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My job is making me fat

I have desk job. I work 9 – 5, Monday to Friday. When I was at university, I did salsa twice a week at my student union. When I was studying for my A-levels, I got half price entry at the gym, and finished at 3.15 every day.

Now, I am usually so fed up and tired at the end of the day, all I want to do after the nightly pooch walk is curl up on the sofa, watch the latest TV Series I have become addicted to, and maybe do some yoga if I’m feeling especially zen.

I sit next to an attractive woman in my office. That’s not particularly a distraction in itself – there are attractive people everywhere, and I’m married… and straight. The problem is I am one of those women, who, I am ashamed to say, judge myself based on the people around me. She’s 5ft 7 and gorgeous, I’m 5 ft 3 (and a half), and struggling with the stone of weight I have put on in the last year (there, I said it).

Here’s the double whammy. I am also one of these people who replaces therapy with food. I eat for every emotion, especially the negative ones, so when you get envy triggering self loathing, triggering cheesecake cravings (flavour of the week), you develop a bit of a cycle.

Said desk neighbour also stocks snacks in her desk, and she’s very sweet, she shares everything. Which would be fine, but she’s a bit of a feeder, and I have very little will power. Last time I refused her, she stared at me and waved a Bakewell Tart under my nose.

So, combine my neighbour with my lack of movement for 8 hours of the day, with the high levels of stress, my job is making me fat.

I am thinking about making changes to this. I don’t mean the fat part; I’ve been trying to make changes to that since I was 10 years old. I’m just beginning to wonder if maybe we should start seeing all the aspects of our lives that influence our weight in the same way we do food. If it’s bad for us – stop doing it. Of course, it’s not as simple as that, but isn’t it a lovely idea?

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in balance and wellbeing, diet, food

 

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A very big KitKat

I took a break. A long break.

It’s not like I wasn’t doing things in the meantime. I got engaged, finished University, got an actual proper job that actually enables me to live, got married, bought a dog, bought a house (well, nearly), and BOOM! It’s 2016, I’ve put a stone on, and I’m looking at a blog I haven’t touched in three years and thinking “Hey, why the heck did I let all that life stuff get in the way of keeping this going?”

I thought about starting again completely, but that would be like switching from Weight Watchers to Slimming World when the road gets a bit bumpy – it’s fine for some people, but it’s not my style. I’ve changed since I started this blog, I even have a different name now, but it’s still a part of who I was, who I am, who I want to be. Plus, there’s some pretty funny stuff on here, and it’s nice to look back to what was going on back then.

So this is Chapter 2.

As I said… I’ve put a stone on. I was in three weddings in 2015 (my own being the last) and the thrill of having no dress to worry about fitting in at all ever again; or at least for the rest of the year, took over my already weak willpower.

I haven’t even actually made the most of it. I’d love to say I did a Julia Roberts and went up a dress size because I was exploring the tastes of Italy, but I didn’t. I mostly drank a lot of mid range wine, and ate a lot of chocolate. I did, however, discover a wonderful Chinese takeaway that deep fries shredded duck pancakes… which is as close to Eat Pray Love as I’m going to get this side of 40.

But no, I’m not jumping ship, I’m just setting a new course. I’m sure the other eating plans work fine for most people, but I’m not ready to give up on what got me to gold just yet, although my free membership has most definitely expired. I’m not quite ready to actually get on the scales yet, but it feels good to be flexing the old muscles a bit and seeing what I’ve still got.

I’ve got good feelings for Chapter 2…

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in diet, food, Uncategorized

 

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A Dream Come True

London 2012

And so the Olympics have arrived. Athletes from all over the world will be competing to fulfil their lifelong dreams of taking gold for their teams and their country. It takes an unbelievable amount of determination and strength to achieve something like that; to make dreams come true – the likes of which most of us will simply never have. Fortunately, I also saw my dreams realised this week, and I didn’t have to spend a single hour in the gym to do it.

I had a wonderful dream the other night. I was pregnant (that’s the less wonderful part – as much as I want to have kiddlywinks, I’m not quite ready for offspring just yet thank you very much), and I went to my doctor for a check up. She told me that the baby was not as big as it should be, but it was nothing to worry about. I am a stress head by nature, so my subconscious self was naturally scared to death. Now, whether in the dream world or the real one, the only immediate solution for the worries of the world is ice cream. It cures all ailments (except maybe tighter jeans, but that’s what Primark is for…) and it will always be there in a time of crisis. So anyway, I am sat there in my dream, stressing my pregnancy-induced swollen breasts off, when I realise there is a tub of Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer. I eat the lot. I swear, when I woke up, I could taste it. The long and the short of it was that after eating the whole tub, I went back to the doctor who told me that the baby had grown and it was perfectly healthy. Hooray for ice cream!

Now that’s what I call baby food

The dream got me thinking about ice cream, more specifically about how you can only really get your favourite flavours mixed in the same serving from really expensive ice cream bars which are a drive away from the comfort of your own sofa and DVD player. My favourite type of ice cream is Ben and Jerry’s and as I am a slave to product placement, and I dreamt about it, I knew I wouldn’t be happy until I got my hands on some. My favourite flavours are chocolate fudge brownie and cookie dough. For the longest time I hated having to choose between the two of them. So imagine my surprise when I am browsing the frozen section of the supermarket doing the mental coin toss of heads is cookie, tails is fudge, to find Half Baked Ben and Jerry’s. I had no idea this stuff existed. We have Sky+ so I don’t really see a lot of adverts – something I am now seriously regretting because I am out of the half baked loop. It’s brownie and cookie in one tub!!! (Trust me, this is worthy of 3 exclamation points…)

I guess I am a bit like an athlete who has had a bad race in this way. I missed my chance when half baked first came out, but I’m making up for it now. I will never be a champion swimmer, I’ll never be worthy of gold on track. I may never be able to do a back flip off a high beam (obviously I could, if I wanted to – I just don’t want to outshine everyone), but I, Morag Boles, have seen my favourite flavours united in one tub of delicious cold creaminess – and finding it makes me feel like I’ve already won my medal. Who’d have thought it – London 2012 and ice cream teaming up to help me see my dreams made real – the men and women of the Olympics proving that anything is possible, and the ice cream to prove that you don’t have to superhuman to get there… If that’s not enough to make a nation proud, I don’t know what is.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in diet, entertainment, food

 

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The celebratory Subway, and why I love my mum

Yesterday I joined 5000 women in Sheffield and ran 5 kilometres to raise money for Cancer Research UK. I beat my previous time of 43 minutes and finished the run with my mum in 33 minutes. This paragraph has to be dedicated to my wonderful mum because she stayed with me throughout the race even though she is a half marathon runner (crazy fitness freak that she is) and I kept slowing her down because of my gammy knee. Even so, she never left my side. I am proud to be her daughter. I think about all the women there yesterday who were running for their mothers instead of with them I know that it is a race worth running for them. For daughters, sisters, grandmas, grandpas, dads, brothers, for everyone. For mums.

This is a video of the photos taken for The Star website. Me, my mum and friend Sarah appear 3.52 minutes in.

We raised more than £400 between the three of us and it was so great to have the support of our loved ones. Boyf and my step dad came along to cheer us on and my dad who lives in Flimby, Cumbria, sent messages of support and love even though he couldn’t be there in person. It wasn’t just the messages from the people I know that urged me on, it was the messages on the ‘racing for’ cards of each and every woman who ran yesterday. Messages of thanks, hope and sadly, goodbye. A family friend recently lost her battle with cancer so this year I didn’t just run for my grandma, who I always dedicate the race to, but also for Pat Williams.

Me, Sarah and Mum – we may be running, but we still know how to pose!

As me and mum crossed the line, I became really emotional (but I couldn’t cry because I couldn’t breath). It was so amazing to see 5000 women all come together to celebrate, remember and fight for the people who lost, are battling and have beaten, cancer all across the country.

We all got our medals and celebrated our running times. Then we headed for that victory Subway. Oh, the Subway… beef on whole grain and toasted with peppers, pickles, lettuce, cucumber and BBQ sauce – it was worth the pain. In the end, I didn’t have my cookie. No point in spoiling all that hard work now, was there!

We did it!

Looking at it all now, I feel very small but significant. I was one in a sea of pink clad women yesterday, but I was there, I did that. I was there with my mum and she supported me all the way, just like she had done my whole life. She didn’t care about bettering her time, she cared about running with me. She helped me, she carried me, (not physically of course, I mean, she’s strong, but she’s not Mrs. Muscle…) she pushed me like will always do. I don’t want to race without her because I don’t think I could do it without her being there.

I hope I never have to run that race for my mum and I commend the women that did. If you are one of the women who had to do that, you are amazing. If you are one of the 6 million women who have taken part in Race for Life, your strength is what will beat cancer. Your determination will be remembered by every survivor you helped to save, and the loved ones you had to say goodbye to will never be forgotten. Just think, what we all did, what we all helped to raise, it might have just saved someone’s mum.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in food, running

 

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There are no calories in love…

Ah, the summer holidays. For a lowly student such as myself, the summer lasts for around 3 months, and there’s only so much rain-bathing a girl can take (rain-bathing being the new sunbathing for the residents of the UK) before boredom sets in. My problem is, when I am at a loss for something to do, I get complacent and fidgety. I need excitement and adventure. I immediately head to the kitchen to make stuff that I know I will regret eating the morning after. Like these wonderful cupcakes – just a little something I whipped up to make my zumba sessions feel worthwhile…

This sometimes dangerous hobby has a number of side effects. The first is that my sewing kit gets all excited, because I have to break it out to re-attach my buttons to my jeans. The second is that my knee complains at me for making it run on the treadmill for half an hour to burn off the guilt, the guilt of threatening my hips with yummy things that it can’t afford, and the guilt of turning my back on brownies to make this temptress of a treat. And the last is the reason I deal with all the other emotional baggage that comes with my new found crush. It is the warm, happy, comfy feeling that starts on the taste buds and spreads all the way down the very end of my tippy toes as I enjoy these freshly baked goodies. It’s a glorious feeling really. When this feeling envelopes me, I know that it is all I need to survive. Whatever ailments come my way, I know that I will be OK because I have this feeling in me. They write about it in books and you see it in films like Pretty Woman and 50 First Dates. This feeling is of course, love.

That’s right; I am in love with cupcakes. I’m not just in love with cupcakes – to say that makes me feel like I’m cheating on brownies. No, I couldn’t do that (even though we all know I am). I’m sorry dearest darling brownies… It was just a phase… I will NEVER go behind your back again… But I think maybe we should have a more ‘open’ relationship from now on… You can see other people too… I promise I will try very hard not to be jealous… You’re worth more than a cupboard cupcake lover like me…

This is the mental conversation I had with an entire aisle of brownies at the supermarket the other day when they caught my daydreaming about soft yummy cupcakes on their turf. Oh, the shame…
I do have a reason though. I’m not just one of these women who won’t commit to a loving, giving relationship with their confectionary. The truth is I cannot bake brownies very well. The only recipe I have contains a typing error in the quantities, and no matter how long I bake them for, the middle wont set, so you have to eat them out of the tin with a spoon. It’s delicious, but you can’t serve them when if the Queen comes to visit. Can you imagine? Presenting the Queen with a gooey tray and a spoon? No, I don’t think so…
So I make cupcakes instead. And this is how my affair started. This is why I cheated on my beloved brownies, and why I will do it again. It’s your fault brownies! Yours! You and your silly miss-typed recipes!!! I take a deep breath and unclench my fists… Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell at you…

I cannot stay away

Standing in that aisle, with all those beautiful brownies tapping their feet at me with their hands on their hips, I vowed to never buy cupcakes from a shop (at least not again). That would be like going out and paying for something you shouldn’t be doing in the first place… I will never stoop so low, brownies, I could never hurt you like that… And because my beloved has always put my craving first, they forgive me, and I promised to visit them every once in a while. After all, there are no calories in love.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in diet, food

 

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Recipe for Success

choices choices choices

When browsing the supermarket shelves one is faced with the age old problem of too much choice. So many ingredients, so many combinations. When you are only shopping for one meal the task of choosing one can become too overwhelming, and there are days when you simply give in and reach for the takeout menu. This is exactly what it is like when you spend your time writing.

 
It always starts the same. There’s a base ingredient – let’s say chicken. What to do with it? Well, you could try a nice tomato and chorizo sauce, or perhaps marinate the chicken in a lemon and chilli sauce to serve with salad and warm bread. When you reach the warm bread stage you begin to think about braising steak, and how lovely it would be to have a homemade stew served with the same warm bread you picked out to go with your chicken. By the time you get to the end of your thought train you’re at the completely wrong station and you have to start again.

 
I have spent the last fortnight turning ideas over in my head and I could never quite settle on a decent recipe for a post. It has very much been a ‘takeout fortnight.’ I have nothing to show for the feeble efforts at generating something a reader could sink their teeth into but a food baby (the bulge you get when you eat too much. Mine’s called Fred), a headache and an empty word document. No wonder Gordon Ramsay swears so much – it’s frustrating! All the words are there, all the possible mixtures are floating around in your brain, but they are swimming too fast for me to catch them.

 
When this dilemma occurs in the kitchen my hands take over. The result is never Michelin Star standard, but it’s edible and there are never any complaints – possibly through fear more than taste, but I don’t think I’m that scary… This doesn’t happen with words. When my hands fight my brain I tend to wind up writing stupid rhymes or playing spider solitaire until the charge on my laptop dies. Why is writing not as easy as cooking? There’s a failsafe when you are cooking. If it all goes wrong there’s always a backup to keep you fed and satisfied. In my house it’s called the Dragon Inn (4 dishes for a tenner thank you very much) but there is not takeout menu that delivers well written posts to your doorstep.

 
I think it’s Fred (food baby) that is the key here. I know Fred must be fed, and so I make an effort to keep him happy. When he is hungry, he growls and it is very embarrassing in public. I need a word baby to make me as motivated with blogging. I could call him William. William the word baby…I like it. And you know, ll of a sudden I feel full of inspiration.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in food

 

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Man musk and smelly cheese

When women are on the lookout for a man, the selection process is similar to that of sampling desserts – the look and the smell. If a cake looks irresistible and smells irresistible then it’s usually the favourite choice.
This does not mean that women who are on first dates with men walk straight up to the poor unsuspecting bloke and ram their noses into his armpit to see whether they are wearing deodorant. That would be extremely weird. But you get the general idea. Man hunting is like cake selection. You get a good idea of the future you and your cake will share based all upon that first whiff (in my case it’s chocolate praline or Paco Rabanne’s 1million – I’ll let you figure out which way round) and just like your first love, you never forget your first bite.
They say that with food, half the taste is in the smell and fellas, sorry to say it, but first impressions count when courting a lady. It’s got to look right and it has to taste right. So can someone please explain how on earth smelly cheese took off? There’s nothing like a bit of stilton every now and again after a slap up meal, but how did cheese that has a scent which resembles a shoe infested with dead flies and athletes foot ever take off in the first place? What crazy person agreed to sample something that emits such an offensive odour? If we make such important decisions like ‘what to have for dessert?’ and ‘will there be a second date?’ based on attractive smell, where did smelly cheese come from?

Taken from urban75.net

Obviously for people alive today, smelly cheese is popular because it’s been passed down and deemed ‘delicious’ by the person with a foot odour fetish who made it an icon way back when, a bit like Sean Connery being adored because he used to be James Bond, but men must have really smelled bad in those days (when cheese was first made, not when Seam Connery was James Bond), and cake obviously never existed or there would have been pastries and not cheese boards accompanying the nightly game of cards in the stately homes of days gone by.
Maybe my palette isn’t defined enough to appreciate the scent of a truly stinky cheese – I guess it takes more experience than I have. 20 something men can’t be as complex as stilton, they haven’t matured enough yet. They are more subtle, like a nice soft smoked cheese. Now I could really go for some of that – not offensive on my nostrils at all. Maybe in 10 years I’ll be ready for something with a more intense flavour, but even then, I still think I’d prefer fudge cake it just smells nicer…

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in food

 

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