05 October 2015

Low Carb....2 weeks in

My HabitBull app encouragingly reminded me yesterday that I've completed 14 days in a row! The question is, does it feel like it? The first time I avoided carbs I had lost a few pounds by this point and looked and felt much better. This time I am still pretty tired and can only feel a slight difference in my general self (which I might even be imagining). After all I read about diets (sorry, lifestyle changes) being harder after the first attempt, I am not feeling too disheartened (yet). I did also have some fries one day on a meal out, and a packet of crisps another. The crisps were definitely damage limitation as I was incessantly thinking about chocolate, cake and biscuits ALL day. Considering how much worse it could have been I think 11g of carbs on a packet of Salt n Vinegar was an achievement not a failure.


22 September 2015

Back on the Low Carb Diet

Yesterday was the dreaded 'Day One'. For the second time. I first tried low carb eating back in March this year and was pleasantly surprised - it actually seemed to work, and it wasn't that tough! I stuck to it pretty strictly for 30 days (except a pre-booked cream tea right in the middle - ssshhh), and I lost about half a stone. I also felt so much better generally. The best thing was that I felt less hungry; I was just getting so hungry all the time before. This seemed to fix that. 

So, why is this the second attempt? If it was so great why wasn't it the 'lifestyle change' I intended it to be? My excuse is that it was summer and the occasional ice cream, beer and fish 'n' chips needed to be eaten. Generally I continued eating low carb, there were just more and more treats happening. It was beginning to spiral out of control a little so another 30 strict days are necessary. My brain likes a definite yes or no - it is already appreciating the lack of choice. I am not eating carbs. It knows this now.

My summer food exploits. Who could've said no to these?
I did manage a strict 4 days last week, but there was a birthday meal on Sunday so I ate a dessert. Even though it wasn't that bad I'd rather start again so yesterday was it. Day one went well. It felt like I was back in the swing of it. I guess that's the one advantage from having done it before - I have a good list of foods I know I can turn to in hunger. And it's a pretty good list really. I ate biltong, a beef burger (no bun obviously) with bacon and cheese, salad and a small dollop of Greek yoghurt. Not bad at all. It takes about 3 days to get back into ketosis (where the body uses fat for energy) so by the end of the week I'll be well into that stage.

Are there any side effects? The first time I tried low carb I felt like I had a cold and I was exhausted. This is all pretty common and nothing to worry about. I knew it was something you just had to push through. This time around there are no side effects yet. I am tired, but no more than I have been the last few weeks.

I've read that it is harder to get results the second (or third, fourth,....) time around because the body remembers what happened before and knows to cling on to the fat for longer (it knows you're going to give up basically!). That's a weird thought. It reminds me to try to be patient. Kind of.

21 April 2015

R is for Reviews

If I'm looking to invest in some technology or just change my usual brand of whatever it is, one of the first things I'll do is a quick search online for a review. They are extremely useful on sites like Amazon, and really do influence my decisions. But I don't think I've ever actually written a review. Even for the products I love. If I feel strongly one way or another about a product, then my blog would doubtless be a good place to share it. I'll have to make this one of my blogging goals.

20 April 2015

Q is for Quality versus Quantity

I've touched on this hot topic in a previous post, but just how do you achieve that perfect balance of quality versus quantity? It'll be a different number for everyone but the answer is probably the same - enough that you enjoy posting and it's not an impossible challenge. If you have enough topics and time, then once a day (or even more) is perfectly achievable. If you're a bit pushed for time perhaps one post per week (or 2) will suffice. 

In the past I've posted 3-4 times a week, but even when I was at home all day, I still found that a challenge. It takes longer than you think to construct a good blog post, especially when you have to find the right photos, resize them and upload them too. I've definitely underestimated the time involved before, and forced myself to post too often. If I still want it to be enjoyable and not a chore, I think once a week is about right for me. When I'm being super creative and making new items for my shop I'd probably post slightly more often.

How do you achieve that balance?

18 April 2015

P is for Projects

I'm a sucker for a project. Stick in the word challenge, assignment or project, and I'm in. I especially enjoy photography projects - they can really help spark your creativity, and it's nice to share your work with others who might be undertaking something similar. I've completed a couple of 365 projects and much easier 30 day projects. I'm much better at sticking to them over the summer months when it's actually light for more than a few hours a day, and when I naturally seem to have more creative energy. I love reading about fellow blogger's projects and seeing their progress. Again, that's another great way to feel inspired.

I can feel the need for a photography project coming on now.............

17 April 2015

O is for Online Presence

There are so many ways to have an online presence these days, and it takes a lot of effort keeping them all updated. I don't really enjoy Facebook, so I save that for keeping up with closer friends (and hardly ever post anything). I do use Twitter and Instagram, but quite sparingly. I find them both a lot more user friendly than Facebook, and it's fun searching through images and tweets, but I don't post as often as I'd like. Pinterest is another of my favourite websites - I have loads of boards now. I've always been a big fan of a mood board!

I also have a page on portfoliobox.me which is basically a small portfolio of my photography and a place to keep all my links together. 

How do you keep up with your online presence? Without it taking over your real life? Do you find it more of a hindrance than a help?

16 April 2015

N is for News

I'd like to make my blog slightly topical - not to say I want to write about the big issues happening in the world, but sometimes the smaller, or weirder, news stories I read online can inspire a blog post. For a while, when I was posting regularly, I did indeed post an 'in the news' topic each week. I wrote about robots and car eyelashes, all the important stories of the week.

I am not an avid news watcher. In fact, the only news I do watch is online. Most days I'll take a look at the BBC website, followed by the Telegraph. I admit that I only read the short interesting stories and often the 'most read' headlines. I love the weird news section on the Telegraph website, and their science stories. They can be much more inspiring and fun to write about than the heavier stories throughout the world.

15 April 2015

M is for Music

I love music, but I'm never a fan of opening a blog and having music that you haven't asked for blasted out at you. Especially if you're already listening to your own music - you end up with a horrible noise, and often you can't find the mute button on the website. Very frustrating. Optional music is a much better way to go.

14 April 2015

L is for Labels

Another tricky one today. Labels are a feature that allow you to attach keywords to your post. That's about all I know. I don't know how much they actually aid in the search process (perhaps someone who does know could pass on the knowledge please!?). Even though I'm not entirely sure of their importance, it doesn't hurt to get into the habit of using them. I think of them as Instagram hashtags - how would I label this if it was a photo on Instagram? It's a bit more tricky when it's a blog post, but there are always keywords available if you have a good think.

For example, what can I label this post with? 
  • a-z blog challenge, challenge, labels, labelling, hashtags, keywords, searching, search

13 April 2015

K is for Kaput

As I've previously written, a number of years have passed since I blogged regularly, but it has always been in the back of my mind. I kept having that thought, "I really should get back to blogging", nagging at me. Instead of my failed attempts to get back into it by writing a halfhearted post every few months, I probably should have just wound up the page. A simple statement of intent; that I couldn't see me blogging for the forseeable future so am taking a break. That might have helped give me some closure for that time off. Instead, every time I thought about blogging I felt like a failure, and it became a bigger and bigger deal. Maybe sometimes a blog going kaput is the best thing for it. Then you can come back fresh and strong if/when you do decide to.

I'm still hoping that my blog will not go kaput. 
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