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Day 633: Brexit Part 2 – An American Tragedy.

America? Seriously? President Trump? WTF.

The leader of the free world is a racist, sexist, bigot who makes fun of the disabled, people of colour, Muslims, a xenophobe, a scallywag, a cheat, a liar, an adulterer, a man who believes sexual assault and degradation of women is acceptable locker room talk, a self obsessed, selfish, self serving, despicable billionaire who has tapped into hate  and division to win the biggest office in the world.

What a sad day for humanity.

I want to order a big pizza and eat cake but what is the point of that? So, I shall stick to my diet.

liberty-weeps

This article from the New Yorker says it all. Some extracts below. Click below to read more.

An American Tragedy

“The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.”

“There are, inevitably, miseries to come: an increasingly reactionary Supreme Court; an emboldened right-wing Congress; a President whose disdain for women and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact, to say nothing of simple decency, has been repeatedly demonstrated. Trump is vulgarity unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted. The African-American Other. The Hispanic Other. The female Other. The Jewish and Muslim Other. The most hopeful way to look at this grievous event—and it’s a stretch—is that this election and the years to follow will be a test of the strength, or the fragility, of American institutions. It will be a test of our seriousness and resolve.”

 

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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 323 -Please May I Rant?

I had a fantastic relaxed Christmas with my sister and kids who showered me with love, presents and kindness. My beautiful, intelligent, kind generous niece calls her savings her “college funds”. Smart girl. She chose to spend those buying me endless presents.

2015-12-24 23.19.30

She now has a piggy box that is in the form of an ATM machine, complete with cash card with PIN for cash withdrawal. She sent me a WhatsApp message calling it “the coolest thing ever.”

I concur.

IMG-20160102-WA0009

Even after Christmas, the generosity and love of my family continued including a most welcome and unexpected gift from my sweet sister who lives in the States and gifts from cousins who visited from Manchester.

I am truly blessed.

I had a very difficult New Year’s eve sobbing my eyes out and thinking of happier years but I am only human and blips are to be expected. In the midst of my sadness, my little sister called me at the stroke of midnight, a call that she will never fully understand how much it meant.

But I’m actually in a good place right now.

I am resigned that there are tough days ahead of me this year with my ex, court appearances and all sorts but I am also accepting that whatever the future holds, I will be totally fine.

I truly believe that whatever happens in my life has been pre-ordained by God. I may never understand his reasons for shit happening but I keep the faith that I will bounce back and I will be fine.

All sounding good, right?

Well…forgive me while I rant.

You may bypass my rant and scroll to the end of this post for news on my weight loss journey!

keep-calm-and-scroll-down-6

I am rattled by someone who knows my ex having heard our marriage has ended telling me that he is “obviously having a serious mental breakdown.”

Two weeks ago, one of his friends said exactly the same to me.

Today’s comments rattled me because of the matter of fact way it was delivered barely disguising the judgment that my wifely duty would be to stand by your man through thin and thick.

That boat sailed in June when my ex filed for divorce.

joan mad men

It took some time to explain that I did stand by my ex and I wasn’t the one that ended our marriage or filed for divorce.

For months, I accepted the mid life crisis/mental breakdown and gave my ex the benefit of the doubt to seek help when he himself accepted his erratic behaviour and claimed to be getting therapy.

I stood by my ex with all the lies, deceit and craziness until he wrote below in an email from a business trip Singapore ending out marriage and categorically telling me he wasn’t ill.

“Despite what you might think, I am not chasing shadows or a fantasy life or being controlled nor am I ill. If that’s how you want to rationalise what’s happening then ok but it’s not the reality. Nor is it about Lilly Wong. [The fake name he used for his mistress Mylien in the mistaken belief I didn’t know her identity while he told her everything about me including my home address and mobile phone number.] It is my decision alone. There is no one pushing me other than myself. I want to forge a new path alone.” 

When I mentioned this email, both told me that of course he would say that as he clearly doesn’t realise he’s mentally ill.

But what would you have me do? We only communicate through lawyers. They had no responses.

I wasn’t the one that wrote that email from Singapore ending our marriage and 14.5 years relationship.

I wasn’t the one that chose our 11th wedding anniversary to get lawyers to send an email asking for divorce.

I wasn’t the one that filed for divorce using the law firm of the sister of the woman he had an affair with.

I wasn’t the one that reneged on a pledge to continue financial support and instead pay £0.

I wasn’t the one that ended a mediation process that could have resulted in an amicable settlement.

I wasn’t the one that has refused an offer for settlement, refused to make a counter offer for settlement and instead, added insult to injury by asking for proof of patently obvious physical health issues witnessed first hand for over 14 years and given as part of the reasons for ending the marriage.

When I mentioned that last bit this afternoon, the response was a shocked he asked for proof of what? Followed by surely that’s clear proof that he is mentally ill? Surely, by asking for proof of something so obvious, his lawyers should realise their client is ill and therefore not write such a stupid letter?

I swallowed my irritation and patiently explained that the lawyers are not there to examine my ex’s mental health if he appears for all intents and purposes sane enough to give them instructions.

Their primary aim is to bill matters and make money for their firm.

Before you tell me to stand by your man, I wasn’t the one that ended my marriage, secretly moving 5 minutes away to live near a married woman, having sworn several times on their own mother’s life that the affair had ended.

But I am the one that in just over two weeks, will find myself in a court of law because after 14.5 years, my ex cannot do the sensible and commercial thing of settling our finances outside of court; where the only real winners will be lawyers and their legal fees.

I am the one who spent several days just before Christmas looking at 100s of pages of court mandated documents of my ex’s 12 months bank statements and credit cards statements clearly documenting his infidelity.

Proof of dining and wining another woman on two occasions the week before Christmas 2014 when he had told me he had work dinners and Christmas parties.

Proof of wining, dining, buying expensive gifts, flowers, jewellery for another woman including an expensive celebratory dinner on the day he filed for divorce.

Proof of his adultery continuing at the times he was swearing on his mother’s life or telling his own mother and only sibling the affair had ended.

Proof of my ex spending £291 in July on erectile dysfunction pills with his mistress.

I wouldn’t wish those documents on any woman but they are what they are and I’ve dealt with them and I’ve moved on.

But please don’t give me that stand by your man crap because I can sleep easy at night knowing hand on heart, I did absolutely everything to stand by this man and the sanctity of my marriage.

If my ex one day tells me that all his actions have been as a result of mental illness, I shall encourage treatment, ensure he has support to get all the help in the world and I shall wish him well for his future.

But please don’t you dare imply that I should still be standing by someone who has filed for divorce and has made it crystal clear that he stands by his actions as despicable as they are and that he is not mentally ill.

and-not-a-single-fuck-was-given-that-day-cat

In other news, in 8 days over Christmas, I gained an eye popping 9kg!

The good news is that in 7 days since I restarted my diet on 28th December, I have lost exactly…9kg.

what the hell

I am resolved to stay on my diet and for the first time in my life, start a diet and get to the end of it.

I must not allow the stresses of the coming days and weeks to derail me from my weight loss goals.

I desperately need to do this for myself.

I ought to do this for myself.

I shall do this for myself.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to every single one of you who visit this blog regularly, or anyone who just happens to stumble upon me.

I also wish you all, the very best of happiness for 2016. May it bring to all of us, peace, love, good health and happiness.

Thank you very much for all the wonderful support and comfort you have all given me this year. I will forever be immensely grateful.

If you have a moment, please reach out to someone, family, neighbour, acquaintance, foe or even a complete stranger who might be a little lonely, grieving, elderly or just anyone who might appreciate some kindly words or friendly thoughts.

Perhaps something next year, I shall write about surviving Christmas after a devastating loss or unexpected marriage breakdown, especially if like me, you happen to be childless.

As for me, I have immersed myself in love, family, friendship, peace, happiness, music, contentment, gratitude, laughter…and I confess, lots and lots of yummy food.

Yep, the diet has been postponed until 28th December.

C’mon, I never claimed to be a saint!

Ho ho fucking ho.

2015-12-22 17.16.59

2015-12-23 13.59.02

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Day 299: Week 43 Weigh-in – It’s Only Vegetables

Yesterday my very good friend came to visit.

“I have made a very nice vegetable soup for us.” She said presenting this awesome looking soup with an amazing smell.

“Thank you darling but I’m so sorry, I can’t have any.”

“It’s a vegetable soup. It’s only vegetables!” She exclaimed bewildered.

“Aww, thanks but I can’t. I’m trying to stay on my diet 100%.”

just say no

“What? It’s a vegetable soup. Surely you can have vegetables? What kind of diet means you can’t have a vegetable soup? What are you going to have for lunch, a bar?” 

It was 2.30 in the afternoon.

“Actually, I’m going to have my Cambridge porridge and it’s breakfast for me as I’ve been doing divorce crap since I woke up and haven’t had a chance to have breakfast.”

She gave me chocolate for Christmas.

I thanked her and asked her to put it away for me somewhere I could not reach, pointing out exactly how far into the the back of the top cupboard she could place this.”

“But why?”

“Because I’m a carboholic. When that thing in my head wants to eat carbs, there’s no stopping it. I don’t want to be able to reach it.”

carboholic

This afternoon, my wonderful cleaner gave me some chocolates. I was very touched by her gesture and I gracefully accepted with no mention of the fact that I won’t be eating them or boring her by explaining that I am on a strict diet.

It’s difficult being on a diet that requires so much discipline but I have felt good the last couple of days being focussed and in my zone to stay on it 100%.

I don’t know what I will look like when I lose another stone, because that is a weight that I have not been since I was a teenager but I am excited about finding out.

The only way I can ever find out is to stay focused. No messing.

future me

I have a party this weekend. It will be temptation island but I am accountable to myself and all of you not to screw it up.

This week’s weight loss is pathetic but it is a loss and I am thrilled because I had not expected any loss given that I had eaten crap on 3 consecutive days since last weigh-in and was rewarded with a 1.8kg (3.96 pounds) weight gain.

I shall take it one day at a time and I hope that in the weeks ahead, (apart from perhaps Christmas; c’mon, I’m a realist but not planning a blow out!), I will only see that scale going downwards.

Week Forty Three’s Verdict: today’s weight 88.6 kg, week’s weight loss 0.2 kg (0.44 pounds); total weight loss; 35.8 kg; 78.8 pounds; 5 stones 9 pounds

2015-12-11 14.46.28

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Day 293: Week 42 Weigh-in – We need to talk about Christmas

This has been an extremely hard week.

Divorce sucks like nothing has ever sucked but I know this is only a phase which will pass.

The last couple of weeks have been spent completing the nightmare Form E and gathering countless documents in readiness for court imposed deadline.

Every bone in my body is shattered. My back aches. My legs ache. My hips ache. My emotions are totally drained.

On Wednesday, I had therapy. I was in good form, full of positive talk for the future. We made diary plans to ensure I have some psychological support from her to see me through the first financial court hearing in January. I have a wonderful therapist who I have been seeing since June. She has been exceptional in getting our sessions extended several times and now trying to make sure I continue to have ongoing psychological support through the stresses of court hearings next year.

Only 10% of divorce cases go through a third and final court trial where a judge imposes a final judgment. My ex is crazy, totally unreasonable and a zombie being controlled by repugnant idiots. I am resigned I will be one of the unlucky 10%.

Our divorce will probably make his mistress’ sister a partner in her divorce law firm for the generous business from my ex. A fool and his money…

Yesterday, I had a follow-up with a consultant psychiatrist. The mental torture of the end of my marriage and my ex’s repulsive behaviour (if you’re new to my blog, see my About Me section), had resulted in a breakdown. I am not ashamed to seek help or to admit that I have been on medication since then.

The consultant was extremely nice and sympathetic. She talked about the unfairness of my situation. She will update my GP accordingly. The nicer she was to me, the more I cried and cried and cried and cried.

I thought I was done crying.

In addition to the pills I was given earlier in the year, she tells me my mood is still low, that I’m depressed. She wants me on more medication than I’m already taking. She prescribes some anti-depressants that will increase the happy hormones serotonin, supress adrenalin, help me sleep better…

Mental health issues are difficult to discuss.

I think there is something about anti-depressants that gets to people. My mother had a major panic when I told her about the doctor’s visit. She immediately writes:

“Please don’t ever give in to depression. Anger, yes. Occasional sadness, yes. But depression. Please reject it in the name of all that is good.”

I admonished myself for worrying her, as if she hasn’t got enough worries.

One of my best friends responds:

“No, we just need to get you out having fun. You don’t need to take any of that shit.”

She invites me to another girlie night I had already declined and she is now planning for the girls to descend to mine in January.

If the mountain won’t come to Muhammed…

I ask my sweet sister, who  has been a rock about the specific medication. She’s a medical doctor. She calmly says:

“It’s okay. You could try it as people react in different ways. Everything will be alright my sister.”

I think if I’m honest with myself, the doctor is right about the anti-depressants and I hope they will help. I am more concerned that one of the side effects include weight gain but she had reassured me that it only increases appetite and if I don’t eat more, I won’t gain weight.

So in all of that drama, there is Christmas to think about. I still haven’t bought a single present.

In my pre-divorce life, Christmas was my absolute favourite holiday. This year, it fills me with dread.

I don’t want to think about 15 Christmases where my ex would overwhelm me with Christmas gifts like the picture below from last year.

He was certainly very generous when we were together. It’s a shame now he thinks it is entirely fine to pay me £0, while he keeps his City banker income all to himself.

2014-12-25 10.10.20

I don’t want to remember that last Christmas, I somehow managed to get 11 people to sit down in my home for Christmas lunch.

There were 6 people in my house last Christmas, who have been me for 15 Christmases and who I will most likely never see again in my entire life, except of course the ex, who I will be seeing in court hearings next year.

It is a very sad way to end a marriage.

2014-12-25 10.15.38

No, I don’t want to think about last Christmas.

But I really should think about this Christmas because this year, there will be three innocent kids in my home who haven’t done anything wrong.

There will be three young kids who will come with excitement to see their “fun auntie” and by God, I will do whatever it takes to make sure that she is still out there.

I owe it to them to make this the best Christmas I can muster.

It is not their fault that the shit hit the fan and it is unfair for them to think that life doesn’t move on and stay fun.

I promise myself that I will do whatever it takes, put on my big girls’ pants, suck it up like a fucking pro, fake it until I make it, to put on a happy show.

There will certainly be 99 times less presents this Christmas compared to Christmases past, (especially for me) but I make a silent promise to those kids there will be joy, laughter and lots of fun in my home this Christmas.

You know what, it’s not just about the kids; I owe it to myself and moving on to make it a brilliant Christmas.

a little girl

Week Forty Two’s Verdict: today’s weight 88.8 kg, week’s weight loss 0.8 kg (1.17 pounds); total weight loss; 35.6 kg; 78.3 pounds; 5 stones 8.5 pounds

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Day 291 – Grumpy and Knackered

This week has been non-stop filled with crap. Last week too. I am so tired I could cry. And I did. A lot and a lot and a lot and some more.

One day, my life will be so full of joy and happiness that I am going to look back at this year and see it as a totally insignificant blip and a very very very lucky escape from a wholly forgettable being.

I promise.

Christmas? That deserves a post all by itself. I haven’t bought a single thing. I don’t want to think about it just yet. A few more days please. Pretty please but I promise I will embrace that joy oh joy. And it shall be fun, fun, fun.

I promise…maybe.

While am at it, how long is it going to take to get this bloody decree nisi?

I don’t even want to think of this person let alone having to keep uttering and spelling his double barrelled name, the first of which, no one else has ever heard of and I always have to spell several times.

God, I just can’t wait to erase from all my documents and revert fully to my maiden name.

In other news, yesterday, I could have killed for a takeaway. 

Same as the day before and today if I’m honest. Nothing hideous, I fancy some healthy Japanese but I will resist as it will definitely spike a weight gain.

Instead, I’ll make myself some boiled eggs and cucumber salad.

Oh and I might treat myself to another diet coke. I’ve lost count of how many of that poisonous crap I have consumed this week to get the caffeine kick.

I’ve also discovered the kick of an espresso.

Rock and Roll..

Pop a happy pill already. You know you want to.

happy-pills-1

 

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Day 285: Week 41 Weigh-in – Flying Solo

I haven’t posted here for a few weeks. As always, thank you to those that have been in touch to make sure that I am OK.

I am OK. In fact, I am much better than just OK.

The last few weeks have been eventful to say the least. In fact, without being overly melodramatic, the last few weeks have been life-changing and life-affirming and I will one day write more about them.

The main things to share include the fact that I am at peace with my single life. I am at peace with flying solo. I am at peace with being by myself. I am at peace with however my financial circumstances pan out after the courts next year because I will be just fine.

I am a survivor.

flying solo

The last few weeks have firmly stamped on my head that in spite of all the crap from this year, I am still an attractive woman who men find desirable. In a few years time when I have fully healed and rediscovered myself, I may pursue relationships.

And if I ever have a man in my life, he will be there to complement my life and not to complete it. No man will ever become my whole life. I am enough for myself.

My life can still be full of possibilities, full of joys, happiness, pleasures, adventures, new memories. I can make all these things happen for myself without needing a significant other.

work-in-progress

I am not saying that the last few weeks mean that I am fully recovered from the devastation of this year but I have certainly had a major turn.

I am still a work in progress.

Next week, I will see my amazing psychotherapist for yet another therapy session. I also have an appointment with my psychiatrist and I will probably stay on medication for the foreseeable future but that is fine. I am not ashamed of help.

no matter what

On the Cambridge diet front, for several reasons, I took a planned break from the diet but I am back on it 100% this week. I fully appreciate that every other diet that I have been on in the past with some degree of success gets to this stage, where my weight is in the 80s and fails because I become comfortable and complacent.

This time, I am determined to get to the end of a weight loss journey. I will do it.

Watch this space.

i may not be

Week Forty One’s Verdict: today’s weight 89.6 kg, week’s weight loss 5.5 kg (12.16 pounds); total weight loss; 34.8 kg; 76.6 pounds; 5 stones 6.7 pounds

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How to Accept the Apology You Never Received

I desperately needed to read this as I am still waiting for my soon to be ex husband to offer a genuine apology for his actions. Sadly, previous apologies were immediately followed by countless other incomprehensible actions, hurts and finger pointing. It is pointless to apologise and then do worse things than the crap previously apologised for.

I will work on moving on without waiting for him to acknowledge the devastation, hurt and heartbreak he has continued to cause.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

In an ideal world, everyone that causes harm to another, either intentionally or unintentionally, would immediately offer up a genuine apology: accepting responsibility, acknowledging the pain, express empathy and remorse, immediately changing behavior and, if appropriate, making amends for the damage caused. But we know that rarely happens. And it never happens as quickly as we would like.

Instead, we receive a “sorry” tossed out with little thought and nothing to back it up. We hear, “I’ll do better” and better never comes. We may find that in place of an apology, we instead receive blame and misplaced anger as defensiveness leads instead of empathy. The apology may be discounted by the excuses that accompany it. We may see an utter lack of comprehension at the pain that was inflicted. Or we may just be listening to radio silence, waiting for an apology that never comes.

An apology that maybe we…

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