The Third Annual Silly Season Challenge

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  • Morning all. Welcome TigerAnne.

    Late up and about this morning and feeling a little jaded. We had a really good day yesterday with the nearest set of kids/grandchildren. Surprisingly playing games after lunch with an open tin of chocolates on the table didn’t do any damage, I had already done that in the run up to Christmas. FD today. We seem to have a lot of sensible vegetables in the house. I will complete this challenge weighing less than when I started, but my ambitious target is looking tricky

    Speaking of sabotage. OH has just produced an enormous traditional Christmas Cake. The kind that probably has more dried fruit than flour and which at regular intervals after it was made was fed with booze. To be fair, I knew of it’s existence but in the run up to Christmas we had both forgotten that it was trucked away in the cupboard. The good news is that if I am strong they keep for a very long time and can be frozen. The bad news is that I am really very fond of them and not very strong.

    Just popping in to say I think I’ve kept my veggies challenge successful, although Christmas day was too hectic to be sure. It makes for interesting conversations as people think about ‘what counts as 5 serves of veg’. Just like the discussions we have on here.

    I enjoyed a delicious apricot from the trifle, thanks to LJoyce’s list.
    But I did eat too many nuts: salted almonds and cashews, so I am having a fasty fast day today and no snacks tomorrow!

    LJoyce, the ‘cup of salad equals half a cup of other vegetables equals one serve’ seems to work out well for me. The leaves take up so much space but I generally have lots of things between the leaves, and a bit of dressing damps them down a bit.

    I’m feeling jaded too Penguin.

    Good morning,

    Cinque, nuts are a weakness of mine too. I think it’s partly the salt and also the roasting that encourages us to keep eating – raw unsalted nuts I can be restrained with. I’m so glad you got to have an apricot for dessert. I suspect fruit will feel like a real treat for a while, given how long it’s been since you’ve allowed yourself to have it.

    Penguin, you thought that final batch of mince pies was going to be the last waistline challenge for a while, and then the christmas cake arrives. You are right, it keeps very well and freezes well. It’s also a very rich flavour so you might be able to convince yourself that a smaller piece will be just as satisfying – sorry is that a foolish hope.

    Sorry to hear so many of you are feeling jaded today. My FD yesterday set me up nicely – I’m feeling lean today. Although I am expecting today’s lunch to be very indulgent and I doubt is lean is a work I would apply to the anticipated meal of to the way I will feel afterward.

    I hope those of you fasting feel great tomorrow.

    Penguin, that’s what we call a Fruit Cake here and I love them too. Unfortunately, I’m the only one here who does so if I buy or make one I would eat the whole thing. And I’m pretty sure the preserved candied fruit wouldn’t count as a serving of fruit. 😁 It seems like a dessert that people either love or hate, not many in between. You don’t want to even think what the calories in that thing would be! It’s definitely a NFD dessert!

    LJ, great that you’re ahead of the game this week. I’m almost tempted to do another FD tomorrow (Thursday) instead of Wed/Fri. I’m not fond of B2B FD, but it might speed up the weight loss.

    Penguin, as Christmas has already passed, why not store that cake until next Christmas? As Mrs P. has lovingly created it over some months and fed it plenty of alcohol, it will keep for ages.

    Back above my trigger weight this morning, which is not really surprising after two consecutive Christmas dinners. I’m not feeling jaded but confident I can fix it today. Firstly, a walk in a lovely cool 27C (apparently there’s a new baby dolphin in the river park as added incentive) and a FD where I will try to postpone my first feeding from 2pm to 5pm again.

    CalifD, good luck with the B2B if you do it. So, you’ve already done one? How’s your sister coping?

    Cinque, well done with the veggie challenge. LJ, I use a lot of spinach leaves in dishes (Cinque’s mung bean soup, for example). A 500g bag of it disappears to nothing when wilted.

    LJ, I am not sure that I understand the concept of a smaller piece of Christmas cake. I am near 2 metres tall and believe that in this area a form of relativity theory is valid.

    Cali, it isn’t just the Christmas Cake – there is also the even richer large fruit filled Christmas pudding made by our daughter and as yet un-eaten because we went to the family for Christmas lunch, where for pud we had a sticky toffee apple cake made by OH.

    Thin, they do indeed last. Our daughter makes several Christmas puds every year and one of hers sat in a cupboard for two years before we ate it. However, this Christmas pud is on Sunday’s menu. Because OH, who is not particularly fond of rich fruity cakes, made this one for me it would be churlish not to eat it. Although I now live in the south-west I am a northerner and to us the New Year is a very significant event, also associated with rich fruit cakes and lots to drink, so it will survive until then. Between now and then OH and I will fit in some FDs. The first was today.

    Happy Feast of Stephen, everyone. The snow is not ‘deep and crisp and even’ or even existent, but oh well.
    Sunday Dec 23: weight = 107.6 same as I weighed on Dec 1
    Monday Dec 24: weight = 108.2 uh-oh
    Tuesday Dec 25: weight = 108.5 arrrgh
    Wednes Dec 26: weight = 108.0 no explanation for that loss, but I’ll take it.

    Christmas was lovely. We stayed home, except for our annual Christmas Morning Walk [about 1.5 miles]. We opened gifts, ate tons of Stollen and Pretzel, cooked together, ate roast beef, Yorkshire Pudding, creamed onions, green beans with roasted red peppers, and Buche de Noel. The boys and I made a big dish of Brussel Sprouts roasted with bacon — yum! ODH turned up his nose, but did try one. Then we hung out some more in front of the fire. A good time en famille.

    Today was a ‘Fast Day.’ ODH + I had Roman Breakfast* and for dinner a Croque Madame which I calculated at 310 calories. But ODH broke open the toffee his sister sends every year, and Older Son made his best-ever baguettes, and we all shared some dark chocolate after dinner… Not exactly the way Dr Mosley plans it. Hope I lose a few ounces for tomorrow. Tomorrow might be a Fast, or a 1/2 Fast.

    *Roman Breakfast: 270 calories 3.5 g fat 4.2 g fiber 14.2 g protein 41 g carbs [– g Complex Carbs] 187 mg Calcium PB Though a bit unusual, this is a very good plate of breakfast food, based on foods available to Romans in the 1st century BCE. It is satisfying and flavorful. Try it.
    1 Pan Muffin [see ..Not by Bread.. Feb-7-’18] 1 oz pear 1 oz cooked chicken 1 oz radish 1 oz cucumber ½ medjool date = ¼ oz blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon in hot water 5-6 oz green smoothie or fruit smoothie or unpasturized apple cider
    Dice all the fruits and vegetables. Add a good finishing salt and gently stir to combine. HINT: I did this the night before and refrigerated the mixture. Prepare the pan muffin or take from freezer with time to thaw/heat. In the time it takes to brew the coffee, you can plate the muffin and the fruit-veg mixture.

    It will be tough to get into Fighting Trim by Jan 1. Older Son departs tomorrow following Linner. Maybe if I don’t eat the rest of the day, it will help.

    Happy Fasting, if you are on Thursday. Sounds as if some of you are doing really well. Excellent.

    A quick check in, we are going into town shortly. A remarkably successful FD yesterday, considering that it was unplanned and all of the decisions were last minute. Two more days like that and I will have achieved the ambitious weight loss target I set at the start of this challenge. As fasting_me says, sometimes there is no explanation for the loss, but we will take it.

    It turned out to be a different day. We went into town to change a Christmas present we had bought for one of the grand children – it was a good idea but we got the technology spec wrong. The town was very quiet, i have never seen the multi storey car park so empty. Having done that we popped into our local supermarket to buy some veg. They were selling their Christmas specials at less than half price. For some reason it seemed a good idea to buy another Christmas pudding and some frozen Beef Wellingtons – as the family cook I would normally resist this temptation, but they were very cheap! In the afternoon we managed a short walk, only three miles, but at least we got some fresh air. Came home and ate some venison sausages with a variety of veg. I must confess to a couple of whisky and waters.

    Penguin, a couple of years ago, I purchased a very cheap Christmas Pud just after Christmas. On getting it home, I noticed its expiration date was the following November.

    FM, that certainly is an unusual breakfast. Glad you had fun with your sons both home. You’re probably the only one here to have lost weight the day after Christmas.

    I had a good 350 cal FD yesterday. After my walk, I was back below 60kg (just, 59.9kg). This morning, I’ve broken through the 59.7kg stalemate and am now 59.6kg. With no other events for the year, I’m confident of meeting my SSC goal.

    It sounds like everyone is making inroads on any Christmas weight gain.
    I had an indulgent food day yesterday but did not go overboard so I expect some careful days will take care of any gain.

    Hi Challengers. A real quick check in. 67.3kg this morning. Happy Quacky.
    Really haven’t eaten many naughty foods over this period except for some Brie which I did share ( lucky for them as I love cheese)
    I must admit there is a wheel of Camembert in the fridge that will just keep calling to me until I smash it (I mean eat it delicately over several days, of course. Uh huh)
    So yes there will most probably be a confession coming up in the next couple of days
    Take care all 🙂

    Hello SCC people, happy ‘Twixmas and best wishes for a peaceful 2019!

    Hello TigerAnne – thank you for asking me about my top tips! I have to confess, I’m no more expert than the other contributors to this wonderful thread – but I’m flattered that you asked me! In addition to the tips already given – which I agree with 100% – I would also say be persistent and be patient, especially on days when nothing seems to be happening on the scales. If you stick with the basic 5:2 advice, you will eventually shift the fat, along with the excess water (which I believe was the main cause of my ‘fat fingers’).If you also build in a good exercise regime into your routines, you will maintain – even build – your muscle mass. You can look forward to a more streamlined profile, better health, more energy, more choice of clothes – what’s not to like?!

    Having said that, despite all the (food) dodging and swerving earlier in the month, I have somehow gained a whopping 6lb in 1 week! So today is a much-needed FD. Sadly I doubt I will achieve my 150lb target maintenance goal, but I aim to get back there early in January.

    Good luck all SSC challengers out there – just keep on keeping on, you know it’s worth it!

    For some reason, my weight this morning was down to 107.7 lbs [48.8 kg] and I couldn’t be more pleased. Did not starve yesterday either. Want an unusual breakfast? Yesterday our 2nd Son prepared a Japanese soup with an egg in it. Warm, spicy, very flavorful, and good. Not our usual fare, but I think it qualifies as a meal under 300 calories. Linner at 1:30 in afternoon, before 1st Son left for airport. Slices of roast beef [thin ones] served with roasted sprouts and Tattie Scones for ODH and me, but more starch for the Sons. Lots of Christmas Cookies afterward [I baked 13 varieties and the menfolk are determined to eat one of each at a sitting. I think I had 3].

    FatF: I hope today’s Fast will set you on track again. Could be that 6 pounds will correct itself quickly. Although I am where I want to be now, New Year’s Eve will be a challenge. We start at the neighbors for Pot Luck dinner, then come to our house for dessert at Midnight. Eating that late will surely show up on the scales on Jan 1st.

    Quacka, well done on your weight at 5:34 this am. What are your NY Eve plans?

    LJoyce: how often do you weigh?

    Thin: good job with the weight. That’s what its all about.

    Penguin: can’t resist a bargain, can we? That’s why I bought the 2# of Brussel Sprouts the other day. Happily, by Christmas our freezers are VERY full so it is easy to resist temptation. Then for the first 2-3 months of 2019 I will insist that we ‘eat down’ the supplies to make room for more.

    Cali: ditto what you said about fruit cake. There aren’t many good ones out there in the stores — dense with artificially colored fruits, they are more suitable as door-stops. But a good one can be quite nice.

    Cinque, TigerAnne: how is Christmas Week treating you?

    Freezing rain at the moment, turning to rain as temperatures rise to around 40 F/ 5 C. Where’s the snow?

    fasting_me. Indeed so. I run three freezers, two free standing large uprights and a built in about a metre tall. It used to be three uprights but in a moment of weakness I gave one away. Because I grow a lot of my own fruit and veg and buy frozen fish about once a month from a guy with a van, they are usually too full for spontaneous purchases. Currently they are very full.

    The first of the beef Wellingtons has gone, accompanied by some dauphinoise potatoes I made with the cream left over from OH’s Christmas Day toffee apple pudding and a cabbage. To follow we started the Christmas Cake. OH is from Yorkshire so it was eaten with a slice of Wensleydale cheese. As a Monkey Hanger I consider this a strange southern habit, but i have learned to live with it. Not really an FD or, considering the red wine, even a sensible NFD.

    I gained only a gram overnight which I’m happy about, considering all the sugar and fat I ate yesterday. So this morning’s weight is 60.5 and it’s a FD. I will be happy if I can just get into the 59’s by tomorrow. I think I will use Jan 3rd as the end of my SSC due to holiday meals on New Years Eve and a Day. I think thin (Or was it someone else here?) said they were using the 3rd as well.

    LJ, you seem to be getting a good amount of exercise with all the walking lately and food preparation. That should help with any holiday indulgences.

    Thin, congrats on the 59.9 yesterday. 350 calories would be a tough FD for me. I’ve managed 425 a few times, but usually I’m right at 500. I think it’s great that you can manage that.

    FM, 13 varieties of Christmas cookies is a lot of baking! Glad the guys are determined to get through them so they won’t be a temptation sitting around for too long a time.

    Penguin, all the holiday desserts sound wonderful. I think this would be a good time of the year to be in the UK. The food all sounds so Christmasy.

    FF, that 6 pounds is probably mostly water weight. It would be hard to gain that much in a week, especially with FD’s, unless you went really crazy. You probably still have a shot at your goal.

    Quacka, cheese has the potential to be one of the biggest causes of weight gain because of all the fat in it. It’s also easy to overeat on it once you start. I had some brie and some smoked goat cheese last night. I don’t often eat cheese by itself. Mostly I eat it in other foods. But these two were very nice. I cut off two reasonably sized pieces of each and wrapped the rest up and put it away.

    I’ve lost weight already! After the meals with family on 24th, 25th, 26th I was 74.6kg, and this morning 74.0kg. Awesome!
    Fasting_me I think that answers your question, somehow I managed to eat what I wanted on 3 days, and then with one fast day and yesterday’s sensible NFD I have lost 0.6kg.

    Congratulations TigerAnne, what a lovely start!

    I didn’t manage my challenge yesterday, I think I ate about 4 serves of veggies.
    I’ll work to make today VERY plant based!

    LJoyce, I do keep trying fruits, even though I know that my health is much better without them, and also that I invariably undermine myself. eg I will buy a barely ripe mango, thinking that because it is barely ripe it will have much less sugar. I will eat a cheek and congratulate myself the next day that I feel fine, so I eat the other cheek, and Oh the stone is there with flesh on it, so I chew on that,.. and spend the next three days getting over it.
    I did the same thing on Christmas day: I had a piece of watermelon because I know one piece doesn’t usually affect me. Then I had a glass of wine and water (only about 2 tbsp of wine) because a tiny bit of wine doesn’t usually affect me. And then I saw the gorgeous apricots my sister bought from the farmer’s market and cooked for the trifle, and let myself eat piece of one (with a bit of cream and custard clinging to it…
    I have just recovered.

    So, I wonder if I will learn this time?

    (Everyone else who is reading this in amazement, I have an idiosyncratic response to sugar. It might be something to do with chronic illness (me/cfs) compounded by how sedentary I need to be to manage that illness. )

    On the plus side, I feel recovered now, from excess sugar AND from the hecticness. I had an amazingly good sleep for me (I think I had 5 hours straight!) and my new fridge is being delivered today!

    Lovely to read all your posts and I’m impressed at how well people have managed their challenges. Cheers.

    Good morning SSCs

    TigerAnne, That is an excellent start. If you can make this work over christmas then it can work for you all the time.

    Cali, I think you can use whichever end point to this challenge suits you, especially of you have early new year food challenged to get through.
    Yes I’m getting a reasonable amount of exercise but it’s erratic. I seem to be alternating between weeks where I far exceed my planned hours and week where I barely manage half. This week my exercise hours have been low but I’m hoping to squeeze 2 x 1 hour walks in today which will help – the cool change has arrived which makes it much easier to contemplate doing both morning and afternoon walks.

    Penguin, thank goodness for google or I never would have deciphered “monkey hanger”. Google tells me you hail from Hartlepool, not that I know exactly where that is – I have a vague idea.
    I’m rather fond of Beef Wellington too – lovely meal for a cold night – glad you enjoyed it.

    FF, you have my sympathies with the weight gain. The only thing I will say is that a gain like that in a very short period of time is likely to include very little body fat gain. I’m sure a couple of FDs will put a good dent in it.

    FM, I have a difficult history with the scales so my normal habit these days to to way rarely and allow my clothing (especially my tightest jeans) to tell me whether my weight is stable (I’ve been in maintenance for a while). There was a lengthy period of time while losing weight where I weighed obsessively – daily or even more. Unfortunately I react badly when I get a number I think I don’t deserve. I also seem to be one of those people who’s body has a fairly volatile body weight that fluctuates wildly (2-3kg in 24 hours is not unusual for me) with hormone levels and inflammation levels (I have rheumatoid arthritis so there can be a lot of extra fluid around joints). After discussing this with my dietitian some time ago she advised that if weighing isn’t providing helpful reassurance or motivation then it’s not a useful tool for me. She was more concerned with me getting more comfortable being the weight I was now. (A few years ago I was morbidly obese and after getting my weight down from nearly 127kg to 75kg I started to panic about whether I could maintain it. 5:2 has been a perfect maintenance tool for me. Just in the last couple of months I realised I wasn’t afraid anymore.)
    These days I probably weigh approcimately monthly but not on any specific cycle – just when I want to. Because in the challenges everyone seems to report weight as the measure of how they are going, I felt obliged to do the same this month. I did bring the scales back into my bathroom and start weighing more often but my old issues with them quickly reoccurred so I decided to leave them alone for now. I realised I’m not obliged to do what others do if doesn’t suit me. I’ll just weigh myself again sometime around the end of the month to see how things stand.

    Quacka, the cheeseboard was my biggest indulgence christmas day too – mostly brie!

    Cinque, it’s not surprising that it’s hard to stop at one small portion of fruit when you rarely allow yourself to eat it. Mangoes are definitely a high sugar fruit so I understand why you would react to those.

    I hope everyone is managing their post christmas eating in a way they are happy with. I am thankful I don’t have any celebration meals around new year. I do need to bake a black forest cake for my nephew’s wife’s birthday on new year’s day and I suspect a slice of that will be consumed but I’ve already planned for that indulgence.

    What a lot of posts to enjoy with my coffee this morning.

    CalifD, I ate a fairly large plate of Christmas leftovers (again) and I’m now back at 60.3kg. Drat. That’s above my trigger weight. I have made a frothy coffee though in anticipation of getting that under 60kg following my walk. Too much meat this week plus the last of the Christmas ice cream bombe. Yes, 3 Jan is the date I gave to assess the success or otherwise of the challenge. A NYE neighbourhood picnic at the river has since been organised so it’s just as well I said that. I’ll compare notes with you on 3rd and then maybe we can see about re-assessing that goal to get closer to or below 59kg?

    LJ, I don’t know how you get any exercise at a shopping centre. We had the misfortune to visit one yesterday. Firstly, there was inadequate parking which got me off to a grumpy start. The place was jam packed with people idly shuffling along. I could barely get through the throng, let alone get any exercise out of it. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I feel bad that you felt obliged to weigh in daily but I’m glad you’ve settled in to what works best for you. I understand that sense of panic. I sometimes worry that I’ll wake up one day and not want to fast any more. We were overweight for a long time. It takes time to get comfortable with who we are now.

    Penguin, I, too, had to look up Monkey Hanger (I hadn’t read LJ’s post at that point). For some reason, I can’t imagine you with a northern accent.

    FM, miso soup is a frequent FD dinner for me. Recently, I thought it would be a good idea to swirl an egg into it. It was awful. How did your son make the Japanese soup with the egg? I’m agog that you can make 13 varieties of cookie. And all at the same time. I couldn’t even name that many. Perhaps you could weigh yourself just before heading over to the neighbour (at a minute past midnight) and then have the dessert? Or take your travel scales if you have any. Or weigh in with CalifD and me on 3 Jan?

    Cinque, why do you bother contaminating the lovely glass of water with 2 tbs of wine?! I love mangoes. They freeze well so you could eat one cheek, peel and cut up the other, freezing both it and the stone. The latter makes a great icy treat on a hot day. The fibre doesn’t get stuck in your teeth either. I have 18 in my freezer from a tray I bought before Christmas. Enjoy your new fridge, that’s exciting.

    OK, now to get that excess 300gm off one way or another …….

    Thin, walking in the shopping centre is definitely slower than my usual walk and a bit frustrating as I try to weave around the dawdlers. I just walk for a bit longer to make up for the slower pace.

    I just got home from a one hour walk before the first short shower of rain (I was in the literally one minute ahead of it). Hopefully there will be a dry patch sometime this afternoon so I can do another hour – I need to make up some ground for all the exercise I haven’t done this week.

    And you feel like shouting, “5:2!” to all those dawdlers seemingly shuffling sideways.

    A good brisk walk at the river has put me back at 59.8kg – that’s the weight I’m taking for today. Mung bean soup for dinner. No Christmas stuff.

    Thin, I could actually do my final weigh in on the 2nd because I don’t have anything going on that day. But it would be nice to get in another FD before the final SSC weigh in. Tuesday and Thursday will probably be my FDs next week.

    Who was asking about treating a mouth sore? I can’t find the post now and I forgot to reply earlier. We’ve always used a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide. Swish a little bit around the sore in your mouth and let it sit for a minute or so. Then spit it out. (Don’t swallow the peroxide.) This usually gets rid of it within a day. We can buy the 3% hydrogen peroxide at the pharmacy here. It’s very inexpensive.

    Hi guys, is there a quick way to getting to the last post on a thread rather than having to load each page? Please excuse my ignorance 🙏.

    Rosy, I usually select “forum” from the top of the screen, then “active topics” from the pull down list. It lists all topis that have had recent posts. Under the title of each topic it lists the pages – just select the highest number. For example if you follow these instructions for this thread, you’ll see the numbers 1-6 listed – select 6 and it will take you straight to that page which is the most recent page of posts.

    Thanks so much LJoyce !

    CalifD, it was Quacka with the mouth ulcer but on the other thread. I’d suggested alum. And there’s always my grandma’s solution to everything – TCP. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about but Penguin does.

    Hi everyone
    Today’s weight 67.4kg. Not bad, but I haven’t eaten that Camembert yet!!
    Thanks for the suggestions for the mouth ulcer. Where do I get alum? And what is TCP. Was going to try Windex but I don’t know….Cali I’m going to get the hP the alum and the windex if this thing doesn’t go soon!!!

    FM I think NYE will be a nice quiet time at home and then either fishing or the beach the next morning. OH is a surfer so it all depends on the waves. I’m happy to do either. After a couple years waking up on New Year’s Day feeling like dog vomit, I just wont do it to myself again. I like to start the year bright and healthy 🙂

    Scales are nasty things. I weigh almost every day and have learned to take the good with the bad. Don’t trust them. I remember thin saying something to the effect of ‘jump on them, stomp in them, move them around the room until you get the reading you want!’
    I still remember that every time I get a reading I don’t like lol

    TCP: it even specifies mouth ulcers on the bottle.

    Alum: available from the pharmacy in powder form, surely?

    Scales: yes, have a hot shower, go for a walk, jump up and down, say a few choice words, keep moving them around until you get a reading you like.

    Quacka, I get mouth ulcers as a side effect of the RA treatment and the thing that I find works well is “Betadine sore throat gargle”. I just use it a bit like a mouth wash and make sure it gets a chance to rest on the ulcer for about 20 seconds. I do this morning and night and they usually heal quite quickly. All chemists stock this – I get the concentrated one rather than the premixed and I mix it myself – I use a double strength solution for ulcers. (It’s just a form of iodine.)

    It’s been awhile since posting. I’ve continued with tracking foods in diary though figuring calories while traveling not conducive to eating, drinking and being merry, which is what I have been doing while in foodie heaven; Melbourne!

    Mr M and I enjoyed a delicious Christmas Eve brunch with Cinque at a place called MOM cafe which only served heathy eclectic fare. I ordered a bowl full of greens, egg and some activated seeds, very satisfying textures even if the kitchen hand hadn’t completely washed all the sand out of the Bok Choy leaves! I would still return again, just nothing like this offering in cafes up north in the sub-tropics where we live.


    After successfully staying away from all sweets for 2 NFDs things fell apart tonight. My neighbour came over with a slice of the ice cream bombe that she made for christmas. That was dessert tonight, thankfully it was only a small slice.

    Never mind FD tomorrow.

    FM and LJ, thank you for the advice and reassurance. You were absolutely right, it took just 1 FD to despatch 4lb of the Xmas weight gain. Back to 150lb this morning, where I want to be, and hopefully stay until the end of the SSC. It still surprises me how much variation I see on the scales, in such short time periods. Suffice to say, a LOT of water exited my system yesterday. I was drinking lots of fluid, too, mostly water and hot lemon tea. I think I’ll coin a new acronym…WIWO (water in, water out). Enough said!

    TigerAnne, congratulations and keep up the good work! If your fingers are anything like mine, you’ll probably find at some point the excess fluid will suddenly disappear, rather like a balloon being deflated. My rings are even slightly loose now, but I have to ‘fold’ the skin on my ring finger to get them on and off. It doesn’t sound very pretty, but it’s better than the alternative!

    thin, I don’t have much of a northern accent. My Father was from the south-west, the army sent him north during the war, so my accent was always a bit mixed. His career was nomadic, as was mine. By the time I came here at the age of 58 this was house 35, with lots of temporary places in between. That sort of thing, plus a military life working with people from all over your own country and several others, tends to take the edge off your accent. (I think house 35 – I’ve probably forgotten a few).

    The monkey hanger story continues. The town football team has as it’s mascot a man in a monkey suit called “Hangus”. Not Angus – hang us. When our masters decided that there were not enough jobs for politicians and the town should have a full time salaried mayor, Hangus stood for election on a platform of free bananas for all. He won but we didn’t get our bananas. Which proves that monkeys are no more trustworthy than human politicians.

    Good morning everyone,

    I count 6 serves of veggies yesterday, so nearly there. I ate well, so I don’t feel too bad. In fact I feel nice and light.
    Fast day today so let’s see what I can do tomorrow. My garden has plenty of zucchini, the last couple of lettuce, some strawberries, and I picked my first tomato! A cherry tomato, but a big one. So lots of veg on hand!

    Thin, that is a great idea to freeze the rest of the mango! I am intending to stick to the things that don’t push me to the edge of my tolerance for a while, but when I decide to push it (which I probably will, eventually), I will use that strategy and might manage it successfully for once!

    But as for contaminating a glass of water with a little wine (another thing I won’t try again for a while), I was never a great drinker, but oh dear, I miss sharing a glass of wine over a meal! In fact, if I could go back to Christmas Day and (sensibly) only do one of the things, that is probably the one I would choose. It is amazing how well I can taste it through the water when it has been so long. Sigh.

    My new fridge is gorgeous. The plastic freezer drawers are rather weighed down because I have everything in pyrex, but they haven’t broken! And it is so nice having frozen things organized in drawers. The fridge section is a perfect size. So delighted.

    Hi Minka! That was a special cafe wasn’t it! I didn’t tell Thin about the glorious beetroot puree I had, that looked so beautiful against the avocado! 😉 Hoping you find some more deliciousness that fits well with the SSC!

    Fatfingers, hooray for that EOEO (Easy On, Easy Off).

    Penguin, what a story that Monkey Hanger is, poor monkey! But typical politician!

    Best wishes for an excellent day today, fasting, non fasting, and whatever your challenge is!

    Morning all, the challenge is soon drawing to a close. I woke to a surprise 59.8kg today, my Sunday Fast. When I sat to eat my miso soup last night, I found I wasn’t hungry so had just a few spoonsful. Later, of course, I did feel hungry and ate a generous handful of cashews but they don’t seem to have done me in. Tonight, I will have Spanish Fideos for my FD meal as I found a packet of expired Slendier noodles in the pantry.

    Tomorrow’s NYE picnic, it has been revealed, is take your own dinner, not a share meal. Hurray, no damage expected.

    Enjoy that fridge, Cinque. Freezer drawers are the bee’s knees. Your cafe sounds wonderful. Almost.

    Penguin, oh yes, you have told us before that you have moved around a lot.

    Minka, I was drawing up my next worksheet in Excel for 2019 and noticed that I again attempted 6:1 in July following our holiday to Sri Lanka. Scanning over my weight for the year, I remained mostly in the 59s – except for that period immediately following my start of 6:1 where I started bouncing above and below 60kg. Throughout August, I was mostly above. I must have quickly reverted to 5:2 but don’t seem to have recorded when. I hope you have better luck with 6:1. I only seem to be successful when overseas as we tend to walk all day long.

    Thin, I do not want to think what would happen if I went on 6:1… It wouldn’t last long. Lucky you to ‘take your own food’ to the party. Reassuring. We’ll take a contribution to the NYE pot luck, but there everyone shares. Hope there will be something sensible to eat.

    Cinque, isn’t it grand to have a new fridge! But then you have to figure out what will go where and remember where that is. Got my 5 veg/fruit today. Only 4 yesterday.

    FF, I knew the weight would be temporary. hooray.

    LJ, you are stoic to be able to avoid sweets on Slow Days! For Christmas each of our sons brought us chocolates made in their respective cities, and we spent several days after dinner tasting them. There is still some remaining. Get thee behind me, Satan.

    re mouth ulcers: I used to get them on my tongue — painful and exceedingly annoying. For 35 years we have consumed a daily ration of ‘Elixir’ [our name for it] and since then, I have never had another ulcer.
    Elixer = 6 cups water + 1/4 cup honey [warmed] + 1/4-1/3 cup cider vinegar. We drink 8 oz daily. And more if not feeling well. In addition to eliminating oral ulcers, it minimizes illness. My husband used to tell his student teachers to take it and all the teachers in my school would ask me for the recipe since I was always so healthy.

    Happy weekend.

    FM, I sympathise with the chocolate. When recieved as gifts they are hard to resist. Most Christmases I have been given a lot of high calorie snack as presents. This year I decided to head that one off at the pass – when people asked me what I wanted for Christmas I told them. None of my suggestions involved food – actually that’s not true I did get a couple of bottles of good quality local olive oil sourced from the producers.

    FF, well done on the 4 pounds. I suspect that the small gain that remains will be easily dealt with by this week’s FDs.
    Recently gained weight always seems to be the easiest to lose. I find it’s the body fat that’s been there a while that resists our effort to shift it. (Or as Cinque calls it EOEO.)

    Thin, isn’t it interesting what you learn when you look back on the record you kept over the last year. I find this is true for my food diary and also for my annual budget. If you write everything down you can’t hide from it.
    Although that said, I don’t need to even try 6:1 to believe it would be a spectacular failure for me. I barely get by with 5:2.
    Thin, don’t feel any guilt about my issues with the scales – it was my decision to start weighing – because I set a weight target which I don’t normally do. I should know better by now.

    Cinque, I’m just imagining you organising that new freezer. I’ve done a few reshuffles with mine too as I try to work out how best to organise those drawers. Isn’t it such a luxury to have enough freezer space after trying to cram everything in for so long. I do suspect though that I will also manage to fill this one up and still be lacking space.

    Penguin, that’s hilarious that an animal mascot won the election.

    Minka, sounds like you enjoyed your time in Melbourne. If I remember correctly you are heading home today and back to work tomorrow. Travel safe.

    I’ve been considering when to end my SSC – still undecided.

    FF, I neglected to comment on your loss. Well done. I agree with LJ in that I find the body can absorb the occasional digression. It’s when we keep adding one after the other that the kgs (or lbs) pile on. That’s why this WOL is so brilliant. In the past, I would add 3kg over Christmas, then maybe get 1kg off in January. The same for every year’s overseas holiday. Before you know it, you’ve stacked on 3-4kg. With this WOL, we are constantly putting on the brakes and reversing the damage. Love it.

    LJ, what a great idea to request consumables, but locally sourced and healthy. We really struggled with presents for each other this year. I have been downsizing (for years) and don’t want any more ‘stuff’. DD only ever wants ‘experiences’ not stuff. This year, she gave up on PADI diving at the last minute and we convinced her to let us buy her a good pair of rock-climbing shoes and a decent pair of Serengeti sunglasses.

    FM, I like that elixir idea. I feel the same about my milk kefir. I claim it cures/prevents everything!

    Hi Silly Season Challengers! …Home now and I hit the ground running by scheduling in my first fasting day since before we departed for Melbourne! It’s Sunday and I’m fasting!

    So, while I was away, I didn’t fast because it wasn’t feasible for a few reasons, including low cortisol symptoms as a result of the flight down and just plain enjoyment of indulgences that aren’t available in our nearby environment! As a result I let myself indulge and didn’t hold back. I mean this is the Silly Season so I figured it was okay! …And it was, I weighed myself this morning and I’m exactly the weight I was when I started the Silly Season Challenge, which I’m fine about since it is well within my goal weight wiggle room envelope.

    Good thing I did all that TDEE and calorie figuring the couple weeks before we left, since that gave me that spare wiggle room to use up as I enjoyed servings of organic frozen yogurt from ‘Frozen’, chocolate truffles served with tea at the inlaw’s (did my best to eat them mindfully, though began to melt in hand), pre-meal nibbles as part of Christmas lunch and the delicious Christmas pud at the end of that meal, shared desserts with Mr M in cafes on some of the days we were away, extra fun festive snacks found in Melbourne and nowhere else that we’d bring home to devour while watching catch-up episodes of ‘Victoria’ which is a BBC series in which this season shows a youthful Queen Victoria! …We also caught up with the series about Elizabeth the first!

    Cinque, our meal at MOM was one of a couple of the healthiest during our time in Melbourne! Let’s meet there again some time and I’ll order what you had since it looked so delicious, colourful and next time I’ll probably be counting vegetable servings too!

    LJ, well done for you for being able to feel satisfied by enjoying a small slice of that yummy sounding ice cream bombe! I know I would have finished off a large slice and probably seconds! I remember the year Thin made an ice cream bombe for Christmas lunch and it also sounded refreshingly cool and fstively delicious for what we typically experience which is summery hot weather on Christmas Day.

    Thin, interesting reading about your spreadsheet review. I applaud anyone who pulls off 6:1, especially while traveling! I’m chuckling as I write, since now that I’m back up to SSC starting weight, I’m reverting back to 5:2 for awhile and see where it takes me. I’ve greatly benefited from keeping the food diary, and am looking forward to returning to tracking TDEE expenditures and resuming daily weigh ins. All this because I still feel I’m learning to ride/balance on the TDEE horse!

    Unpacking and looking forward to catching up on reading to see how everyone has been faring. A quick skim gave me impression that this has been an overall success.

    Rest day (pretty much, at least I got to sleep in!) as I fast and back to work tomorrow and the next day, which means no staying up to watch New Year’s fireworks for me!

    PS Cinque, I meant to add that the suggestion you offered about simply replying ‘No thanks’ to offerings of food that I’d rather not eat, worked very well while on travels! Though as I wrote, I did indulge with gay abandon at times while away, I only ate what I really wanted to eat.

    Because declining unwanted food in challenging circumstances is actually a new experience for me, I will say that aside from every other way I’ve benefited this Silly Season, I’m starting to consider the trialing of your strategy as my greatest Silly Season Challenge success.

    Admittedly, there was a period of awkwardness after I said ‘No thank you’, to Mr M’s 91 year old mother. In this instance she eagerly passed me the Walker’s shortbread box as tea was being served. When I declined, she perplexedly asked, ‘Aren’t you eating, Minka?!’ at that point I simply re-confirmed, ‘That’s right’ and left it at that. It was great that I didn’t use ‘No thanks, I’m gluten intolerant’ and be offered something else I didn’t fancy as a substitute! The feeling of freedom I felt as I walked away from that social gathering was well worth the few awkward moments!

    Good morning all

    Minka, I sounds like you managed the time away well. I’m in awe that that you did it without FDs. I hope it not too much of a downer to be back at work today.

    Thin, I actually got mostly practical presents that I’d asked for but the olive oil was from a region that one family member lives and where they produce good quality olive oil.

    FD went well yesterday. That was the last for the year.

    I’ve decided to end my SSC today on 31st Dec and evaluate.

    My goals for December were:
    – My minimum standard – gain no weight and do a minimum of 300 minutes of exercise per week.
    – My hopeful aim – lose 3 kg and do 400 minutes of exercise per week.
    – Do 5:2 every week and do non-social NFDs in a controlled way so that those high fat and sugar foods are confined to a few occasions rather than most days.

    So how did I do?:
    – I’ve lost 1.5kg since 1st December.
    – I averaged 317 minutes of exercise per week, but it was very erratic. Some weeks I did nearly double that and others barely any. I need to work on my consistency.
    – I did do 5:2 every week, and I’m pleased that I didn’t resort to adding lots more FDs – which was my solution last christmas. I managed some controlled NFDs, but not as many as I could have – I was too easily distracted especially when being given treats I hadn’t expected.

    All in all I think it’s a reasonable result and I feel good starting the new year without the burden of weight gain from an overindulgent December.
    Thank you all for your support and stories – it’s always easier doing these things together.

    Good morning SSCers

    It is a lovely Goldilocks morning in Melbourne: not too cold, not too hot, just right.

    It was fast day for me yesterday and on my lovely day after fast day morning I have broken my fast with 3 zucchini flower and chive fritters with lettuce and ajvar on toast. Super yummy and one serve of veggies.

    Thin, I am so sure you will have a successful challenge month. Enjoy that lovely bring-your-own-picnic NYE picnic.

    Fasting_me, enjoy your potluck. I do hope there will be some lovely healthy options.

    LJ, Ooh that olive oil! What lovely gifts!
    My main freezer organisation, so far, is to have the smaller bottom drawer full of the condiments etc I keep frozen: grated ginger, turmeric, kafir lime leaves, tomato paste in little portions (after I’ve opened the jar) ditto ajvar, cream, coriander pepper paste, frozen chilies (you right, it makes them hotter!). So nice to have them all in one place.

    Minka, welcome home. I hope you had a relaxing day, and are enjoying being back at work today. Congratulations on keeping your weight sensible with your holiday of extravagances! Yes, another meet up at MOM cafe, it’s a date! I”ll start looking forward to it now!

    Congratulations on that successful ‘No thanks’. The way we were brought up meant we wouldn’t dare to say ‘No’ to anyone, so I know that even though it sounds simple, it is a revolutionary thing to do. I was grateful to learn it, and so glad that you have found it brilliantly successful too.

    My new fridge is so efficient that the celery soup I was thawing for lunch, since yesterday morning) is still mostly frozen. Oh well, it has a few more hours.

    I’m babysitting my darling granddaughters this evening, What a lovely way to bring in the new year (although my daughter is doubtful she will stay out til midnight. Ah motherhood tiredness!).

    best wishes for a lovely day.

    Edit: your post came through while I was writing LJoyce. I’d say you have had an excellent success. WAY above your minimum challenge, which would have been a good success on its own. Hooray!

    A quick read of the posts before heading off to bridge this morning – signalling that life is returning to normal. I hope I can remember how to play.

    LJ, congratulations on a job well done for December. Totally concur with your sentiments that it’s good starting the new year without the burden of weight gain from an overindulgent December. Which is why we’re all on this thread. Thank you for joining us and making it easier together.

    Minka, you too. Well done enjoying all those Melbourne treats and remaining the same weight while not exercising 5:2 when you were away. And learning to say no without having to qualify it.

    Cinque, it’s lovely to read how much delight that fridge is bringing you! And I have learned a little from you about what else I could be freezing (cream, grated ginger). I keep ice tray sized tomato paste, coconut milk and almond milk in the freezer. And a lot of mango seeds! And, of course, my frozen cauliflower soup portions neatly stacked.

    I seem to be stuck on 59.7kg. I thought I should include NYE in my SSC as it’s part of the silly season. So I shall press on here until 3 January which is sort of cheating as it allows me another FD before assessing my result. Tonight’s picnic at the river will just be salads and yet more leftover ham for those inclined (OH). It’s unlikely I’ll still be awake at midnight so probably no alcohol involved and an anticipated 59.7kg tomorrow.

    Happy New Year everyone. Keep it safe.

    Started at approx 66.5 or 66.3kgs.
    Dec 1. 2017 I was 65.3kgs. So up a kg for the year.
    Goal for SS was to stay level.

    Now 65.0kgs – not a planned loss just the result of 3 weeks of full in stuff. It’s been a roller coaster 3 weeks since I last posted.

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas Day with joy and love, and I wish you all a very Happy New year tonight or tomorrow night.

    Merry and Mr M

    Just read your last paragraph Thin.

    Of course you add in the FD after New Year – it’s all part of the SS plan I thought. Yes we have some extras/differences, but the end result should, IMHO, include the balancing out of a FD.

    Wow! I’m loving reading all the success on this SSC page!

    LJ your results speak volumes to me, especially that your challenge included an exercise component and that you didn’t have to add in extra FDs this season and that you shed the 1.5 kg during this most difficult times of year to do so!

    Merry well done for exceeding your goal and ending up lighter than originally planned!

    Thin, I’m continuing the challenge too, so I’m not finished yet either! I’ll be re-conferring on 3rd January too! I trust we’ll be hearing from others who will be continuing till around that time too!

    fastingme, your mouth ulcer recipe sounds great, especially if it were made with Manuka or Jellybush honey, though all authentic honey has antibacterial properties. Unfortunately it has been found that most Australian supermarket honey is not necessarily the real thing and can have various quantities of rice malt syrup, glucose syrup etc. mixed in. I now solely buy from a known local apiary.

    Fatfingers, great that you so easily shed that extra holiday addition and are back to 150lbs!

    Cali I trust you made it back into the 59 kg range! Looking forward to reading your update!

    Cinque, what a ‘win/win’ by babysitting your grand daughters on NYE! I’m sure they will always remember the NYE(s) they spent with their dear grandmother and how much fun they had and what healthy and good food they ate!

    I woke up weighing 1 kg lighter than previous day due to successful FD. I’ve resumed tracking via MyFitnessPal, which I actually enjoy. Well, as I previously mentioned, I do a bit of calculating off to the side as well as use that tracker, which works for me.

    Work was great! It felt good to be back. I look forward to seeing more of my people tomorrow to wish them a Happy New Year!

    Well, the scales delivered a bad message this morning: 108.4 pounds. Ugh. This is almost a pound more than where I want to be, and I wasn’t that naughty yesterday. I chalk it up to the dreaded ‘slow transit’ which usually sorts itself out. eventually. Fasting today [Smoked Salmon with Scallion Egg Bake for breakfast] Remaining son departs today and he requested oysters and a green salad for his last meal at home. Sounds like Fasting to me! If I eat nothing until then, and go easy on the treats at the Pot Luck, this might turn out to be a 700 calorie day after all! My SSC will end on Jan 3.
    For the Pot Luck dinner, which commences at 9:30 pm, we will take a lower-calorie Spinach Mac & Cheese which I made yesterday. The ‘white sauce’ is replaced with a lower calorie Béchamel Sauce and some of the cheese is low-fat ricotta. I think the calorie count for a 1/2-cup serving puts it in the OK range. As for the dessert at our house, we always serve Bread Pudding with Fruit Sauce [there would be a riot if we didn’t serve it!] along with a plate of cheeses and a bowl of fruit. The plate of brownies my ODH wants may not appear this year… Fingers crossed, I can behave myself and still enjoy the company and activities.

    Minka, glad your return to work was a happy one. Shall we assume you have Tuesday off? Well done on the lost kg. Keep tracking. Good example to all of us on ‘just say No.’ Thanks.

    Merry, hope your ‘roller coaster 3 weeks’ were a fun ride rather than a gut-wrenching plunge off the heights.

    thin, a picnic on the river! How lovely that sounds. As for the 13 types of cookies, I make one batch/day starting on Dec 1. One batch = 24 cookies and remaining dough goes into the freezer for next year. That way I don’t have to cook from scratch every year. 8 of each 2 doz are given to relatives, since they don’t bake much. Our Son’s Japanese Soup contained Chicken Stock, miren, soy sauce, onion, some noodles, and an egg which was semi-soft and prepared in the same way that they are cooked in hot springs in Japan: poached in the shell in an inch of water, then put into cold water still in the shell. For breakfast, he prepared the soup, then cracked the poached egg into it.

    Cinque, well-organized and well-stocked freezer. You can freeze cream?? Yes, it will freeze, but in my experience it does not thaw out well. What’s your secret?

    LJ, you should be mightily chuffed. Well done on all fronts. All I wanted to do was to have the same weight at the end. Getting my 5 miles/day should be second nature to me now, but it doesn’t happen every day. Alas.

    FF, penguin, Cali, and all the rest: Happy New Year. Happy Hogmanay.

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