Dinner in Hatton

Since my last weigh in my week has been characterised by a lot of activity, and I’ve been making a conscious effort to build upon the distances I’ve walked and the frequency with which I do it. I’m quite lucky at the moment that I don’t have anything else on my plate and I can focus on just this.

However, although I’m not yet looking for a job I’m becoming increasingly preoccupied with the thought that one day soon I’m going to have to. The thought of how other people will view me when I do is regularly on my mind and I’ve been dwelling (too much) on my self image.

When I eventually start going to interviews though, I want to feel the best that I possibly can about myself.

Although I’m getting better at being ‘kind’ to myself my self esteem and confidence is still prone to sudden nose dives. Despite a lot of positives at times this week it’s been on the floor, and in reflective moments my past has seemed like nothing but a collection of failures and inactivity. On some days I’ve been consumed with regrets and ‘what ifs’.

There are so many things I should have done instead of the things I did. I could kick myself into unconsciousness with anger when I look back over some periods of my life.

When I get into this mindset I also begin to (pointlessly) worry about whether history will repeat itself as it’s so often done before. I’ve sabotaged myself more times than I can count and I don’t think I could take failing again.

I know that losing weight isn’t a magical panacea to make everything right with the world but it certainly goes a long way toward making me feel like I’m more ‘normal’ – even though I know deep down that this concept is a fairy tale and the word itself is an ethereal fiction people like me only use to punish themselves.

In practical terms though I feel that in order to have confidence during a job interview I need to loose more weight.

A lot more.

How much? I don’t know honestly. I’m hoping that will eventually become apparent.

I was still thinking about this yesterday as I dusted and hoovered the house in preparation for the arrival of my mate from Wales – who was stopping over on her way north to another engagement.

She’s a fantastic friend and knows me like few other people on earth so I always look forward to occasions where we can have uninterrupted chats. There’s little we don’t share – and I always feel better when I’ve chewed things through with her. Last night was no exception.

I was planning to cook a light stir fry with some salmon and maybe a baked sweet potato for dinner – but she suggested that as neither of us get the chance to go out together very often we should instead go further afield for a meal.

But where?

As a consequence of my navel gazing all week long I’ve had the phrase ‘don’t sabotage yourself‘ bouncing around in my mind. For the most part I’ve been good. I’ve chosen lighter meals, and eaten less. I’ve also tried hard not to let extra exercise translate into extra eating – as sometimes I have a tendency to do (I’m looking at YOU Tuesday).

Wherever we ended up I wasn’t going to be burying my face in chips.

Initially when I asked where was a good local place to go on Facebook the helpful ladies of the Slimming World group (who are always ready to offer advice) pretty much all suggested the Newbold Comyn Arms, which appears to have a whole variety of SW friendly meals.

I was pretty much sold – however in matters of fine dining I defer to the more refined palate of my friend, and she suggested instead we go to the Orange Tree or the Hatton Arms.

I’d had no syns all day and had decided I could live a little. I’d been a good boy.

  • Breakfast – Muller light Yogurt
  • Lunch – Ham pieces and a punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • Snack 2x small apples and 2x clementines

I checked the online menus and there was not much I could eat without consequence – but there was a nice sounding chicken and bacon ranch salad at the Hatton Arms, so we agreed to go there (I think this was secretly her preferred choice anyway!)

I couldn’t resist the olives for a starter, as I don’t have enough of them at the moment.

A kind lady in SW put some pitted black olives in the slimmer of the week basket the last time I was lucky enough to win, and I’ve been chopping them up into salads with white wine vinegar ever since. When I dream of lovely things I currently get images of olives…


The olives arrived and we sat stabbing at them with out little cocktail sticks while talking about life, property, children, memories, the future, education, health, family, and the kitchen sink.

We’d almost finished these when the main course arrived. My friend had gone for a ploughman’s platter (the pork pies, chutney and cheese looked disgustingly lovely) and I had my planned salad with a side of seasonal vegetables.

A salad can be deceptive and quite damaging if you’re not careful. As an example a McDonald’s chicken and bacon salad is 8 syns, and a Morrisons prawn & pasta salad is 16.5!!! Things quickly add up where cheese and dressings are concerned.

Consequently I wasn’t going to just let them serve up anything. I made sure that they removed the ranch dressing and replaced it with balsamic on the side, which in the end I left – as despite it being excellent quality it was thick, sticky, sweet and probably LOADED with sugar.

It’s not a good diabetic choice.

So – how did it break down? Olives – to share (8 per syn so about 2?), boiled seasonal veg (speed food!), chicken (free) and bacon (about half a rasher – 1 syn?), Parmesan shavings (5?) and croutons (5?).

I also ended up eating my mate’s left over side salad – which looked too good to waste, although it had some olive oil on it – so maybe 1 syn?

Although a lot of this is guesstimating I don’t think I’m too far from the mark on this – and either way I’m well under the 20 max. This may seem insanely anal of me – but why sabotage myself?

The point of burning calories is not so that I can just sit down and consume the same amount all over again and get myself back to square one!

As the pub began to close we were still no closer to finishing our chat – and moved it back to my house where we continued to gossip until the small hours before finally going to bed. We would carry on our chat in the morning.

When I awoke it was raining hard – so after getting ready we grabbed a couple of umbrellas before we headed to St Nics. A couple of laps would help burn off the pork pies and parmesan.


The park was almost deserted at 9.30am and apart from a few soggy dog walkers and some workmen erecting a marquee on the opposite bank we didn’t see many people. The atmosphere was mildly humid and there was a scent in the air that you don’t get at any time other than this – an earthy aroma which seemed to cling like perfume to the plants grass and trees.

We chatted for an hour and a half and then it was time to go our separate ways. It’s nice to be able to walk with her again. I’ve missed it a lot.

I’m not going to miss it any more though, and I hope this week to have made good progress. There’s nothing more depressing than feeling you’ve worked your bottom off and got nowhere at all.

I really really want my four and a half stone certificate tomorrow and this is what I’ve done to make sure I get it since last Saturday’s weigh in.

  • Saturday – Walk to and around Leamington (2 miles)
  • Sunday – Walk up Constitution Hill and all round Aberystwyth ( approx 3 miles)
  • Monday – Walk at Nant Yr Arian Forestry Centre – (2 miles)
  • Tuesday – zzzzzz then eat then more zzzzzz then eat followed by zzzzzz 
  • Wednesday – Walk round the park and then from home to old Milverton (5.5 miles)
  • Thursday –  Walk round park (2.5 miles)
  • Friday – Walk round park and Leamington (3.5 miles)

So far I’m at 18.5 miles. With a walk to and from the meeting tomorrow I should hit 19.

So internet, we’ll see what happens. I’ll let you know how I get on.



  1. Wow 19 miles! 😀 That’s pretty impressive! And don’t be too angry at yourself for Tuesdays. I know this sounds crazy, but occasionally it can actually help you loose weight if you have one day in which you consume more calories. It kind of gives your metabolism a kick in the bum ;). So I wouldn’t be surprised if you get some really awesome results today. 😀 You have definitely deserved it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha! Insert tell sell voice: “Buy your own personal motivational device right now! Feeling down? Just press the button and her positivity will immediately rub off on you!” XD

        Liked by 1 person

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