Here I am, back in rainy old Cardiff. I wish I could say sunny, it would have made my trip to finally get my new student card a lot more pleasant. It is also possible that it could have been made more pleasant if drivers didn’t insist on driving at such rapid speeds that I didn’t stand a chance of staying dry, even by cowering as far away from the road as possible! And by my umbrella not breaking.
My stupid picture is only marginally better than the last one after all that effort! But such is life I suppose.
Life has returned to normal and I have finally started trying to eat really well again. This actually seems to be going okay, especially as I have developed a new found respect for the jacket potato and have been enjoying constructing cheap, simple and healthy meals around the classic spud. My latest oddity is a sort of mess of stir-fried vegetables with some cannelini beans and satay sauce. This goes surprisingly well with potato, but also with noodles, which cook in infinitely less time if you come back later than expected for dinner! The sauce isn’t so ‘healthy’ in terms of fat content etc., but I made it myself so I have tabs on what I’m eating.
The only real shake-up here is that I’ve stopped using soya milk and returned to ‘normal’ (cows’) milk. I’ve been using the soya milk all summer as it seemed like a good idea for various reasons, but recently I’ve been reading the articles about it and have come across one big concern very specific to myself. I will say now that I have not gotten on board with all the really major scaremongering about soy, as I have read as many and as balanced a variety of articles as I could come across. My problem is that I have an existing underactive thyroid, and even some of the soy-positive researchers admit that it is probably best for people using thyroxine not to eat soya products within 4 hours of taking their medication, as it can prevent it from working properly.
Now, I know that I haven’t been eating that well, but I haven’t been horrific either, yet my weight continues to act out as a problem. When I lost weight before I was using skimmed milk the whole time without any problems. Now I’m beginning to think that, although it wouldn’t be the whole cause, 3 months of possibly preventing my thyroid medication from having its full effect could have caused a fair bit of trouble. So here I am, back on the skimmed milk! I’ve enjoyed my venture into the alternatives, but I can’t afford anything other than soya milk so dairy is all I can do at present. I would rather that than be risking my health without even realising!
My weight’s stubbornness is getting a bit frustrating as I have been completing my Blogilates calendar every day for 17 days now, and the effect of a body toning up whilst retaining fat in weird places does look a bit weird! There are definitely changes, but I’m having a moody/weepy day and am feeling fed up, although I was wonderfully cheery doing the exercise this morning. Putting on a skirt that is normally loose and it being uncomfortably tight does that to you I suppose.
The bonus of my return to plain old milk is that I can drink normal tea again whilst at uni – no matter what, tea is the one drink I cannot stand with soya milk. This probably explains why I drank Mum out of house and home!
Anyway. 17 Days of Blogilates and I am feeling good in myself no matter what nonsense my body is up to! I have had one complaint that I have never come across before though: I shall call it ‘Pilates Elbow’. Although this morning wasn’t so mat-focused, I have found that my elbows have come under a lot of pressure as they are used for quite a few moves, and have been coming away with sore, dry skin. It is quite irritating, but not bad enough to make me give up on the programme – having found something I really love I am going to damn well stick with it! However, I did need to find a solution for my itchy elbows!
Enter my addiction to Lush! I wanted to get some unsalted peanut butter for my satay sauce, and for other recipes that use that instead of the standard shop-bought stuff, so I was in town to go into Beanfreaks (infinitely better than Holland and Barrett!). On the way back to my bike (having also purchased coconut oil, another item on my wishlist) I decided to nip in Lush to have a poke around. I had a vague idea that there might be something I needed, and after getting lost and wandering round both floors twice I found what I was in search of: Ultrabalm. By this point a member of staff had noticed me looking lost and came to talk to me, just as I found what I was looking for! We had a chat about my shirt (Disney-styled Princess Leia), and how I’m changing a lot of my products over to use theirs’ for ethical value and general niceness (I still have spots, but my skin has cleared up a hell of a lot since I started using their moisturiser. Who knew moisturiser could do that?!!!). Once we’d established that I was pretty certain about what I was doing in there, I picked up my pot of Ultrabalm and headed down to pay, where the woman who served me waxed lyrical about the stuff as she has been using it on scars from an operation. I explained about my Pilates Elbow and she laughed.
In the shop I really wasn’t sure about this to start. It smells interesting, but not unpleasant. I put a bit on my hands as they are often dry, and it seemed to help improve them straight away. That was when I decided to give it a go. Whilst it seems very oily, this also helps to repel water, so being slightly OCD about my hands is okay – I don’t like to have products on the end of my fingers as it annoys me, but it is possible to wash Ultrabalm off of my fingers (more easily than normal hand cream which just seems to spread around and cause havoc!) without taking the layer protecting the back of my hands off. My elbows seem to have made a full recovery – I went to sleep with it on and they seem to have been so fortified by the experience that yesterday’s exploits haven’t caused them to dry out again yet! This brilliant stuff also went on the end of my nose last night as I arrived home and magically came down with a cold (I literally walked in the door and my nose flared up!), so the end of my snout got a bit red and raw. I woke up this morning and it was fine, without any nasty flaky bits or anything (sorry, TMI!), very unlike the state I normally find my nose in if I use the moisturiser that my Doctor prescribed.
It may smell funny, but this balm is genius! And although it is in a round tin, technically it’s about the same size or smaller as a pot of hand cream, so once I have made myself a little makeup bag it will fit in there nicely!
Now I can publish this and go put the oven on – I will remember to start cooking my potato at a reasonable time rather than waiting until I am hungry and realising that dinner will be at least another hour and a half! We live, we learn!