Decidedly Dangerous December

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  • Day 11 UK NFD

    Loooooooong day tho lovely in parts! I weighed in at 170lb this morning, resisted the sandwich lunch and got through on a kitkat bar, water and decaf coffee. OMAD supper was vegan kiev (my weekly junk food choice!), sweet potato wedges, cauliflower, apple compote with raisins and cinnamon & vegan custard. That’s my indulgent day out of the way for the week.

    It snowed on my way home – first time in London for ages. It was really quiet out at 7.30pm, just the odd car plus me. Theres now a couple of inches on the ground so it all looks crunchy and white – including snow on my new Christmas tree 🙂 I love the hush that snow makes: apparently it’s the holes in snowflakes that have a dampening effect on soundwaves – who knew?!

    Tomorrow I’m back into town for a project meeting and community carol service – they were short staffed and as I’m in anyway…. Plenty of prep needed for the meeting and it’ll be a snow-trek with wellies n all, playing hunt the train so an early start. None of this was in my schedule but sometimes you have to roll with it – not least because my mentor is about to take 3 month sabbatical so good to carpe the diem. He’s usually the most useful conversation I have each quarter. It’ll be another long one so I’ll make it a dahl day or a LFD as I continue to empty the freezer of mystery (aka unlabelled) pots to make space for Christmas food.

    My energy has dipped as my pain rose but my mood has lifted too after a day welcoming, connecting and encouraging people. @jaifaim you’re so right, we rise by lifting others 🙂

    @northgeorgia so sorry you have covid 🙁 I hope it’s mild and you feel better very soon. Body holding water with a virus sounds all too familiar and hopefully another drop is round the corner. But take care of yourself first, the weight will follow when you feel better x

    Day 11 Ohio, US — NFD
    Day 10 — NFD

    The last two days have seen me eating a little off plan — yesterday talking with a friend led to my eating a little too much for lunch, since I was paying more attention to our conversation, than to what I was eating. Today at supper I had two cookies, but had cut down significantly on carbs for that meal and for afternoon tea, so things may have balanced off (maybe).

    @michelinme Sounds as though you have a mammoth day lined up tomorrow! Your ability to do so much is really impressive!

    @northgeorgia Hope you shake that infection quickly and completely! Are you going to go on Paxlovid? Here is the CDC website about it:

    @maui Hope you had a great happy dance! Every pound down is a triumph!

    Day 12 Melbourne, Australia NFD

    Last night did not go well as a non-eating night. I find it a long time to be up and about but not eat. I don’t know how people do a WFD. Tomorrow is a FD so tonight will be no food. And then tomorrow I’ll be asleep half the day so won’t be tempted.

    NorthGeorgia I hope you are not too sick. And good idea from matpi to get onto the antivirals.

    Gardenlily I also am ambivalent about Christmas cards. I have a couple on my mantlepiece at the moment which looks nice, but I don’t often send them.

    Day 11 – Ireland – FD 🚫 🚶🏽‍♀️ ✅

    @northgeorgia so sorry you have tested positive but it all makes sense now… mind yourself and don’t push through… your body will thank you… time enough to fast in the new year.
    @penz myself and @brightonbelle (I think if I remember correctly) have beach hols in April and will be applying ourselves so that will tie in with your big birthday.. we can do this. 💪 come on we really can 💪💪
    @michelinme so glad you had a lovely day. Yes I firmly believe that when we help, or at least are around others, it inspires us to do better or feel better. I don’t always manage it if I’m feeling low… but I do believe it 🙂

    So foggy and icy here today…. Heading home and will take it handy. 🚙. Be well everybody…

    Onward and downward ⬇️
    We rise by lifting others 💕

    Pocket List – Day 11 ❄️
    @northgeorgia (not sure it’s a FD now… 🦠)

    Day 12 – Ireland – FD 🚫 🚶🏽‍♀️ ✅

    Repost… I’m a day behind 🙄

    @northgeorgia so sorry you have tested positive but it all makes sense now… mind yourself and don’t push through… your body will thank you… time enough to fast in the new year.
    @penz myself and @brightonbelle (I think if I remember correctly) have beach hols in April and will be applying ourselves so that will tie in with your big birthday.. we can do this. 💪 come on we really can 💪💪
    @michelinme so glad you had a lovely day. Yes I firmly believe that when we help, or at least are around others, it inspires us to do better or feel better. I don’t always manage it if I’m feeling low… but I do believe it 🙂

    So foggy and icy here today…. Heading home and will take it handy. 🚙. Be well everybody…

    Onward and downward ⬇️
    We rise by lifting others 💕

    Pocket List – Day 11 ❄️
    @northgeorgia (not sure it’s a FD now… 🦠)

    Day 12 – South Africa – FD

    @northgeorgia – wishing you a speedy & full recovery. Hopefully you’ll be done with it before Christmas.

    @penz – 5 months?! Think how much you can accomplish in roughly 150 days?! You just need a plan. Maybe start with Dry January? Remember you were thinking of joining me for Oct-sober? And here I am on day 73; better sleep, more energy & a couple of kilos down, despite eating more. Something to think about…maybe? 🤔

    Not the best weekend as far as controlled eating goes. But I’m still off the sugar & the booze, so extra food on NFDs doesn’t seem to be having any effect on the scales. And today is a FD, so here goes…

    @jaifaim – yes, it’s day 12 😅 @northgeorgia had his FD yesterday

    Pocket List – Day 12 ❄️

    Day 12 – USA/GA – NFD

    Weigh-in: 213 lbs. As you can see, I did fast yesterday after all. I didn’t have the appetite to eat, but I drank probably a gallon of water instead, and took a pinch or two of salt. There are conflicting studies on the effects of autophagy on viruses. Some indicate that for bacteria and viruses, it can be useful. Other reports say that to combat viruses, the body requires a larger amount of glucose. Unfortunately, that study was done on mice (or was it rats) who have a completely different type of metabolism.

    In any case, I thawed out four containers of homemade soup in the refrigerator (actually, two may just be containers of broth — which is also OK if so), and look forward to breaking into those later today. Right now, I’m sneaking up to campus before a lot of folks arrive to get my laptop and calendar so I can do a little work from home later this week.

    I mean, 213 lbs. Eight pounds in a couple of days. I should have known something was up 🙂

    Day 12 UK ??

    Back from my travels but feel dreadful off back to bed , just hoping I haven’t got covid like @northgeorgia but see how I feel tomorrow

    Day 12 – Rural Nebraska, USA – CD 155.8

    What absolute perfect days we’ve had over the weekend. The best part of the ugly scale number is that I’m fairly certain it’s largely water weight from some seriously salty things, because I really did eat decently both days–WELL, but not with abandon. The steakhouse did not disappoint on Saturday, and I have some leftover steak in the fridge to enjoy today; the blackberry pie yesterday was a huge treat, with an entire half a pie remaining, so I’ll freeze pieces to enjoy every now and again. DS26 (the chef) and I were careful to make only as much food as we needed for the meal, and so the only leftover besides the pie and the steak I brought home is one lonely little lamb chop. A perfect birthday extravaganza, right?

    @jaifaim and @funshipfreddie I’m another who isn’t a napper–it’s always felt like a colossal waste of time, LOL. DH, however? Well, he needs a nap at lunch and then a nap in the evening to tide him over until he goes to bed, and sometimes he tucks in a third nap in a day! 🤪😂😂 Isn’t it funny how our bodies can have such radically different needs?

    Oh, @funshipfreddie, what a wonderful quote. Truly lovely.

    @gardenlily Fascinating facts about cards!

    @maui I think you’re doing TERRIFICALLY and have been losing at an amazing speed–you have far more restraint than I ever find at one time! Well done on the latest loss.

    Aww, @northgeorgia, you have my sympathies!! I hope it is and stays mild! And to be down 8lbs already? Yup. Well done for not abandoning everything yesterday, and today you get the PFD….what’s that other letter? B for bliss? S for satisfaction? HP for halo polishing?? I figure you get them all!

    Oh, @brightonbelle, I do hope you don’t have covid, and you’re right as rain tomorrow after some rest today! This is not the time of year anyone wants to be sick.

    I have nearly all the presents bought, so today I’m going to start–and hopefully finish!–wrapping. We’ll also go see DH’s mom (an hour away) and with the normal stuff a day requires, that will fill the day to the brim. This is the time of year I wish I had an extra day each week, LOL. So I guess I’d best get started, right? Have a grand one, everyone!

    Pocket List – Day 12 ❄️


    I couldn’t help but notice that quite a few of the US contingent in our forum are suffering from the fall-out of over-indulgence at Thanksgiving so I felt this might be of interest:

    When, in 1620 a group of English Puritans founded a colony in New England, the Pilgrim Fathers rejected the extravagant feasting at Christmas, which they felt to be Catholic influences or worse, harked back to pagan times. Instead, they transferred the feasting into a form of harvest thanksgiving to coincide with the celebration of the first harvest in 1621, and in 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared that the last Thursday in November was to be a national holiday. Since 1941, Thanksgiving complete with turkey and pumpkin pie has been celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November. Unfortunately, for some, the over-indulgence and festive celebrations at Christmas so abhorred by the Puritans seems to have now reinstated itself very firmly 🙂

    Check out this link for more detailed info:

    Day 13, NFD, Aus

    Urgh – have bad sore throat which I hope is not heading towards tonsilitis. So, working from home today and food seems so unappetising. If this ends up being a FD, all the better but I’m not planning anything.

    Except dry January!

    Day 12 Ohio, US — FD800

    The two-hour final exam that I just finished has used up most of my energy at the moment, so this will have to be brief. Fasting has gone well. Oh, and here’s a paraphrase, suitable for Dangerous December, of an old French proverb: Weight arrives in pounds and leaves in ounces! (Or for those metrically inclined: Weight arrives in kilos and leaves in grams!)

    Day 13 – UK Cam – NFD
    Apologies for being such a lousy host yesterday – life just overtook me. Managed to cut and paste the Interesting Fact and then was whisked away by events. DH very poorly but resisting any medical help until after today’s CT scan – doesn’t want to mask anything with drugs. Means I have all of his daily chores as well 🙁 Anyway, yesterday’s FD seemed to go well, repeat of Thursday but substituted the high cal salmon with chicken and added a slice of sour dough toast to dip in my veg soup. The scales will reveal all tomorrow. Today is another full-on day with hospital, dog and downstairs clean ready for decorations going up tomorrow – swags of greenery on bookshelves etc Porridge with apple for breakfast, eggs on toast for lunch and lamb chop (no, not yours @stitchincarol!!) with greens on the menu for today but, who knows – it may change depending on DH’s hospital visit.

    @penz – hope that sore throat is feeling better soon, lots of gargling with salt? Everyone has their own remedy – I prefer lemon and honey.

    @stitchincarol – did I miss a birthday?? glad to see you had what seems to be a super day and excellent food. I just love the way (in the US) you are given the choice of ‘shall I box that for you?’ when you can’t finish your steak etc. Doesn’t happen here, you have to ask and it does make you feel a bit awkward!

    @northgeorgia and @brightonbelle – get well soon, take good care of yourselves.

    @funshipfreddie – will you be staying dry over Christmas? That would be a real challenge to a lot of folk. I try to be DTF but will break that if we go out for a meal. Like so many of us, one glass leads to a second and before you know it, the bottle is history! I admire your determination.

    @michelinme – loved your account of the visit to Town and the snow. We had a little sprinkle here, not so much deep but def. crisp and even! Dog went bonkers and was trying to catch snowballs – I love the way the snow creaks under your boots, especially ‘virgin’ snow – we were the first people to walk the track round the fen and the snow-laden grasses and seedheads were amazing in the misty sunlight.

    With so many of us going down with nasty bugs, it is worth remembering that ‘Other Viruses are Available’ and we should all take care of ourselves.

    Pocket List Day 13 – jump on if you’re fasting!


    Early, pre-Christian images of Father Christmas (or Allfather) show him carrying a broom and having a shaman-like appearance, linking him with the role of Pan and Herne in early British history. Allfather, the original pagan god of the sky has links to the Norse Odin, bringer of winter and bearer of gifts.

    In Scandinavia he appeared as the Old Man of Winter who sweeps into the lowlands bringing snow and driving the reindeer herds. He had a long white beard, wore a cloak and hat and rode through the sky on an eight-legged horse, accompanied by a Dark Helper whose job it was to castigate those who had been bad and reward with gifts those who had been good – ring any bells?

    These stories came to Britain and fused with Druid mysteries in early years.
    Check out this link – the images are interesting too!

    Missionaries to Britain in the 4th C sought to stamp out the pagan beliefs and overlaid Allfather with the story of St Nicholas. However, Father Christmas was not so easily usurped! More on that tomorrow…

    Day 13 – South Africa – NFD

    Well, that was a meagre-looking pocket list for a Monday?! But, it would have been a whopping 4 of us including @matpi & @gardenlily. Looks like December really is turning out to be dangerous, with little fasting going on & all the aches, pains & viruses going around. Anyway, I aced my FD; just 545 cals consumed. Current BMI 22.1. I only clocked up 8000 steps though; must do better today 🎯

    @stitchincarol – oops?! Belated birthday congratulations for Saturday! I just looked back at your Saturday post – sounds like you had a lovely day! 🥳 🎈🎉🎂 🥂

    @brightonbelle & @penz – I hope you’re both feeling better soon! 🤞

    @gardenlily – your hosting is anything but lousy! I hope you & DH have good news today with the CT scan.

    @penz – yessss! Dry January it is! 🚫🍷💪I remember you did Dry July this year so…we’ve got this!

    @gardenlily – yes, I’m planning on staying dry over Christmas, & I must admit I’m a bit apprehensive. The friends I’ll be staying with are potters of note! I initially declined their invitation when they invited me in October, but then we heard their son, who’s like a nephew to me, has to fly to the UK on Christmas Day. So I thought better of it, as it’s going to be a bitter-sweet occasion. But it’s just 5 or 6 days, & I’ll be almost 3 months sober by then, so…If I get through this it’ll feel like a real accomplishment 😧

    Day 13 – Ireland – FD 🚫🚶🏼‍♀️ ✅

    I have a big Christmas celebration Day tomorrow with two events so some pre-planning today with a good FD 👍

    Out with friends last night so that threw my fast day plan a little although didn’t completely go off the rails… so a big one course dinner and two AF G&Ts – no regrets. So @funshipfreddie the list was actually even more meagre than it looked 😂 😬

    Hope you’re ok @brightonbelle 😮‍💨 and @penz and all who are ill.

    Yep your DH is another champion napper @stitchincarol 😂
    Don’t be worrying @gardenlily it’s a busy time of year and you are doing a great job 👏 thank you!

    I’m pretty sorted presents wise, cards sent so I feel nicely organised even though you’d never guess from the state of my posting here recently 😂. Our carers have been struck with Covid in the past few weeks so we are all rowing in to help out a little more with mums care… it can sometimes be quite full on and I’m lacking a little sleep but all is good and she is happy and comfy and that’s the most important. ♥️

    @funshipfreddie you’ve done so well so far! You can do it 💪 you’ve already accomplished so much! I’ll also be AF for Christmas and will join you all for dry January too 🎉

    Missing a lot of our regulars and hoping everyone is ok.
    Onward and downward ⬇️
    We rise by lifting others 💕

    Pocket List – Day 13 – jump on if you are fasting

    Hello everyone – Coda Northern Ireland checking in

    How delighted I was on investigating to find the challenges still going strong and to see some familiar names – you feel like old friends I haven’t seen for a while 🙂

    I hope you are all doing well and being kind to yourself.

    You have all been in my mind of late mainly to do with my username. I chose the name Coda after our Rottweiler – our first Rottie with a tail and Coda is Italian for tail. Sadly we had to say goodbye to Coda last week – for all you dog lovers out there, you know how hard it is to make that decision and call time. He was diagnosed with Myeloma in his jaw a few weeks ago, it was very aggressive and we were all heartbroken to say the least.

    So my thoughts of Coda made me think of all you, on this challenge, that started many years ago, and I thought I would drop in and say hello.

    Life has definitely had it’s ups and downs – we said goodbye to my Dad last year, at 93. His quality of life had not been great the previous 2 years which was hard to watch, given until then he was still playing 9 holes of golf. A couple of falls took it’s toll and with the last infection set in.

    We have had a couple of weddings in the family which was cause for celebrations, we said goodbye to another family member, my husbands last remaining sibling. We have had the birth of another grandson and we are seeing our first grandson regularly, albeit that is still going through family court. I have lost weight 🙂 and gained weight 🙁 I just haven’t found that elusive recipe to keep the mindset on course and stop the self sabotage BUT what I haven’t done is use that F word. I keep on keeping on and try to live my life as best I can and not have the mindset of – I will do that when I lose weight or I can’t, or it’s hard. I hadn’t realised how much negative self talk we speak to ourselves – we wouldn’t say the things we say to ourselves on a daily basis to anyone else. That is what I am working hard on at the moment.

    In addition to squash which I still play with my OH and number 2 son a few times a week I found Pickleball which I love. I started PB as I needed something to fill my time on a Saturday that I would have previously visited my Dad. I now attend 2 coaching sessions in addition to a Saturday.

    I wish you all a lovely Christmas and best wishes for 2023.
    I will do my best to have a trawl through and catch up with some of my virtual friends.

    Lots of love to everyone, Coda x

    Day 13 – Rural Nebraska, USA – WFD 156.2

    UGH. Here I thought I was eating reasonably enough yesterday that the scale would nudge down and instead it nudged up. I’m thankful today is a WF so my weight really will be dropped down a bit tomorrow.

    @penz Yuck! I had that right before Thanksgiving, and was just as fearful of when it was turning out to be–and then was astonished when it all simply went away, rather quickly, too; I sure hope your sore throat is gone as quickly as mine was!

    @matpi I’ll bet you’re pleased to be done with the semester. Are you taking another class next semester?

    @gardenlily Yup, Saturday I turned 64. That’s a shame you feel awkward asking to take home remaining food! Is it possible your British portions are not as out of control as American portions are? DH and I actually usually split an entre in order to get the portions to a more reasonable level; my prime rib on Saturday was 14oz!! I know people can and do eat that much on a regular basis, but that’s sure far larger than a “serving size”! And I sure hope your DH has good results from today’s CT scan and then can feel better with some meds.

    @funshipfreddie Thanks! Wow…to stay dry over Christmas while staying with people who don’t? Kudos to you, sir!!

    @at Have you received the results of DH’s mole??

    @jaifaim LOL, I told my husband about the napping chatter, and he was horrified: “That makes me sound old!” 😂😂 I refrained from pointing out he IS 68, after all, and instead pointed out he napped that way when he was 38 also. 😉 Good job controlling yesterday and preparing for tomorrow!

    @coda How delightful to see your post; @songbirdme will be thrilled to read your news! I’m new since you’ve left, but I’ve sure heard about you often enough that I feel as if you are my long-time friend, and I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your dad; I sure still miss my mom, who’d be 104 if she were still with us. And your words about our negative self-talk being something we’d NEVER say to other people? You’ve made me realize I need to assess what I say to myself.

    @northgeorgia How are you feeling today?

    There are so many regulars who are missing; I’ll just bet they’ve set 5:2 aside for December but will be back in January, and it will be delightful to see them back.

    DH’s mom was in really good shape yesterday. She had no idea how to play pinochle–and then played like a card-shark, LOL! It’s just amazing how part of her brain knew EXACTLY what to do, and part of her brain had zero idea what was going on. But she was happy and cheerful, so that’s enough.

    Have a grand one, everyone!

    Pocket List – Day 13 – jump on if you are fasting
    @stitchincarol WF

    Day 13 – USA/GA – NFD

    Weigh-in: 217 lbs. I stayed in bed until 9:00. What can I say? I don’t feel any worse; I don’t know if I’m better — but I think it’s trying to progress on out. Right now, my nose is running less than yesterday, not quite as much sneezing, and had a small coughing bout early this morning (probably from the congestion going further down in the night). I did have a slight fever yesterday; but I don’t feel as chilly today, so that’s a good sign.

    @coda So nice to see the legendary Coda visiting us!!! I’m so sorry to hear about your family members passing away, as well as your dog. Congratulations on another grandchild!

    OK everyone, off to drink tons of fluids.

    2nd post

    @stitchincarol how kind, thank you – we are all friends on here, with support and love from all over the world 🙂

    @northgeorgia LOL LOL legendary LOL LOL – thank you for making me smile 🙂 and thank you for your kind words. Get well soon.

    Hello @coda!!! Happened to glimpse at the pages as I was on my phone and see your post! How lovely to hear your news and have you back to visit 👋. I’m so sorry to hear of your losses over the past few years but am glad to hear that you are well ♥️

    Day 14 Melbourne, Australia NFD

    Another friend down with covid. Her symptoms were vomiting and diarrhoea. She thought she had food poisoning, but I suggested testing for covid. And unfortunately she is positive.

    Another very wet cold summer’s day. I usually do strength work in a local park, but with weather like this it is very unappealing. This evening I have a swim stroke improvement class and I am usually pretty exhausted by that, so that will be enough exercise for today.

    I have done some housework and am now off to meet a friend for coffee.

    Day 14, NFD, Aus

    You’re so right, @stitchincarol! I’m feeling heaps better this morning – just a little fatigued. Odd how global these little bugs are. And happy belated birthday to YOU! (I had read you were celebrating a birthday but somehow misinterpreted your post that it was your DS who had the birthday, not you.)

    A lot of places in Australia won’t ‘box’ (or ‘doggy bag’ as we say here) left over food for fear of customers taking it home, not refrigerating it properly, reheating it days later then suing the restaurant for food poisoning. (Ridiculous!)

    So lovely to see you @coda, but heartsore for you and the reasons behind your deciding to pop into the forum. Stay well and hope to see you more frequently.

    Day 13 USA/HI NFD
    Late checking in today and I think I missed yesterday. Decent controlled calorie NFD of just under 1000 calories.
    @coda Good to see your post. I do remember you from a few years ago. Sorry for the loss of family members and your dog. Hope you will keep checking in with us.
    Evening caregiving duties are calling me so will jump off for now. Thanks to all for the kind words of encouragement.



    St Nicholas lived in 4th C southern Europe, having originated in Turkey. The story that links him to Christmas concerns an impoverished nobleman in the Myra district who needed dowries for his 3 daughters. He was so poor it is said he considered prostituting the girls to get the money – St Nicholas on hearing of his problem is said to have provided a bag of gold for the eldest girl, but did it secretly at night by tossing the bag through the open window. This was repeated for the 2nd daughter but the 3rd daughter was due to wed in mid-winter when all windows would be firmly closed. He solved the problem by climbing onto the roof and dropping the bag of gold down the chimney, where some say it landed in a shoe or stocking by the fireplace and was hung up todry on the mantelpiece.

    On being made a Catholic saint, his feast day was celebrated on 6th December (19th December on the ‘old’ calendar). He was taken to the US with settlers and quite quickly became Santa ‘Claus.

    It is easy to see how the characters of Allfather/Father Christmas and St Nicholas can be superinposed but, as I mentioned yesterday, in Britain particularly Father Christmas was the popular figure right through until the mid-20th C and then the power of advertising and the lure of all things American brought him over to the UK. More of that tomorrow!

    Check out this image:

    Day 14 – South Africa – NFD

    @coda – hello to you! It’s so nice to ‘meet’ you – on what is almost the 7th anniversary of the Challenges you started in 2016. I just Googled ‘Pickleball’. I’d never heard of it but it sounds like fun.

    @jaifaim – great to hear you’re also staying ‘dry’ for Xmas & that you’re on board for Dry January!

    @stitchincarol – I know?! I guess I’m just a masochist 😧 And I’ve actually bought them alcohol as Christmas presents too! 🤪

    Happy Hump Day! 🐫

    Day 14 – UK Cam – 800FD

    Just posted a lovely long chat and it’s vanished! Gotta dash right now but will post again shortly.

    Day 14 – Ireland – NFD 🚫🚶🏼‍♀️ ✅

    I have a big Christmas celebration day : lunch and dinner with different groups of friends. 🎄

    @stitchincarol belated happy birthday 🎈. You’ve reminded me of a lovely night I had with mum recently listening to old Irish music where she remembered all the words of every song… it was quite incredible really. Mum was never a singer but loved a good hoolie and she was a great dancer (along with my dad). BTW tell your lovely DH : 68 is not old! 😂 certainly not as old as it used to be 😂

    @coda I’m so sorry for your losses and also to hear that there are still issues with access to your grandson three years on… I have never heard of pickleball so have to look that up but you must be very fit playing squash twice a week? It was so lovely to spot your post yesterday – like seeing an old friend across the room. 👋♥️

    Resolve required while partying today 🎄😀🎄🙃🎄 Did I say that already?? 😂

    Onward and downward ⬇️
    We rise by lifting others

    Day 14 – UK Cam – 2nd post

    Yesterday was a total disaster, started well but when I had finished queueing (seemed like hours) with parcels to post, I was not in a very festive mood and detoured via the fish n’chip shop to take home a superb lunch, which we devoured with much enthusiasm (even DH found some appetite!). Once the damage was done, it was like a breach in a dam, everything else was washed away in the flood… Suffice to say I was not at all surprised at the scales showing a 1.5lb increase this morning. Hence today is a 800FD – too cold for a 500!

    -6C winter wonderland outside, just about to take dog out for a brisk walk – may not get my 10K steps today unless it is running up & down the stairs! Meals all planned for today – just had fruit compote with zero yoghurt, eggs for lunch and veggie casserole with lentils for supper. Provided I don’t stray into the cake/biscuit tin or nibble the corner off the cheese, I’ll be OK – that’s the plan anyway 🙂

    @coda – lovely to see your post. I am a newbie to this forum, started July, so don’t know your back story. So sorry to hear about your dog – making that final decision for them is the hardest thing to do. We have had several dogs over the years and each one has a special place in our hearts. Also sorry to hear about your Dad – a big hole in your life right now. Please do keep checking in and let us know how you are getting on.

    @funshipfreddie – lol! Hats off to you for the stamina over Christmas. I may even join you for dry January.

    @brightonbell and @northgeorgia – hope you are soon feeling better. There seem to be a lot of nasty bugs flying about. Decidedly Dangerous December is not just about food, it seems! Take care of yourselves and mend quickly.

    @jaifaim – sending you loads of resolve – I know how hard it can be to resist when in a social situation.

    @stitchincarol – portion sizes (like dress sizes!) seem to vary so much. The fish n’chips we had yesterday was a ‘medium’ portion and honestly, we couldn’t finish it between us – it would have fed a family of 4 quite easily. yet if you go to a local pub, which will be nameless, their portion of cod and chips, with peas etc, is decidedly measly – two gulps and it’s gone! One thing about prepared food you buy from supermarket – the sizes tend to be uniform so you can get a better idea of what and how much you are consuming, although it often the ‘what’ that is more important.

    @penz – hope the throat is feeling better

    Lots of people missing from the forum, guess tis the season to be merry etc and fasting doesn’t come easy at this time of year. So, if you are reading these posts and feel bad about not squeezing in a FD before Christmas, jump in and ‘fess up – you’ll feel better and maybe fit in a CD at least!

    OK time to dress up for the outside – once back and thawed out, I shall hide in the sewing room where I want to remake a quilt top – made it from scraps and didn’t like the end result so unpicked it late last night. Keeping as far away as possible from all the nibble food.

    Take care everyone, keep safe and be strong, resist, resist and then resist a bit more!

    Pocket List Day 14

    Day 14 – Rural Nebraska, USA – NFD 153.4

    I slept straight through the night, a welcome change from the awful sleep I’ve been experiencing for the past ten days or so. It’s amazing how much more cheerful and energetic I feel for having had great sleep. I’ve thought in the past that I always sleep well the night after a fast–opposite of many of you–but the fast nights weren’t any better than the non-fast-nights recently. 🤷‍♀️ Tonight is a “big event” and so I’m thinking once it’s past, there won’t be as many nights I wake up thinking, worrying, planning, LOL.

    @penz Oh, my. I think that’s called a Nanny State, right? That’s ridiculous that your Aussie restaurants won’t let you take home leftovers for that reason, LOL!

    @jaifaim As I type, you’re already having lunch (or are even already done with lunch, as you’re 6 hours ahead of me), so I hope it was completely delightful and that tonight’s dinner gathering is equally joyful!

    @gardenlily Some days are simply like yesterday, right? So shrug, remember how yummy the fish and chips were, how fun it was to enjoy it with your DH, and remember how the rest wasn’t so delightful but was simply a knee jerk reaction; we learn from all that, and move on. Kind words to ourselves, remember? 🥰🤪👍

    The big thing tonight is a normal Midweek Advent service…except big mouth here suggested to DH, the pastor, that we gear it to children, include supper, and make gingerbread nativity scenes, using graham crackers for that. And, of COURSE I can make supper for everyone; that will be easy! Oh, and you’re supposed to provide snack for the class that starts at 4? Yeah, I’ll pick it up and help you serve it. GAH. I forget I’m not superwoman. So at one o’clock, I’m making a triple batch of hamburger-vegetable-barley soup and putting hotdogs in a crock pot (standing them up is apparently the way to do it) and bought hearty bread to go with it; the soup will simmer all afternoon. At three o’clock two other women are helping me sort out all the candy, frosting, etc. for the nativity scenes. At four o’clock I help serve snacks then come home and teach a piano lesson and then at five o’clock it all begins. I’m sure it will be great fun, but why I think it’s reasonable to undertake such a huge thing at this busy time of year without realizing how daunting it will feel and be? No idea. It’s the natural enthusiasm that isn’t always tempered with intelligence, LOL!

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone. Now to get this day going!

    Pocket List Day 14

    Day 14 – USA/GA – FD(?)

    Weigh-in: 216 lbs. OK, I am starting to feel a little better (I say with a stuffy head, sore ribs and a slightly sore throat). But I thought I might just make today a FD of sorts because I had forgotten one of the common side effects of COVID is…. lost of smell and taste. I don’t think I suffered that when I first got COVID in late 2020, but now, fully vaccinated and with all the boosters taken, well — it happened, although the duration of it all does seem to be shortened 🙂

    I could make out sweetness, spiciness, bitterness, saltiness, etc., but by mid-day yesterday, I realized I really couldn’t tell what I was eating beyond that. So, if I can’t enjoy any flavors, why bother! Let me just give the digestive tract a break and spend that energy built up to fight the virus. So, just as I have been doing, the plan is lots of water, and I’ll add lots hot broth today. If I do munch on something, I’ll do some soup or a few small crackers. In other words, it won’t be a WFD, but probably a traditional FD500 or FD800. And I’ll give myself permission to break it if I feel I need a boost.

    My mom has the same symptoms as I did on Sunday, but her COVID test came out negative. So much going around. She did get the flu shot, just as I did. Who knows what it is.

    That’s my update. @gardenlily Thanks for the bits of holiday trivia! I will have to go back once my energy stores have returned, and catch up on it all!

    Pocket List Day 14
    @northgeorgia (?)

    second post

    @northgeorgia I love your RESOLVE. I hope the decision to make this a FD blesses you with all sorts of PFDS tomorrow, and that you feel measurably better each day. As to your mom…suppose it was a false negative?

    Day 14 UK FD800

    TL:DR The last few days have been a bit of a blur. I’m still here but not fasted.

    Monday was snow, meetings & carol service – which ended with a reception. Cue half a glass of mulled wine & a mince pie unleashing the inner dragon to consume a whole bar of chocolate and an inability to sleep until after 4am! Tuesday was full on practical & project work until mid afternoon then into town (third day running!) around train strikes and snow to help lead a vigil. Cue home for healthy supper followed by a whole bag of lentil crisps. I’ve been getting through the barriers but v tired & v cold and not fasting or sleeping well.

    Today I’ve been pottering with project work but have FIVE things to fit in by the end of the week which is going to be challenging! I’m also juggling home stuff – sold the over-sized sofa, bought one that fits better – one out on Friday one in on Saturday. Also working out how best to clean upholstery, advertising on freecycle and facebook marketplace, buying new blind and arranging fitting, arranging help from lovely friends re curtain-hanging, furniture-moving, chair-mending; talking with family re Christmas food and rejigging online grocery order..

    It’s a bit full on and I’m getting very confused! But I don’t have to go out again until Sunday which is great 🙂 I’ve loaded up on protein with OMAD eggs & beans, bath and an early night. Need to work on sleep because that is foundational

    Really good to catch up with posts tho sorry so many people are unwell. @northgeorgia @brightonbelle @penz @linda.b I hope you all feel much better very soon

    @stitchincarol Belated Birthday wishes to you for Saturday x The very best of luck with your incredibly ambitious and wonderfully generous ministry of hospitality today 🙂

    @coda lovely to hear from you tho I’m sorry for your sad losses. Congratulations on your second grandson – and so glad to hear you are seeing your older grandson regularly too. You must be really fit to play squash twice a week – and pickleball! Take good care x

    @gardenlily hope everything went well with the hospital and DH feels better

    @jaifaim hope you’ve had a lovely day celebrating with your groups of friends 🙂

    Day 15, NFD, Aus

    Caught up with a friend last night whom we’ve not seen all year. He’s lost 18kg in 3 months (!!) following a strict keto diet. He looks amazing and it was very inspirational to see him. (Not that I am considering replacing the 5:2 approach with keto, by the way.)

    Fascinating interplay between St Nick and Father Christmas.

    Thanks, @gardenlily – still not 100% but feeling pretty good (and v glad not to have caught the Spicy Cough). Glad to read you’re on the road to recovery, @northgeorgia, and finding the positives in your lack of senses.

    Nanny State indeed @stitchincarol – I just hate when rules replace personal responsibility. And it sounds like you really ARE superwoman – go you for being such a superstar looking after everyone. I bet you’ll sleep extra well tonight! (or rather last night).

    Wow @michelinme, you’re juggling a lot right now. You must be very pleased to now have a properly fitting sofa!

    Day 15 Melbourne, Australia FD

    My FDs are going okay atm, but the bingeing brain lizard comes out on my NFDs. To the extent that I’m contemplating ADF. Doing a FD today and I’ll see how I go tomorrow.

    michelinme stitchincarol my goodness, I am exhausted just reading everything you are doing.

    I am going to my father’s today. My stepmother has a “feed the world” attitude to visitors which I find difficult to cope with as it is so pushy. It actually makes it easier to keep saying no to food. I’ll go via a market and try to get some mangoes (they are in season and very yummy) for them.

    I’m glad the unwell people are feeling better slowly. It will be interesting how doing a FD while feeling unwell works for you northgeorgia.

    Day 14 USA (Illinois) NFD

    Oh my goodness gracious. I am so glad I popped in today to read that the ONE AND ONLY @coda has returned with greetings and news! I don’t believe many of you know that when she and her DH were due to come to the USA, they flew into Chicago. I was able to meet them at the airport, spend some quality tourist time (Sears/Willis Tower, downtown, Lincoln Park) with them and another Chicago 5:2’er at the time for dinner. Such fond memories! They then took the train all the way across the northern US states to Glacier National Park. Oh my, was that the summer of 17 or 18? A while back….Still family court issues makes me sad for them all, but glad for the new grandson.

    @stitchincarol – Sounds like I also missed your birthday, Carol. Sure do hope it was happy — sounds like you ARE trying to be Superwoman at church and all! Take care of yourself.

    @michelinme – whew! Try to take it easy!

    Dangerous December? Hope it isn’t for you all!

    Onward and downward.

    Pickle Ball – a fairly new phenomenon of a game, but I remember our physical ed teachers doing a tournament with our middle schoolers (12-13 years old) at least 15 years ago. Where I go to Silver Sneakers, they use 2 indoor tennis courts for about 4 courts of PB. Lots of players!

    Day 14 USA/HI FD 800
    Accidental FD 800 today as I was running around with appointments followed by work related tasks and didn’t have time to eat. Really feels good to see I got in a FD 800 this week.
    Hopefully the scales will be kind to me tomorrow morning.

    Day 15 – UK Cam – NFD – HALF WAY THRU’ DECEMBER!!

    Can’t believe that there are just 10 days left before Christmas. Good news, though, scales showed that yesterday’s 800FD was worth it with drop of 1.5lb so back to where I was before the take-out lunch! I guess it wasn’t just the lunch that made the difference but might have been the straw – camel’s back etc. Just need to be careful on NFDs with the nibbling – very difficult this time of year when there is so much baking and food prep going on.

    Today is a full-on day for me with GD coming over to decorate our tree and help with some birch twig wreaths for indoors, then over to her’s to continue our role play game with her farm – lego put away for moment as it took over the dining room 🙁
    I need to tidy up, hide all the unwrapped gifts that are scattered about the spare room and delve in the freezer for something tempting for her lunch – she is a bit picky but it will probably be bacon rolls and crisps (chips for the US folk). Not very healthy but, hey, she’s at Granny’s so no food rules. DH hanging in there, waiting for scan results and hoping to get Dr appointment before weekend to get some fresh meds for his chest infection. Feeling a bit low coz he can’t do much.

    @stitchincarol – you ARE superwoman – I can’t believe that you are doing so much and all at once. Make sure you sit down and take a deep breath occasionally! I am in total awe.

    @penz – interesting to hear how your friend had such a success with keto diet – I’ve read up about it but it’s not for me. I find this 5:2 works so well, why change (if it ain’t broke, why fix it?). Hope you continue to make a good recovery, healthwise.

    @malee57 – hope the visit to your dad went/goes well. It is always difficult when relatives, especially a mom, offer food you don’t want. My DD is always offering casseroles or cake as she bakes loads – I usually take the casseroles but turn down the cake.

    @michelinme – all these strikes right now, in this weather – not good for anyone! Same advice as given to Carol – take a break occasionally and deep breath. And keep well wrapped up – minus 8C outside this morning here – DH stepped out with the dog and quickly came back in! Actually the cold dry air is good for his breathing but not so good for his circulation 🙁

    @northgeorgia – you definitely don’t sound very well and let’s hope your mum isn’t going down with it, sometimes the tests don’t pick up the virus in the early stage. Take good care of yourselves.

    Right, got to move and get some chores done – including taking dog out in those sub-zero temps.

    Pocket List Day 15 – jump on if you’re fasting today!


    Sinter Claes arrived in America with the Dutch settlers in the 17th century along with the expectation of children that they would received gifts on the eve of 6th December. This gift giving moved to Christmas Eve (possibly due to the proximity of Thanksgiving) but the custom was not universal until Professor Clement C. Moore’s poem ‘A Visit From St Nicholas’ was sent to the Troy Sentinel newspaper on 23 December 1823.

    It is widely believed to be the source of our modern-day image of Santa Claus. It is often printed with the incorrect title ‘The Night Before Christmas’. The white-bearded figure arrives in secret, coming down the chimney bringing toys to place in the waiting stockings. His sleigh was pulled by 8 reindeer (no Rudolph yet) – probably thought to be less frightening to children than an 8-legged horse! He is chubby and plump, has a red nose and is smoking a pipe.

    There is some debate about the authorship of the poem, however, as many scholars wonder why the tobacco-hating and very devout Moore would write about a pipe smoking Santa and make no mention of the nativity.

    However, it is the illustrations of Thomas Nast, published annually with the poem in Harper’s Weekly from 1863 that give us our modern image of Santa wearing boots and a furry suit with wide belt. It is during this period that Santa crosses the Atlantic to Britain. At the time, Santa’s outfit often appeared in green or even blue rather than red. It was the Norman Rockwell illustrations in the 1920s Saturday Evening Post that fixed his red and white outfit firmly in our minds.

    Finally, the Coca-Cola advert took over – illustrations by Swedish artist Haddon Sundblom first appeared in 1931 showing a bear-headed Santa holding a glass of Coca-Cola rather than his pipe. Behind him was the Coca-Cola sign with the legend ‘My hat’s off to the pause that refreshes’.

    What a long way the image and story have come since those early, pre-Christian times!

    Check out this link for some C-C info (not my source!!)

    ooops, should be bare-headed, not bear-headed (what a lovely image of Santa!!)

    Day 15 – South Africa – FD

    @penz – on the subject of nanny states – I was just reading about New Zealand’s plan to outlaw the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after 2008 in a bid to eventually phase out smoking. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Maybe it will just create a black market for cigarettes, just as prohibition did for alcohol 🤔

    @sttichincarol – phew?! I hope your schedule & plans went smoothly?

    Not the best night’s sleep, so not really in the mood for fasting. Here goes… 🙄

    Pocket List – Day 15🍒 – jump on if you’re fasting today

    Day 15 UK CD

    Hi friends , I’m back ! I’ve no idea what I’ve been suffering with but it really knocked me for 6 , thank goodness we are having a quiet Christmas or I’d be in panic mode having completely lost a few days , taking it easy today so I’ll catch up on posts and hopefully be back to normal tomorrow 🎄

    Day 15 – Rural Nebraska, USA – WFD (haven’t weighed yet)

    Slept really well–right up until 4:50am when I woke and didn’t go back to sleep. So I’m up and wrapped up in a quilt, listening to Christmas music while I chat with you.

    Our event last night was wonderful. Hugely chaotic with 27 adults and 19 children, but wonderful, with lots of laughter and grins and good cheer. The food was almost all eaten, the graham cracker nativity scenes were a massive hit, and I think that event has instantly turned into an annual thing. I can assure you I will NOT be doing it all–and possibly not even anything, LOL–in future years. By 6:50 last night, I was at 9800 steps, just from working in the kitchen and generally getting ready, LOL. It did hit me when I got home that I need to be gentle on me; there are tons of bugs flying around, especially influenza, and I want to be strong and healthy so I can resist anything that tries to attack my body.

    @michelinme What is “TL:DR”? Your whole chatter about all you’re tackling and accomplishing is impressive! I worry that you’re going to crash, so do be careful to go gentle on yourself as much as possible. It sounds like your Christmas celebration with your mum and DD is going to be just exactly what you are envisioning!

    @penz You haven’t talked about your job in quite awhile; are you enjoying it these days?

    @songbirdme I knew you’d be thrilled to have heard from @coda, and I can just imagine how thrilling that visit with her and her DH was!

    @gardenlily Particularly fascinating info today on Santa Claus, and especially this bit about Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas”: “There is some debate about the authorship of the poem, however, as many scholars wonder why the tobacco-hating and very devout Moore would write about a pipe smoking Santa and make no mention of the nativity.”

    @brightonbelle I’m glad you were finally feeling well enough to post! I hope you’re even better tomorrow. 👍💪

    Astonishingly enough, I’m struggling to keep my eyes open (it’s 6:45), so I’m going to crawl back in bed and see if I can sleep a bit…even a little more will be helpful, I’m sure.

    Have a grand one, everyone!

    Day 15 – USA/GA – NFD

    Weigh-in: 213 lbs. Yesterday did turn into a WFD. Food still has no taste this morning as I broke the fast. Well good, that will stop any potential binges, especially tomorrow, as I hope to return to work fully masked and distanced — and when we do a celebration at the restaurant, maybe broccoli will taste like pizza, beets will taste like doughnuts, and steamed greens like french fries!

    My mom is going in for a more accurate COVID test at the doctor today so they can decide on treatment options. I suspect (and probably my dad, too) that it is COVID. I mean we did have a meal together on Friday before I exhibited any symptoms.

    Day 15 Northern Ireland checking in

    Hello all

    Thank you all – you all gave me a lovely warm fuzzy feeling inside 🙂
    It was like meeting friends not seen for a while but just like old times.

    @gardenlily – love all your fun facts and information on Christmas.
    @stitchincarol – how do you do it? – I feel like a lie down from just reading what you have been up to!
    @jaifaim @penz @maui @funshipfreddie @michelinme @brightonbelle and of course @songbirdme 🙂 how nice to see old friends, oldies, meant in the best possible way, and new friends, newbies – thank you

    As @songbirdme has mentioned she met my DH and I at Chicago airport June 2017. There she was standing with a sign, with my name, Coda written on a board 🙂 This was a holiday planned for my 60th birthday and meeting @songbirdme was definitely one of the highlights. She was our personal tour guide, we couldn’t get over the size of Lake Michigan. We then all met up with another forum member at that time @chicagotowngal for dinner. DH and I then journeyed across America ending up in Seattle where we met another forum member @back2thefuture and her DH for dinner. Hard to believe that was over 5 years ago but a lovely holiday to remember.

    I don’t think of myself as very fit but I enjoy squash and now pickleball. It keeps me moving – and while I am moving I am still alive lol. It is also a way of switching off the brain on things that overwhelm me and just concentrate on the game.
    I believe Pickleball originated in the USA back in 60’s but has really caught on now. Played by all ages and physical abilities. If any of you fancy giving it a go I highly recommend it.

    You are all an inspiration and you should all be very proud of yourselves.

    I hope those that are ill or are recovering from illness feel better soon.

    If you would try me one thing for me though – everyday when you wake up – look in the mirror and say something kind. Even wink at yourself and say – NAME you got this, you can do this!

    Love to all Coda x

    Day15 USA/HI FD800
    Going for another FD800 as I have busy day with appointments for both of us with dermatologist at 12:45om. Thinking it should be easy to avoid eating till later in the afternoon. My son isn’t here so a fellow artist friend of DH is riding along with us. It’s nice to have help if challenges with getting DH out of the car and up to the dictum’s office etc. Usually he’s ok but sometimes it appears he has forgotten how to standup and walk. Anyway, I’ll be thankful when we are safely back at home and will have a nice late lunch here at the house when we return. Around 3pm so it will be lupper (lunch and supper) for me.At least that’s the plan I am visualizing lol
    Wishing everyone a great day!

    Day 16, NFD, Aus

    Funny you mentioned the NZ cigarette ban, @funshipfreddie. I think that was announced a few years ago (or it seems like a few years ago) and I’d completely forgotten about it. When Australia announced plain packaging of cigarette boxes years ago there was all sorts of predictions about how it would decimate the industry. They sued the Government and years (and lost) later not much has changed.

    Thanks for asking @stitchincarol. I had an epiphany the other day. I like the people I work with. I feel like we’re achieving good outcomes. But I’m just not enjoying the job. Why? I’m just tired of working!! Planning the day when I get stop working full time…. Glad to hear your evening was such a success.

    Ah if only broccoli tasted like pizza, @northgeorgia!

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    Day 15 Ohio, US — FD800
    Days 13 and 14 — NFD

    Since Monday it has been rough — getting a lot of chores done in order to meet end of the year deadlines while going through two days of “energy drain,” where doing the least little thing was really painful. I’m hoping that this FD will help to reset the system.

    @penz and @funshipfreddie A city in Ohio has just banned flavored e-cigarettes, and boy! the industry is fighting it!

    @maui Hope the visit to the dermatologist went very smoothly!

    @coda There is nothing like a good ball game for some attitudinal adjustment! Playing racketball kept me sane while I was in graduate school.

    @northgeorgia Hope that you get the best possible news about your folks, and that you all are on mend!

    @stitchincarol Hope you had a great second sleep!

    @brightenbelle Good news that you are getting better!

    Pocket List – Day 15🍒 – jump on if you’re fasting today

    Day 16 Melbourne, Australia NFD

    Yesterday’s FD went well. It is easier to not eat if I have someone pushing me to eat.

    Today I went out for lunch with a new friend. She works at the hospital I do and today was the first time we had caught up outside of work. She is working this afternoon, and we had an early lunch at a restaurant. My word this lassie can eat. She said she generally eats only one meal per day. And wow I did not even try to keep up with her. Her job is very physical, so I know where all the energy goes. I like making new friends.

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