4

Day 610 – From the mouth of babes….

Yesterday, I spent nearly 5 hours in the company of two delightful boys, one is 7 and the other is 5.

We baked shortbread biscuits and a two layered vanilla birthday cake, with buttercup frosting, complete with birthday messages and candles, after which we invited their parents and 5 month old brother to join our little tea party.

I did not even have a teeny weeny piece of cake.

This is a first.

Ever.

There is hope for me yet.

birthday-cake

At one point, the 5 year old declared that I was his best “Belle.” His mum tells me this is the height of his compliments.

At another point, he said:

“Mummy said you’re separated from your husband and you are no longer friends. You have two new friends, X and Y.” He proclaimed, naming his brother and himself.

That comment nearly moved me to tears. I gave both of them a high five, a kiss and a cuddle.

He also declared that I had the nicest kitchen in the whole wide world.

mouth-of-babes

Isn’t it just amazing how kids can make everything seem so easy and uncomplicated?

not-complicated

Since the last time that I wrote, the transfer of equity of my beautiful home into my sole name has completed. I looked at the title deed with my full name on it, with tears of joy, so much pride and immense gratitude that I have come out of my nightmare with a clean break and with my home as mine.

Just over a week ago, I finally deleted my ex ‘s phone numbers and that of his mum and sister from my contact list. The time was right and it felt good to have that firm closure.

But…things are not completely over.

My ex is still continuing with his ridiculous and crazy stance of taking me to court to fight over a previously jointly used mac computer which is over three years old and which I have been using alone since he left in April 2015.

The fact that this man is going ahead with this utterly ridiculous case tells me that his madness has not waned. His ludicrous barrister, with over 20 years experience, had demanded half a day of a busy Central London court, the busiest family court in the country, to talk shit about this computer.

The court has allocated 5 minutes instead of the demanded half a day.

Oh and for this laughable case, we are both required to prepare like a real case, exchange witness statements, evidence and all sorts.

I have been told to be prepared to be totally lambasted by an angry judge for this stupid matter coming to court but so be it. 

I look forward to a fun trip to Central London after which I will meet a friend for dinner and have a laugh.

crazy

In other news, I am still doing well in my diet.

I am also using my gym and in the last couple of weeks, have decided to weigh once a week instead of my previous obsession of weighing two or three times daily.

4

Week Two, Day 558: Let Them Eat…Salad

It’s been a frustrating week on the weight front.

I have done my bit by staying on my diet 100% and my body has simply refused to play ball. I was 89.8 kg on Saturday, and since then, it’s been ups and downs, mostly ups and today, I am 90.6 kg. 

The weather in London has been very hot all week, and my consultant Mandy thinks it could be water retention which would of course make sense even though I’m very good with water, drinking around 3600ml or more of water daily.

It could also be hormonal. For the first time in years, my period is over 10 days later.

And no, there is zero per cent chance of me being pregnant.

On the Cambridge diet, I am allowed 80g in total of specific vegetables daily. This week, I have been craving big bowls of salad, the sort of salad I used to have when I was low carbing. A big bowl full of goodness. A bowl of mixed green salads (allowed on Cambridge diet as part of 80g daily allowance), black olives (not allowed), cucumber (allowed), salad onions (allowed), sweetcorn (not allowed), carrots (not allowed), assorted peppers (only green pepper allowed), chick peas (allowed as part of daily protein allowance)

A voice in my head is constantly asking what sort of stupid diet means that I cannot have a big bowl of salad if I fancy one?

C’mon, no one has ever gained weight by eating just salad.

I tell that voice that this is the smallest I’ve been in years.

chopped salad

OK, screw all that. 

If I still don’t lose any weight tomorrow, I’m having roast lamb, sweet potatoes and a big bowl of salad this weekend.

There are worst crimes against dieting.

It’s not like I’m planning to eat pizzas and cakes…

And who knows, a departure from the norm might shock my body and kickstart weight loss once again.

Week Two, Day 558’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.6 kg, week’s weight loss 0.1 kg gain (0.22 pounds); total weight loss;  33.2 kg; 73.04 pounds; 5 stones 3 pounds

7

Week One, Day 550: Make the Rest of My Life…the Best of My Life

I haven’t posted for over a month even though I have a hell of a lot to report.

I’m not exactly sure why, other than perhaps I have been a little overwhelmed by the last few weeks and the reality that this is it, the rest of my life.

Let me explain…

Five weeks ago, my ex and I spent a very very very long day in court, as in went into court at 10 am and we were in and out to see the judge several times until we were finally thrown out just after 5 pm.

For anyone who has been following my diary, I am super thrilled to announce that the end result, is that I got the only thing that I had told my ex from Day 1 of the nightmare was non-negotiable; I get to live in my beautiful home where I have lived for over 12 years, and lovingly extended and refurbished in a 9 months from hell, which only ended a month before I found out about my ex ‘s affair.

No-Place-Like-Home-750x330

I am enormously relieved that I will not be forced out of my home or be forced to sell, something my ex had been pushing for even, in that second court hearing, including once giving me a 5 day ultimatum at some point, to agree to immediately sell my home.

My home will not be sold.

I can stay here for the rest of my life, should I choose to do so and in exactly 5 weeks time, my ex will transfer his share of the equity to my sole name.

I had not realised that I had psychologically stopped myself from enjoying my lovely home because of the uncertainties of whether or not I could stay here.

For the first time in 16 months, I can exhale.

I still find myself going around various rooms in my four bedroom home and my garden, enjoying various things, as if seeing them for the first time.

These roses and the rosemary bushes under the umbrella (in the pictures below) had been planted at a time when my fate seemed so uncertain; there is something to be said about the power of positive thinking.

garden august 2016garden roses august 2016

The saddest part of the settlement is the fact that in return for his share of his house, I will pay my ex, a figure that is exactly what I had instructed my lawyers to offer him in September 2015.

Instead of making a counter-offer and entering negotiations for settlement, my ex had refused the offer, refused to counter-offer and instead, we got heartbreaking crap like him asking for proof of serious illnesses he had witnessed first hand for 14.5 years and comments saying my desire to stay in my home of over 12 years was “aspirational.

Had my ex chosen to negotiate, this matter would have easily ended last year without the need for two court hearings, unbearable stress or both of us spending well in excess of £50,000 on legal fees.

litigation-only-makes-lawyers-fat-quote-1

The settlement reached by my ex and I was a clean break which means that any maintenance payments were consolidated into me having the lion share of the capital in my home, something I am very happy with as I am certain if there had been a maintenance order, my ex would have done anything to wiggle out of paying, including moving to another country, which he could easily do with his current bank job.

My lawyers had been opposed to a clean break which my ex had insisted upon.

In the end, following a very long day where my ex and his lawyers had behaved so badly, my solicitor and barrister had declared they had never dealt with such pettiness and unpleasantness.

In what was a most difficult day, I saw my lawyers transform from young, highly intelligent professionals, to human observers, giving me hugs, back and shoulder rubs, a few loud out loud explicit descriptions of the other side that most certainly helped to ease the tension, plus laughter and humour from the three of us on a very difficult day.

One of them summed up the day by saying.

“I am so happy you got your clean break and won’t have anything to do with this unpleasant man who would have wiggled out of any maintenance anyway. No amount of money would have compensated for having this nasty, little man in your life.”

I am extremely grateful to God for the deal reached at this second court hearing, which was massively better than what I would have gotten on a final hearing, especially when my barrister indicated that I would have had a 10% chance of keeping my beautiful home, if we had gone to a final hearing. 

i-have-so-much-to-be-thankful-for

Three weeks ago, my ex came to my home to collect the remainder of his things. I got the chance to ask him a few questions including why he asked for evidence of my illnesses or why his lawyer, who is in the same law firm as the sister of the woman he had an affair with, chose to email me on our wedding anniversary to say he wanted a divorce.

His answers to all were that he was “acting under legal advice.”

It’s called legal ADVICE for a reason.

Someone advises, and you, a thinking, intelligent, human being with free will, who isn’t a brainless, dead, zombie, will choose which advice to accept or/and modify, like any decent human being would do.

Asking for evidence of genuine illnesses you experienced first hand over 14.5 years and even attended various hospital appointments with me, or coming late by over 2 and a half hours without a mail, a text, a WhatsApp or anything to indicate your lateness but instead, bring along a locksmith to break into my home, is the act of a callous, heartless cad.

I also asked my ex why he has been so angry with me and what had caused him to behave as badly as he’s done. He said he wasn’t angry with me. He insisted he hadn’t behaved badly at all and all he had done was under “legal advisement

I do not need an apology from my ex to move on with my life but perhaps one day, if his madness ever clears, he might realise the devastation his behaviour has caused not just me, but my family, who did nothing but love him.

But what’s done is done and I have moved on.

The last few weeks have been full of activities, including raising a mortgage to pay for my ex’s share of my home. I have also managed to revert to my maiden name in most of my documents even though the decree absolute is still pending.

I have had a week of horrible back pains and the joys of the olympics, staying awake two nights to watch the incredible Usain Bolt win 100m and 200m gold medals.

I am very happy that this nightmare is finally over except for the extraordinary matter of my ex taking me to a very busy family court to fight over a 3 year old Mac Computer we shared when we lived together and which I have been using alone for the last 16 months that I have been on my own, even though he bought himself a new mac last year and is very much aware of the fact that I have continued to use this mac.

But that is a pathetic story for another day! Sadly, for him, one that shows that my ex remains mentally unstable, still in the middle of his mid-life crisis and completely disengaged from the real world.

I am a little overwhelmed that I now have the rest of my life to lead and it is down to me, no one else but me to make a success of it and to make it a fulfilled and happy life.

It is down to me to make the rest of my life, the best of my life

responsible for my own happiness

This is still primarily, a weight loss diary. So I must talk about that.

I have had weeks, months of ups and downs on the Cambridge diet. Lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain weight but it is finally time to concentrate, focus and stick with the diet. I worry whether I will ever get to the finish line but that will never happen, if I keep messing around.

And so, this Monday, after a crap week and a weekend where I purposely ate crap in other to effect a whoosh for a restart, I have once again, for the million times, restarted the Cambridge Diet.

I am on a personal challenge to lose 1 stone (6.4kg) in 28 days.

It is only Day 5 and I have already lost 5.1kg (11 pounds) and I am already 79.7% to the target of losing a stone by 12th September. 

I pledge to revert to reporting my weight every week. Perhaps that will help keep me on the diet.

73 loss

Week One, Day 550’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.5 kg, week’s weight loss 5.1 kg (11.22 pounds); total weight loss;  33.3 kg; 73.3 pounds; 5 stones 3 pounds

1

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

 

 

2

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.

2

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!

6

Day 397: Week 57 Weigh-In – Smash that Jinx

In every diet that I have been for as long as I can remember, I get to the 86 point something mark and it all goes to pants. The cycle of weight gain would commence and the vicious cycle of obesity.

Not this time.

I am super chuffed to announce that after a few weeks of ups, downs, wondering whether I will ever beat the 86 point something jinx, my official Cambridge diet weight is finally 85 point something.

I have not been this weight since the early 90s.

Here’s to the second part of this weight loss quest, the most important part, the part that finally takes me to a me that I have never been, a beautiful, healthy, slim woman.

I will not get complacent. I take nothing for granted. This is a battle of mind, body and soul. If I fall, I get up and keep going.

Stopping until I reach goal is not an option I am willing to take, for as long as it takes.

Week Fifty seven’s Verdict: today’s weight 85.8kg; week’s weight loss 1.4 kg (3.08 pounds); total weight loss 38.6 kg, 84.9 pounds, 6 stones 1 pound

85.8