Monday, October 7, 2013

SUMMER WHEN IT SIZZLES


Greetings, on this hottest of hot days -
It was 38 degrees here, and the hottest October day in nine years...


When I went outside around 2.00 pm, it was like walking into the Fires of Hell!


Jacarandas are in full bloom, weeks earlier than usual ...



I've had the girls over, for a day of sewing and telling...


Look at the block R made me for my French-themed Friendship quilt...
Eiffel Towers, French Perfume: what's not to love?

The gifted R also has been busy making a gorgeous and charming scrapbook:


Textured and painted cover, with buttons, flowers, and trinkets.
I wish I could construct something like that..


L finished her beautiful quilt: what a triumph!


While we were stitching, a parcel arrived containing these sweet stitching patterns from my friend Michelle Ridgway.
Pop on over to her lovely blog to see what else she has been drawing up..




I finished the pink linen dress, put lace on the hem of the lining, wore it for photos -
and studying the photos realised it looks wrong in the shoulders.
Now being pulled apart and re-worked.


A few people asked about my recent diet and weight loss.
I am certainly not qualified to give advice in this area, but I will tell you a little of how it came about.
Nine months post my mastectomy in 2012, I could not regain my former level of wellness, despite my normal active lifestyle, walks and weekly gym class.
I have been a member of Weight Watchers for 30 years, every few years going again for a while, lose a bit, eventually put it back on: the usual story.

During that period of reflection after my cancer, I realised I had to take control of this issue for myself.  Going to weekly meetings did not work for me, neither did counting the points.  I never focussed beyond the next weigh-in, and my daily food intake was to use up every 'point' of food allowed.  And I got tired of writing food diaries.
The setting of goals never really worked either, as it just seemed to put me under pressure.

Following the hospital guidelines for eating after breast cancer, I devised my own plan.  Mostly organic food, lots of fish, both fresh and canned mainly salmon and tuna, red meat only once/week, avoid as much as possible any processed food or chemicals.  I cut out artificial sweetener and other chemical additives.  The only thing I measure out is 1/3 cup of traditional rolled oats each morning.  I make it with water, and usually have an apple cut up and mixed in.
I have 3-4 pieces of fresh fruit, 3 small protein serves, cooked very simply.
Usually 3 milk serves, eg skim milk coffee, 1/2 cup almond milk, small amount plain low-fat yoghurt.  No sugar.
I have unlimited salads and steamed vegetables, and use olive oil to cook, a bit of olive oil spread or butter.  No margarine.  
I try to limit the carbs to 4 per day: the oats, 2 brown bread, and one other.
After losing the first 10kg, I gave up potato/rice/pasta at night, and don't miss it.  I avoid any carbs after late afternoon.
This is so easy to remember I don't need to write it down, or count things other than in my head.
If I deviate for social reasons, I don't stress about it. I just keep portions very small, leave quite a bit on the plate, and make the next meal or next day a little leaner.  Sometimes I do an extra walk.
There is no real goal such as a certain weight, or deadline, or special occasion, so that takes off the pressure.
If it takes another year to lose a bit more, that's OK too.
I feel so much better that I mainly focus on just sticking to what works.

There are another couple of reasons for going slowly.
My skin is getting wrinkled as I shrink - I am using lots of oil and moisturisers, and hope by going slowly it will improve with time.
The other issue is my prosthetic left breast.  They are expensive.
I have gone down one size, and need to buy another smaller size.

The good news is it is great fun catching up with old friends I haven't seen for a year or two, and seeing the astonishment on their faces!


Have a great week - and keep cool!

XXX









29 comments:

  1. The Jacaranda is gorgeous. Having friends over for sewing and talking sound like fun. Your diet sounds sensible and obviously works well for you. Now I want to see you model the pink dress.

    Darla

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    1. Thanks, Darla. Modelling the pink dress will be my next challenge :)

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  2. The Jacaranda is gorgeous. Having friends over for sewing and talking sound like fun. Your diet sounds sensible and obviously works well for you. Now I want to see you model the pink dress.

    Darla

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  3. Hello Patricia on such a hot summers day - what a fabulous colour are the Jacaranda trees touching that wonderful blue sky.
    My thoughts on loosing weight are similar to your own. You really have to want to change your whole outlook on eating for yourself and not rely on clubs. I don't really like the word diet or the idea of counting calories. Once you make up your mind that it is for your own sake and health I think that makes a big difference.
    I am resigned to doing what I am doing for ever, and instead of feeling lucky H for eating a couple of chocolate biscuits I now think good for me not to.
    I am loosing weight just by sticking to 3 meals a day, nothing in between whatsoever, no little mid morning snacks with coffee or afternoon tea, and nothing during the evenings after we have had our evening meal and slowly but surely it is working.
    Good luck to us both.

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    1. I think we are basically doing the same dietary thing, Rosemary, and yes, Good Luck to us!
      We have been cheated out of Spring this year, but the city looks wonderful bathed in purple jacarandas.

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  4. 38 is definitely toasty! We got those kind of summer temperatures when we lived in Kamloops. I'm happy to say it doesn't get that hot where we live now.

    Your eating plan sounds very sensible, and I am glad you have gotten such good results. It's funny you should say that about getting more wrinkles as you get smaller. I have lost about five pounds over the past year (I am fairly small, so five pounds was a fair amount for someone my size) and this is the thing I have noticed even more than the fact a lot of my clothes are now just a bit too big - my face is somewhat thinner and therefor more wrinkly. It's almost enough to make me think about putting the five pounds back on. :-)

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    1. Hi Kristie, usually we go to Canada in cooler times, and at first I was surprised it gets that hot in Kamloops. Then I remembered the time we went to Niagara Falls on 4th July - it was more like 43 that day - what a shocker! I am quite short also, therefore my 16kg loss is huge - for me! Don't like the wrinkles :)

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  5. Beautiful Jacarandas! We don't see those around my part of the world! I'm glad you feeling much better about your health. What we eat makes such a big difference in everything!

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    1. We love our jacarandas, which make our city look really pretty at this time of year. I do feel much better now, and hope I continue on this healthy path into the future. Thank you for your comment!

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  6. Patricia, first of all, I love all your pictures once again!

    And secondly, congratulations on your weight loss. Hard work and discipline! I think you have come up with a very healthy diet -- one that is easy to follow. I have cut down on my meat consumption too over time. As much as I love beef and pork, I eat mostly meatless meals and only have red meat about once a week. Once you get used to it, it really isn't a sacrifice. I enjoy fresh produce and eggs and milk, as well as, fish and beans and whole grains.

    Thanks for your healthy tips with us!

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    1. Opps! I left out the a couple of words. Thanks for sharing your healthy diet tips with us!

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    2. Dear Debra, Yes we are on the same path. I didn't mention eggs but I do eat them, also whole grains, lentils, and a bit of cheese. We do need to consider our own individual requirements, not just some set routine devised by others, no matter how qualified they be. I love organic food!

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  7. I hate all that calorie counting and points watching as well, Patricia. Your method sounds much easier and less stressful. Congratulations on your weight loss and looking forward to seeing you in that pretty pink dress.

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    1. Calorie counting was interesting when I was in high school, but I am so OVER IT!!! Unpicking pink dress later today - fingers crossed.

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  8. It certainly was a corker wasn't it. Your French block is beautiful and I can see why you were thrilled. Thank you for sharing your journey and hats off to you for working out what is best for you with love and kindness towards yourself....and you do look fabulous!!! Continued good health. Glad the patterns arrived ok..hope you enjoy them xxx

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    1. Hi Michelle, and thank you for your kind remarks. As the Look Good Feel Better programme has realised, it is important after breast cancer to feel OK about self again, especially after losing a part of yourself! Everyone loved your patterns.

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  9. It's funny how there are so many 'diets' out there when it is common sense and finding a sustainable way of eating that wins in the end. Can't wait to see the new you model your dress.
    p.s commiserations on the heat wave but the jacaranda looks beautiful..

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    1. Too many people out there trying to cash in on the diet industry, methinks! The jacarandas are fabulous this year, and thankfully the temperature has dropped nicely today.

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  10. Patricia,
    I'm so glad you have more energy now. It must have been such a difficult time in your life going through what you did. You know, I can't eat sugar right now due to health reasons, and I can't believe how much food has sugar in it. It does make us lose weight when we cut out the sugar, but I love chocolate, so I miss that so much. I like oatmeal, as you said. Maybe you could try it with blueberries and pecans like I do. It's so good.

    Your pictures today are so pretty, and I especially love that tree with the purple flowers because PURPLE is my favorite color.

    Happy October, Patricia!

    Love,
    ~Sheri

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    1. Dear Sheri, yes, we are in a better place in our lives these days. I try to avoid sugar also, but it is everywhere! I love chocolate too, but rarely have it now - just a special treat now and then. Today I had some frozen blueberries on my oatmeal - not as nice as fresh ones would be, but we can't get them here :) You would love the jacaranda trees which are all over our city!

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  11. Such a treat to see all your photos. And what a great way to spend a hot summer day -- inside making all those beautiful quilts. Thank you for sharing your approach to eating. I essentially follow the same eating regimen as you do and have been able to maintain my weight of 123 on a 5'7" frame for many years. I think the moment we forget about "diets" and concentrate on eating sensibly we win the battle. I'm very happy for you that you are having great success with this!

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    1. Thank you Sanda. I continue to learn life lessons, and being sensible re eating is a big one. Congratulations on your maintenance, which sounds perfect for your height. Another nasty super-hot day coming on Friday :(

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  12. The healthy eating becoming part of enjoyable life is great. It makes you feel in control of something, and does you good too. Since my surgery , nearly a year ago, I put on the weight I had lost when I was ill, but have gradually ....very gradually, lost a little, and am now at what I think is my perfect weight. I just eat good stuff, exercise sensibly and feel great ! It feels good doesn't it ? ! Jx

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    1. Well done Janice, I know how good you must feel. The same thing happened to me: I put back on the weight lost during illness/surgery, then had to take it off again, plus a bit more. It absolutely does feel good to regain our health! xx

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  13. Hi Patricia,
    We are on the same wave length. Its a total change in eating habits.. not diet that makes you loose weight.
    Lots of water during the day,most important.
    all these processed foods are just not healthy.
    So pleased that you are doing well Patricia.. you went through a bad time.
    wonderful that you caught up with old friends.
    nice work some have done..

    Thank you for your kind wishes over on my last post..
    we still have good weather here... 20 21 deg... you of course are now in your summer with temps that we get here.
    Happy days
    love val x x x x x

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    1. Hi Val, All so true - I have mostly olive oil these days, and it makes me think of your place ... and yes, lots of water. It will be about 38 deg here today, so must take care. Organic food is best, fresh not processed. Off to sing in my choir now - have a good day! love from Australia xxxx

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  14. I can't think how i missed this, Patricia, but I'm glad I've caught up with it at last, not least for the gorgeous photos. I'm sorry spring has rushed so quickly into summer. It's no fun for you having those temperatures so soon.

    Thanks so much for posting about your new pattern of eating. It's obviously working wonderfully well for you and I hope you find those last pounds disappear eventually. It's always the last bit that is hardest to lose. :-) I can understand your wish to deal with the wrinkles. Don't we all hate seeing them appear? As for the prosthesis, yes, they are horribly expensive if you have to buy your own. Very fortunately for me, the NHS will provide me with a new one free of charge when I need it and I've just had my first replacement (also a size smaller) since my mastectomy 8 years ago.

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    1. The heat has been no fun, and seems to have triggered some lymphedema. Off to the specialist next week :(
      I think I wrote enough about the diet - it seems to be the result of having cancer more than anything else. Good old NHS; In Australia Medicare provides $400 towards one every two years, which is quite good and only about $50 less than they cost. But I am on my third in just over a year, so I'm on my own until next June! Much more comfortable in the little B cup I got last week :) Happy weekend, Perpetua.

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