>On the move again at last

>Yes, this week finally sees some progress.  I was feeling very discouraged so that is definitely a good thing!  Basically I cut out pretty much all snacking and it’s definitely worked.

I’m down 2 and three quarter pounds this week.  Which puts me back down to my lowest weight of this journey.  I won’t make the “virgin fat next week” comments I did last time because I think that jinxed me but… here’s hoping!  I’m 17 stone 4 3/4 pounds now (242.75lb) and I really hope to end September with the number that starts with 16 stone something.

I was thinking about a rest of the year goal yesterday.  I did consider 15 stone 13.5lb as my goal as that would be three stone lost.  But I can’t help feeling that’s totally unrealistic.  Whatever happens I’ll be happy because I really have come a long way.  However I would like to have made a pretty decent dent in the 16st part of things and be on my way to 15st by 2011.

I’ve bought a couple of new Wii games in the past week and at least one of them will be great for exercise.  I had a go at it this morning and loved it.  A second one may also do good for exercise but I’ve not tried it yet as it needs the nunchuk and I can’t find it!!

>101 in 1001 – Item 35…

>

Try to have one day a week where I don’t eat in front of the computer for three months.
…has been completed!
This one has been relatively easy once I got into it.  Although I do have to admit that there was at least one day where I planned to have my day “off” if you will and ate a snack in front on my computer without thinking about it.  So I had to do the next day too.  And some days have been easier then others – today was easy as I was out for lunch with a friend and had tea at my parents house.  Days when I’ve been just at home or have been a bit depressed haven’t been so easy because I tend to live on my computer on those days.  Especially when I’m down.
And although this goal was worded as “try” I’ve actually managed every week between 23rd May and today.  I think it does stop me snacking as much but I’m not sure it makes me more aware of what I’m eating which I’d hoped it would.  But, given that I was almost always watching TV or reading whilst eating instead it probably wasn’t a fair go at that.  Perhaps I should set a goal of “don’t do anything else whilst eating” for a couple of weeks.  It’s certainly something I’ve been wondering about although I haven’t made a decision yet.

>101 in 1001 – Item 18…

>

Enter some Creative Writing competitions

…has been completed!

I’ve entered three competitions so far and plan to enter some more.

The Writers’ Forum short story competiton, The Arvon Foundation six word story competition and Jot Speak’s writing contest.

I’m not overly hopeful about my chances.  Mostly because the story I submitted to Writers’ Forum is an edited version of the one I read on Saturday.  Having since re-read it several times for practice and for the real thing I’ve spotted mistakes that I’d missed.  And, not long after I submitted my six word story to Arvon I thought of a better one.  I’ve been meaning to look into whether you can submit more than one entry to that.

I only finished, edited and submitted my entry to Jot Speak today (it started life as a writing exercise in the creative writing class and I’ve worked on it off and on since then).  You can read it (and comment on it) on that site.  It’s called Attitude is Everything.  You can enter up to three pieces to that competition and I have a couple of other pieces I may enter as well.  I’m not sure yet.

Regardless of whether or not I win, I am looking forward to the feedback and enjoying getting my work out there.  I definitely plan to enter more competitions in future

>When Persistence Pays Off

>This is a bit of a follow on to my Advocacy Tips post and is cross posted to Disability Voices

One of the tips I gave in that post was to be persistent.  The example I gave was one of my local supermarkets.  My chair would only go through the wide aisle checkout and it was often closed when I visited.  The staff would open it when I asked but they had a bad attitude towards doing so and made me uncomfortable.  As a result I didn’t go there often and had actually decided I wouldn’t shop there again.

I had personally made something like six complaints to them, mostly verbally but I’d also written to head office at least twice.  My sister had also been so infuriated the last time I had problems there that they got letters of complaint from both of us about that.  And none of the responses I got were of any use.  A lot of them actually seemed like they were designed to “shut me up”.

Yesterday, my sister sent me a text saying that they’d redone all the checkouts in there and they were all wide aisle ones now.  My Dad took me up there for some shopping this evening.  And I could have got my chair through any of the checkouts.  I was tempted to try that but I didn’t.  It was a really great sight.  And once again, I have the same thing everyone else does in this town – a choice of where to shop (I won’t go there all the time because it’s further away but I will be able to go there again!).

I’d love to think that they’ve done this just because of my complaints but I’m not naive enough to do so – and I know I’m not the only person whose had those problems.  But it’s a definite example of why complaining, campaigning and advocacy are so important.  And what happens when your persistent – because it really can pay off.

>And now for something completely different…

>…only I’m not really sure what that might be.

Up two this week.  I’m definitely plateauing and need to do something different to shake things up.  I’ve got one or two small ideas but really I’m stuck on which is the best one.  Probably all of them in moderation but I’m also struggling a bit with my depression over the last few days and that really doesn’t help.

Suggestions, anyone?

>A Reading

>The Arts Centre where I do my creative writing class (amongst other things!) held a literary day on Saturday.  Basically they held a second hand book sale for charity and they had readings from “local writers” AKA the creative writing class.  It was actually described in the e-mail that went round promoting it as “readings from local writers” and I thought, oh cool I’d like to know who’ve got for local writers.  Then I realised, oh shit, that’s me!!

So I gave a reading on Saturday which was open to the public!  Scary!  There were 9 audience members and I think they were all people’s family or friends but still they were all people I don’t know as no one I asked could make it (which to be honest isn’t a bad thing!).  And there were seven of us from the class taking part (including the tutor).  So we had more of an audience than we had participants which is always good.  It took about an hour and a half and I think my bit lasted 10 mins (I didn’t time it then but I did when I was practising the night before)

We’d done a group anthology project where the tutor wrote the beginning of a story and we all used it as a jumping off point and wrote our own versions of what happened next with the rule – if you don’t know or can’t remember – make it up!  He then wrote bits linking it together and an end bit.  And that’s what we read out.  It did go really well and it was interesting seeing how we’d all started with the premise of a certified haunted house and the promise of £1 Million prize if you spend the night and went in completely different directions.  I think out of all 10 of us who wrote bits (3 couldn’t make it on Saturday) none of us had similar stories and none of us had a character winning the million – although my main character ended up in the money for another reason.

I’ve entered a slightly edited version of the bit that I wrote into a competition.  Which is a very good thing.  But it also brings me back to a very bad thing – I re-read the piece several times getting ready for this.  And I’ve spotted several mistakes that I know I didn’t edit out in the version I submitted to the competition (basically that version has a couple of extra sentences to explain the “haunted house, spend the night, win a million” premise)

I was a little bit nervous but not a lot.  And I only got really nervous when the person before me was reading.

>New Layout!

>So… here is my new layout!  What do people think?

I love it!!

My friend Hannah and I went to school together, we recently got back in touch as she joined sailability.  I’m really enjoying being back in touch with her and having a laugh.  Plus she’s gotten absolutely hooked on the sailing which you know is something else I love.

Since leaving school she has been diagnosed with a disability and become a wheelchair user.  She has two disabilities, EDS and PoTS and has written two small books using stickman pictures to describe the conditions called “you know you have…”  Plus she’s working on a third book “wheelie wisdom” and based on what I’ve seen of her drawings I think it will be hilarious.

And she drew the wheelie writer in my header image for me.  I’ll post it here as well for posterity.

I promised her I would plug her books as a thank you. So: You can see Hannah’s books on her website, Stickman Communications and on facebook – check them out.  The website link will remain in my sidebar.  She also has a set of two drawings on facebook about disabled parking which are absolutely hilarious

>Work in Progress

>This layout is currently a work in progress.  I’d hoped to get it done last night but the recent template changes to blogger made that impossible.  And then I’d hoped to get it finished this morning but I’m being a bit of a perfectionist and I’m out of time but not happy yet

Check back (hopefully later!) for the unveiling.  I’m excited about this!

>Thoughts On Progress So Far

>I’m up 1/8th of a pound today.  Which really is just the same as staying the same because it’s absolutely nothing. I actually thought I might have gained a little so I’m really pleased.

I realised yesterday that although I feel a bit like I’m struggling and stuck with my weight loss right now that’s not a huge deal.  Obviously I would like to lose more this year and I do need to lose more.  But even if I stay at this weight for the rest of the year I’ll still be happy with my progress.  And I’ll still have come a long way from where I was.  I do still need to work on this and I will.  I’m just going to try to stop beating myself up about it.  If I start whining and moaning about that in future, please remind me of this post and then tell me to shut up 😉

The other thing worth noting is that I have completely lost track of how many weeks it’s been since I gave up coke and chocolate.  I used to be able to tell you exactly how many weeks it had been and now I’ve a rough idea because when I realised I didn’t know I tried to work it out.  But I haven’t looked it up and I don’t feel like I need to.  Another step on the way to beating that addiction me thinks.

>Compliments

>I’ve been meaning to post this since it happened because I don’t want to forget about it.  Especially today as I am a bit fed up about stupid things that shouldn’t bother me.  So here goes:

On Thursday one of the newer creative writers (there are several of us who have done the course more than once; he is one of the ones who was new this time round) and I were chatting.  We went out for a meal after the class as it was the last one of the course.

And he described me as a semi-professional writer what with all my reviewing and all that.

How very. very cool!  And definitely makes me realise that I am closer than I was to my goal.

Writing this out has made me feel a bit better now. Hopefully having it here will mean I can use it to remind me in the future if I need it.