All posts by Anca

Loosing weight – my journey

I hope you’ll like my journey so far.

3 years ago I went to see a cardiologist because I was tired all the time, my pulse would go up if I climbed 10 stairs and there is a history of heart problems in my family. The doctor said my heart is fine and she said nothing about my weight. I was clueless because I always loved the way I looked. But I wasn’t felling good, I didn’t have enough energy due to my unbalanced diet with only one meal a day, in the evening.

I started a stupid diet with a friend, I dissociated the food by day and group. This was my first diet and I managed to loose 6 kg in one month. After I finished it I was back to my old habits and I put 11 kg in a few months.

2 years ago, on 12th august 2010 I saw I had 81 kg! I was so shocked I started the diet from that day. It’s strange, but I wasn’t aware I was fat until I saw the scale. After I saw the scale I got online and I started reading as much as I could about diets.I realized the diet I had before was bad and that day I read about diets’ yo-yo effect and counting calories.

Now I can say it was a smooth process because my target was being healthy, so I had a diversified diet and I lost weight at a slower pace. I’ve lost 21 kg in 6-7 months by counting calories and macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats).

I had a kitchen scale and I use it to weight everything. But after a few months I broke it by accident and I continued counting, but estimating the weight of the food. At first it was difficult, but I got used to it and after a while it took just 2-3 minutes/day to count them.

When I reached 65 kg, so 5 months in my journey I started exercising regularly. I did some workouts from P90X. Hubby was a huge fan of the program, so I give it a try. I became addicted because it’s so great, I love to push my limits and gain more strength.

I had a relapse when I had to move twice in 4 months. I wasn’t able to train where I stayed and my diet was different due to my move to UK. I gained 5 kg in this 4 months, but this year I lost all the fat with the 2 rounds of P90X (as you can see, I lost almost all the fat in the 1st round).

Now I feel great. I eat everything I want, but I cook because I want to have healthier options and, anyway, ready meals and take away are boring and fatty. I don’t like to eat the same thing everyday.

I use wholemeal wheat, unrefined sugar, full fat cheese or milk and I make at home pizza, pasta, sweets (muffins, cakes), vegetables in so many different ways. I eat cheese, fruits, salads (as a side), nuts and healthy oils (olive oil, for example).

I don’t feel like I’m on a diet…because I’m not. I choose what I eat considering if that product is good for me or not. I rather bake a tray of muffins (it takes 20 minutes, baking time included and I can make so many different types) instead of buying something with additives and white flour from the hypermarket.

Now I do insanity, I’m very happy with the results so far. I finished one month and I see my strength is higher. I love it! In the morning I feel I can “move mountains” and sometimes we go for a walk with Festus in the middle of the night if it’s a pleasant weather… I never feel without energy, not even after an intense workout.

And this is how I look:
nbb_17

Shisha

Yesterday we went to VOOO and we had a lovely Shiha, mix flavour, it was very nice. Hubby had the camera with him, so he took a few pictures.
SV_01

In Romania I use to have shisha and coffee with hell, but now I got used to shisha and mint tea. I must admit it’s better this way, the flavor of the tea compliments the shisha.

Hamilton Square

Hamilton square is a small park in Birkenhead, built in 1826 to the design of Edinburgh architect James Gillespie Graham.

No two sides of the square are identical and it is second only to Trafalgar Square in London for having the most Grade I listed buildings in one place in England. The land was bought by William Laird. A statue of William’s son, John can be admired in the park. hs_0

hs_01

hs_02

hs_03

hs_04

Birkenhead Town Hall, the former civic building. The building was finished in 1887 and it consisted of a council chamber, offices, with a concert hall and function rooms known as the Assembly Rooms. It has a 200 foot high clock tower, a landmark which is visible from the waterfront on both sides of the Mersey. The clock was started by Elsie Laird, the daughter of Mayor William Laird on 27th November 1886. The chimes have been heard all around Birkenhead. Now it has some civic services, such as the municipal registration centre for births, marriages and deaths and as a venue for local and national elections.
hs_05

hs_06

hs_07

Lavender Harvest

Saturday we went to Inglenook farm to visit the lavender farms and volunteer in the harvesting. It was a lovely day and we really enjoyed it. The staff was very helpful, eager to tell us about the lavender or about the process of making oil.

This is a poppy field near the car park.lh_01

lh_02

lh_03

lh_04

The barn where they process the lavender to extract the oil. It was very interesting and not what we expected. We thought the oil is obtained thru pressing, but the lavender was steamed.
lh_05

lh_06

The oil. In a good day they can get 2L of lavender oil. It’s a small quantity, but it’s very concentrated. The water that results in the process is gathered in special containers and they sell it to 5* hotels or companies from the cosmetics industry.

For example, the water is bottled and put in 5* rooms from hotels in Dubai. Guests can use it as a spray to refresh themselves. The water is pure and very good for the skin.
lh_07

lh_08

The lavender is used as a natural fertilizer. It is threw on the field and it becomes compost very fast. So, the fields aren’t fertilized with chemicals.
lh_09

They have 2 small ponies I was able to pet. They were so small… not much bigger than Festus.
lh_10

A lavender bush, ready for the harvest.
lh_11

A baby goat. He is 12 weeks old and so sweet.
lh_12

I was so happy to hold him. He wasn’t very impressed, maybe because I didn’t hold the carrot the right way.
lh_13

This way was much better.
lh_14

lh_15

Hubby and I. A farmer asked if we want a picture, so we took advantage of his proposal.
lh_16

The pony was 2-3 inches taller than Festus. It was a strange feeling to pet a horse not much bigger than my dog. The ponies were so cute and sociable. I loved them.
lh_17

lh_18

lh_19

lh_20

Me… harvesting. I was delighted to harvest the lavender. I didn’t had relatives in the countryside, so everything is new to me.
lh_21

The crop.
lh_22

U-boat

We visited U-boat with some friends. We were lucky to have such a nice warm day.

U-534 was headed towards Norway, when it was attacked by a Liberator aircraft. She took heavy damage and began to sink. Amazingly, 49 of the 52 crew members survived.

The vessel laid forgotten on the sea bed for over 40 years. In August 1993 the wreckage was raised from the seabed in the hope of finding hidden treasure on board. Nothing was found, so the mystery of why U-534 refused to surrender remains to this day. ub_01

A panoramic view of the U-boat.
ub_02

Luckily there was a guided tour and we learned about the history of the U-boats. It was very interesting.
ub_03

ub_04

I had the impression we will be able to go in, but it was so small and the air was very oily.
ub_05

ub_06

ub_07

ub_08

ub_09

ub_10

The torpedo. In the U-boat they would transport up to 22 torpedoes.
ub_11

ub_12

The hit that sunk her.
ub_13

ub_14

ub_15

ub_16

ub_17

Monkey Forest

On our holiday we went to Monkey Forest, in the Trentham Estate, near Stoke on Trent and RAF Museum.

Here the Barbary macaques roam freely in a 60 acre forest. They live as they would in the Atlas mountains of Algeria and Morocco. There are 3 more similar parks, 2 in France and 1 in Germany. The monkeys from Trentham came from those other parks. The staff tries to intervene as little as possible.

The Barbart macaques are in danger of extinction, with 8,000 exemplars in the wild. The parks succeed in reintroducing over 600 monkeys in Morocco. mf_01

mf_02

mf_03

mf_04

mf_05

mf_06

mf_07

mf_08

mf_09

Feeding time. The monkeys are fed several times a day, but the keeper doesn’t interact with them. I admire the keepers, they were very professional and very happy with their job.
mf_10

mf_11

mf_12

mf_13

The monkeys chase the squirrels from time to time. But even so, the squirrels came to eat near them.
mf_14

mf_15

mf_16

The monkeys show their affection to each other with grooming.
mf_17

mf_18

mf_19

mf_20

mf_21

Enjoying a coffee and a doughnut at Banana Cafe.
mf_22

A mother and her little kid. The little monkey was born this year.
mf_23

mf_24

mf_25

A monkey family. The father (adoptive, the real father is unknown) helps the mother with the kid. He grooms and protects the kid.
mf_26

mf_27

mf_28

mf_29

mf_30

mf_31

mf_32

mf_33

mf_34

mf_35

mf_36

mf_37

mf_38

mf_39

mf_40

mf_41

mf_42

mf_43

mf_44

mf_45

The little monkey wasn’t able to climb up to his parents. So, the father tried without luck to lift the kid. The mother came down, took the kid on her belly and jumped up to the father. It was very funny.
mf_46

mf_47

mf_48

mf_49

mf_50