Tag Archive: encouragement

Quick update on the soap front. After 24 hours, I turned out the soap and cut it into bars. I got 32 bars, each weighing about 120g. I don’t know how much weight will be lost as they dry but I’m expecting that they’ll end up at over 100g a bar, which coincidentally is about the weight of an average, shop-bought soap.

I like that the box they’re in has a history too. I bought three of them last year, from an elderly man who was moving. He’d made them a long time ago, for storing homemade beer I think. They’re rough and well used and perfect for their new purpose.

I love the way they look in their box lined with newspaper.

I love the way they look in their box lined with newspaper.


I think I could have left the soap to set for a bit longer. I wasn’t quite done and the middle pieces were a little messy to cut, even with wiping the knife down after every cut. The knife ‘drag’ through the soap means that you can’t quite see the subtle swirls of light and dark. Still, it’s a first try and it’s good to be learning what works and what could be done better.

It smells really fresh and beautiful and (this is the bit I’m really excited about) it really lathers! Soft, creamy, fresh, and after I’d washed my hands with it, my skin didn’t have that tight feeling it gets with commercial soap, it was really soft and comfortable.


Andy's calling it 'Soap-Henge' :-)

Andy’s calling it ‘Soap-Henge’ πŸ™‚


The other thing was that tonight, I was at the supermarket, loading shopping into the car when my name was called and I looked up to see a woman I worked with very briefly, a couple of years ago. We said hi and then she walked over to tell me she’d been reading my blog. We have a mutual friend who had posted it on her Facebook timeline, so I don’t know why I felt so surprised but I really did.

She said she’d felt inspired by some of the things she’d read here and we talked about our weight loss journeys for a little while. I’d been feeling a bit low today. There was nothing wrong exactly, I’d just been carrying a nebulous sense of blah all day, added to which, it was a coldish evening and with the healthy food for dinner, I’d also bought other, less healthy stuff. An emotional response to the feeling of unease.

Our conversation brought me gently back to a sense of balance and reminded me to be grateful and mindful. So I’ll start by being grateful for that. πŸ™‚

Updates Galore!

So I find myself laughing after reading a comment left most recently. Anonymous but recognisable for all that πŸ™‚ The comment says that it’s okay to lose my mojo for a little while but then it’s time to get back to it, or words to that effect….and it’s true. I’ve written about a thousand posts in my head in the last few weeks. While I’ve been driving, or at the gym (yes, I’m still going), or just at random times.

Today, I was driving back from cleaning the house of a client who is no longer able to do it for themselves and feeling strong and healthy and good….because no matter how crappy some days feel, I have the choice to make it better, or not but for me it’s a choice. I did fall down for a while. Not horribly, but enough that I wondered if I was getting into some self sabotage….of course I was.

As the weather’s become colder, I’m less inclined to make salads and it’s taken some adjusting to start to be organised again and really, I know I’ve said this before but organisation is the key for me and I’m sure for lots of people. This week, I’ve stacked my freezer and fridge with good foods that are easily accessed and go well together. Pre-making and freezing meals doesn’t work so well for me I’ve discovered. I don’t know why exactly. Maybe because I like the process of cutting, cooking, hearing the sounds, smelling the smells, watching the colours jumble together and the serving up. Freezing works for huge numbers of people, I know.

So before I can think too much about it and back out, I’m issuing myself a week-long challenge to take a photo of and then post, each evening’s meal. Here on this blog. Just to keep me mindful and to get me back into the habit of coming here every night, or morning. Sheesh….that’ll make me have to up my game… πŸ™‚

I’m still really enjoying Curves. I’ve been averaging 3-4 days a week so far and I need to add walking to that at some point soon. I love the workouts but I know that the walking makes a big difference to my mood and to my weight loss. Added to which, it often gives me inspiration for posts and/or lets me meet interesting people I might not otherwise have met.

Andy and the kids continue to be supportive and beautiful. When they thought I was indulging too much, they called me on it in a loving and humorous way that didn’t make me feel attacked or upset but just reminded me what my set goal was. I’m so glad I belong with these people.

What else? Oh, weight loss πŸ™‚ I’m hovering at the lowest since I started this journey and while it’s great that I’m not gaining, I’m not in this to hover, so here we go again….one of many new beginnings along the way. By the time I get to my goal, I will have done this a few times probably but I will get to my goal….Success is inevitable. (I say it to myself in the shower in the morning)

I started watching makeup tutorials on Youtube recently, which prompted me to do a little updating of my makeup bag. Amazing really, that I’ve been doing essentially the same routine for the last 20 years or so. Mostly because it’s easy and fast but since I put on weight, also because I couldn’t really see the point. Which sounds sort of pathetic. Exactly how it felt, coincidentally.

While I was looking at Youtube, I also started to watch videos by a man called Elliot Hulse. He’s a body builder, who reads Ralph Waldo Emerson and Joseph Campbell, is articulate and interesting and chooses to live with integrity.

He swears, a lot….so if that’s likely to offend you, you might want to forgo his videos but I think he’s a great male role model and I’ve started showing them to our boys. They already have great male role models of course but I’m glad for them to have another. He says lots of things I try to teach them already but I figure hearing it from a huge, manly bodybuilding type might carry more weight than from their mother πŸ™‚ I just went and had another look at his channels (he has three that I know of) and for some people, it’s just going to be too much but I stand by my opinion of him so far.

One of the other things about watching his stuff is that I felt quietly inspired to exercise and eat properly, which I appreciate.

Right, enough for tonight, except to say to the anonymous commenter, Thanks. This is yet another time in my life that you’ve given me a reminder to get back on track and I appreciate it. This is me, Bouncing Back πŸ™‚

PS: Thanks to my 12WBT facebook buddy group too x

Weigh-In 8

I haven’t exercised properly this week and I let myself get tired and discouraged, so this morning, the last thing I wanted to do was stand on the scales and then report it here.

I feel cross with myself. I haven’t been doing my best and as a result, I’ve felt lost with it.

So imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw that not only have I not put on weight but I’m actually 800g lighter! almost a kilo! Which brings my total to 8.1 kg lighter than when I started. Hooray!

All that angst and self flagellation…..

So this morning I’m off to walk with Natalie, I’ve taken chicken out of the freezer, to make Zac’s request. Lemon and garlic chicken breasts with salad and I’m going to try to remember not to be complacent but not to berate myself about things either. πŸ™‚

Glitch and What Followed

Glitch noun \ˈglich\
: an unexpected and usually minor problem; especially : a minor problem with a machine or device (such as a computer)


So while Saturday went well, I’ve avoided talking about Saturday night and then Sunday because….well…because there was a glitch. A glitch that started with leftover apple pie and got worse from there.

By Monday morning, although I was pulling on my walking shoes, I really didn’t want to go and I was sneakily talking myself out of it. Just quietly. I felt as though I’d let myself down and well, blah, blah, you know the drill.

I walked with Zac to school and then started the walk. The hill was hard, I was uninspired.

When I got to the top of the hill, there was a woman standing on the footpath, holding a cup of coffee in her hand, just looking across her garden.

“Wow, that’s a hill and a half!” I Β gasped, pushing the hair out of my face and she nodded and replied as I walked on.

A bit later, telling myself “Come on Claude, just move. You can do it”, in a fairly-half hearted way, I came to a driveway sloping down to a house. Standing at the bottom was a blonde woman wearing a cast on her foot, moving slowly, painfully upwards.

“That doesn’t look as though it can be very comfortable” I said, being Mrs Obvious.

She smiled “No, it isn’t very”

“How did you do it?”

She smiled again, ruefully this time “I fell down the stairs. Actually, I’m waiting for a taxi but I’m having trouble getting to the top of the driveway. Do you think you could give me a hand?”

So far, these seem like pretty ordinary encounters, and they were. We talked about her daughter’s wedding and upcoming trips she was taking. She was friendly and as she spoke, I watched her face. Older than me, gentle, family oriented. She seemed nice.

“and I’ve just lost 7 kilos, so this couldn’t have come at a worse time!” The frustration showed clearly in her voice and I nodded, feeling sympathetic, grateful suddenly that I could walk freely.

A little after that, her taxi came and I kept walking, slipping my earphone back in.

On the way back, I came across the woman with the coffee, but now she was kneeling with her back to me. I watched her hands position a large chisel and smack it with a mallet. A small piece of concrete broke off the driveway and she moved it out of the way. Without thinking, the words left my mouth.

“Oh my god, that’s going to take you forever!” I was laughing and she was unoffended as she straightened up, nodding.

“Well, no hurry. Just have to keep chipping away, bit by bit and eventually it’ll be gone”

We talked for a while. I liked her, she was sensible and thoughtful and I had a strong sense that I’d met her before today but I couldn’t place her.

I said goodbye and walked away, earphones dangling over my shoulder as I tried to puzzle it out and then, in the middle of a thought, I had a sudden flash of insight, a lightbulb moment.

When I was about 21, I read The Celestine Prophesy by James Redfield. In it, he says;

β€œI don’t think that anything happens by coincidence… No one is here by accident… Everyone who crosses our path has a message for us. Otherwise they would have taken another path, or left earlier or later. The fact that these people are here means that they are here for some reason”…”
I’ve always enjoyed the idea of that, I choose to believe that it might be true.
I went on that walk disheartened and those were the people I met.
One who had just lost a similar amount of weight as me and has now been temporarily stopped in her tracks.
The other was quite literally “chipping away, bit by bit”
Life is so interesting!
I’m back on track. πŸ™‚
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