomorrow is another day. I do not know whether the dark cloud would have passed. I can only take it one day at a time.

Tomorrow, I will try and eat well, stay on my diet, exercise a little in the fresh air, if it will help, and take it one day at a time.

I have a busy few weeks coming up with divorce crap and court in July.

I completely accept the end of my marriage. However, the evil, wickedness and despicable acts of this serpent I married, the pain and damages that he has caused me, I will never comprehend, nor is his behaviour comprehensible to any half decent human being.

Please don’t write to tell me to move on. It is impossible to move on when there has been no movement whatsoever in resolving our affairs and ending our marriage, in the year since my husband decided he wanted a divorce because my husband has refused to settle or make a counter offer to the offer of settlement I made him in September 2015, a few weeks after he ended mediation to settle our financial affairs because he would not accept the mediators telling him he was legally and morally wrong.

A year on, I still do not even know whether I will lose my beloved home where I have lived for over 12 years.

A year on, there is still no privacy because the court requires this man to see all my bank and credit card statements and vice versa.

A year on, there is no moving on from this nightmare.

One day at a time is all I can pledge.