Monthly Archives: July 2013

How early do I have to be up?

I should be asleep now, I know that. I have to be up and in the taxi in four hours to head for the airport for my trip to Rome. This of course is the trip that I commenced my healthy eating and get more active plan for. I’ll be honest, I have no idea how the last week has gone at all. I have kept my word about not jumping on the scales. In a way I am glad about that, in another…I want to know!!!!

Work was busy this week, I didn’t spend a lot of time sitting down at my desk. I seemed to walk a lot around the office. I’m unsure how active I actually was. The week has been a blur of activity but I don’t think it was the healthy eating move more activity I wanted.

However, my Rome trip is here and I am now very excited to be visiting this most beautiful city. Already I am thinking that as it will be hot there, I won’t want to eat too much. That light meals will be order of the day. I won’t drink too much in the evenings. Definitely no Gelato or Tiramisu. Who am I trying to kid? You?! I think not. I know that I will be into that Italian pasta, trying the vino and making short work of the Gelato. I also know I will be walking for the majority of the four days there. The test will be on how much fitter I feel, how much longer I can walk for without having to rest and how much of that Italian food I can resist.

I promise to tell all when I return….

Pending suitable wi-fi I shall be tweeting on @aurorasparkles whilst I am there.



Step away from the cherry cake…

Well, yes, I have been just a little bit lazy. I admit it. I’ve eaten some foods I had removed from my eating healthy diet, I admit that too. Do I feel bad for feeling like this and eating those foods? Perhaps just a little but not enough to beat myself up over. However I am a little mad with myself because even though my lapses have only been over a four day period, already my body has started to feel sluggish again,

During the warm weather it is I find, much easier to stick to healthier foods and I’ve had no problem doing that. I did give in to the temptation of a doughnut last Friday although I chose the plainest. I’ve eaten small amounts of ice cream over the weekend but horror of horrors, I ate cherry cake twice! Why? I don’t know! I’m not really a cake eater. I can take it or leave it. I’ve taken it twice in two days…

In my defence…I don’t have one. I wanted it, I ate it and now I’m writing about it. We all have lapses. My willpower went on vacation over the weekend but it has returned, renewed, relaxed and ready to roll again. I am still determined to get healthier, more active and to get back into my lovely clothes.

I want my free spirit to soar, my inspiration to shine and my willpower to take over when I next see cherry cake!!!

The old songs.

Beautiful Summer evening this evening. I sat in the conservatory with my parents, talking about the day at work. I decided to play some background music from my iPod…it turned into a night of music, singing and a glass of wine or two.

I have quite an eclectic mix of music, from Dep Lepperd to Enrique, Barry Manilow to Josh Groben, Michael Jackson to Kylie…Irish, Spanish, Elvis, songs from way before I was born to childhood memories songs. You name it, I’ve probably got something of that genre.

We started with some Irish songs of long ago, it was so lovely to see my parents remembering the past and singing the songs from then. Talking about dances they had been to, parties that just happened when a few neighbours got together in a kitchen, popular songs of the time and most of all, the people who shared these previous memories with them who are no longer here.

It makes me sad when I listen to the Irish songs now because I think of my family in Ireland who are no longer there. Happy times we shared although I took them for granted then, I didn’t appreciate what I had. What young person does?

It made me happy tonight to see my parents enjoying the music and my mom even sang…that doesn’t happen very often!!! It also made me sad for two reasons. One because I knew they felt sad with their own memories and two because I knew tonight would one day be a precious memory for me.

Love your music, sing your favourite songs but mostly love and appreciate the people in your life and the memories you make together. As Garth Brooke’s sang…

‘Our lives, are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance’.

The scales dilemma.

You are what you eat

I think it must be at least day fifteen of my eating healthier and keep active project. I dared to get on the scale yesterday morning. I don’t mind admitting, I was scared. What if I had put on what I had lost? How demoralised would I be? It would be a case of the usual ‘oh well, you can start again tomorrow’. ‘But I have already started again…many times this year’, I told myself.

I began to think of the prior week, it has been a beautiful Summer sunshine week which isn’t something you can say very often for the UK. I ate mostly salads, I made my own lunch for work a couple of times, I managed to stay away from all manner of goodies in the office. Off the top of my head I couldn’t think of anything I had eaten that may have increased weight rather than reduced it. I have kept my walking up all week also.

I reasoned with myself…’I’ve undertaken this in order to feel fitter, to have more energy’ to feel healthier and to look after my long-term health’…whether or not I have lost weight doesn’t really come into the equation.

I stepped on the scales anyway, more out of curiosity than a desperate need to know. I was pleasantly surprised, I had lost 1 LB. HOORAH!! However, I have decided I am going to leave the scale alone. This isn’t about weight loss as such. Yes, if I manage to keep up this healthy eating and activity I do expect to lose some weight. I have decided that I am not going to be driven by weekly results on a weighing scales. I shall monitor progress through how I feel, my energy levels, loss of craving for sweet foods and a general feeling of wellbeing.

Of course, should I give in at a time of weakness and jump on those scales…you’ll be the first to know.

Music lifts my soul.

I love music. I love most music, Jazz, Country, Motown, Soul, a little bit of Rock…I can’t think of any genre that I don’t like even a little bit.

My passion is dance music, oh how I love to get on the dance-floor and dance. The feeling of pure freedom, I feel every beat as if it is pulsing through my veins. I love to dance. I love to waltz, I can do a mean Siege of Ennis – any Irish folk will know that one well!! I like party music, 50’s, 60’s etc right up to now…my favourite for sheer heart loving joy is Trance. I know why there is a whole section of Trance known as Euphoria because I can’t describe my spirit releasing on the dance-floor any other way…pure euphoria. That uplifting feeling of freedom and dancing off all the stresses, tension and anxiety that real life can bring.

Music has the ability to lift you up, bring back memories, make you sad, cry, laugh and make you sing. Who cares if you can’t hold a note, sing out and fill your heart with happiness. Hold that hairbrush as your microphone…come on, we’ve all done it…I still do at times! Be free within, it will be such a release.

Irish music makes me so happy, brings back memories of holidays to family at home in Ireland. So it also makes me sad that they are having the craic elsewhere these days.

Spanish music makes me tingle. I have not yet found words to describe how the first few bars of ‘Bailamos’ by Enrique makes me feel. Yes he is gorgeous and I do love him singing…that music though…I think I just kind of melt inside. Any Spanish music and it is as if my soul awakes, it recognises a call from home. To my knowledge I have no Spanish heritage and yet I feel my destiny is linked to Spain in some way. I love Spain in the same way I love Ireland.

Spanish music awakens every fibre of my being. Dance music sets my spirit free. Dance The Siege of Ennis and you might end up with a black eye or a few bruised toes but you’ll have had one hell of a good night out!


Someday. How often do we say that word? ‘We’ll go there someday’. ‘I’ll look for a new job, someday’. ‘I meant to call you, someday’. Does someday ever get here?

It is so easy to put things off. We really do intend to do them. We put our heart and soul behind an idea, a plan, a goal and we really do intend to put our hopes, dreams and plans into action, someday. Someday never arrives. Before we know it, we are looking back wondering where time has gone and why we didn’t grasp someday and make it matter.

Day 11 and I’m feeling good that I started moving more, getting more active, eating healthier and I feel much less sluggish than I did. I have walked more, tonight I did some work in the garden and with the warm weather I find it easier to eat healthier. I’m not out of the craving stage yet by no means but I’m getting there.

You never know where life may take you so grab someday while you can and make things happen.


The good and the bad.

There are things I feel good about today, there are things I don’t feel quite so upbeat about. Why oh why oh why is it so difficult to stay on the right track.

After a long time waiting we finally get some real Summer sunshine. Yesterday himself & I travelled to the riverside, sat on our chairs and chilled out. We had a lazy day, no real walking unless you consider my stroll to the fish and chip shop as walking. Yes, I did have fish and chips but we did share one portion so I felt fairly guiltless. I also ate an ice cream…hey, it was a hot summer day and where was that banana when you need it?!

This morning I decided to get on the scales to see if my first week of healthier eating and being more active had achieved any results. I am very happy to report a loss of 2 lbs. I am well aware that it is probably that much due to the change in eating habits and I don’t expect that kind of loss weekly…although it would be nice.

Today has been mostly a salad day because it has been even hotter than yesterday. There were strawberries and ice cream, I did have half the portion size of anyone else because as you know, I think denying myself small treats will just make me crave them and I’ll end up sitting with a pot of ice cream…or should I say an empty pot!

So although on day seven I can celebrate an achievement I’m also feeling that I ate far too much today and even if I was on my feet most of the day…and went for a small walk…I’m still feeling that I have undone what I have done in the past seven days…perhaps I should blame that half bottle of Sangria… I had a salad, sangria and crusty bread day…it was as Spanish as I could get on an English Summer Day.

Some days I just need to feed my Spanish soul. My Irish heart is always fairly well topped up.

Day eight beckons…what will week two achieve?