Archive for July, 2011

St Brides Hotel and Spa, Saundersfoot

July 22, 2011

Mr S and I went to the St Brides Hotel and Spa for a night last weekend.  It was a generous present from friends but it took us almost a year from when we received our gift voucher to actually organise ourselves enough to get there.    Our children and dog safely dumped on Super Nannie, we left Cardiff at lunchtime on Sunday and arrived at Saundersfoot within two hours.

The hotel doesn’t look like much from the back – not dissimilar to a modern doctor’s surgery – but once inside you get the full benefit of the most amazing thing about this hotel – the elevated view over Saundersfoot Harbour and Carmarthen Bay.  It is truly stunning.   We had a room with a sea view and if you go there it is certainly worth paying the extra to make sure you have a sea view too because the immediate feeling of calm you get from looking over the sea is priceless.

The hotel has a spa and a small outside infinity pool which also looks out over the view.   Our gift  included a massage each and the room I was in had floor to ceiling glass windows, again with a wonderful view – probably of more benefit to the therapist than me, given that I was lying with my face in that little hole thing in the massage bed most of the time and/or falling asleep.    Couples can have treatments in the same room together if they wish but Mr S and I didn’t go for that option.  It makes me self conscious if he’s in there with me.   You have to book your slot in the infinity pool and if, as was the case when it was time for our designated slot, there is another couple already in there canoodling while they look out over the sea, it can feel a little awkward, like getting into a big bath with a couple of strangers,  but it is a glorious feeling, your head all cold and your body all warm, looking out to sea.  Sorry, mentioning the sea a lot, but there’s a lot of it to look at from the St Brides Hotel.

More lovely view over dinner which was very good, lots of local Welsh produce on the menu and a big wine list with plenty of half bottles available if you wanted white wine with your starter and red wine with your main course as we did.  Slightly marred by the posh young couple from London sitting next to us who appeared to not understand the concept of inside voices.  I don’t think any of the diners in their immediate vicinity had any option but to listen to their dinner conversation and it wasn’t even very interesting, although they did appear to have a number of friends they didn’t like all that much.  We were seated next to them at breakfast the next day too (also very good) but they were considerably quieter come morning.

Our room was light and bright, with a large bed,  crisp bed linen and a pretty Welsh blanket folded at the bottom.  Couple of complaints – our bed was large because it was two singles pushed together and there was a gap in the middle when you came together for a cuddle.  Our bathroom sink was cracked and the grouting around the very small bath (which I think may have survived from a refurbishment of the bathroom and really shouldn’t have) mouldy.  A shame – but hey, you don’t spend very long in the bathroom when there’s a serene sea view to look at.

A walk on the almost deserted beautiful Saundersfoot beach after our full Welsh breakfast topped off our 24 hour stay perfectly.  It wasn’t just the beach that was deserted but the whole of Saundersfoot and lots of shops either closed down or not yet open for the season.  I hope it’s a bit busier there this week and the rest of the summer now that the schools have broken up.

St Brides Hotel and Spa is not cheap but a little of it goes a long way towards recharging your batteries.  And oh, did  I mention the view?

72 year old astrologer Superwoman and the will of steel as determined by the stars

July 13, 2011

The will of steel – direct from our guys in the sky

I am getting feedback on the lines – I haven’t got the will of steel needed to diet.

A superwoman with no will of steel? Surely you jest.  We all have streak of steel somewhere. As some of you will know I am an astrologer.  Here’s a will of steel profile based on star signs.  Remember hardly anyone is 100% the Sun sign they were born under – there are 10 planets and 11 other signs all looking for a way in to influence your personality. So, a very rough guide.

Will of steel ratings 1* weak, 5* strong

Aries: 21st March – 19th April

Very self willed and self confident. Knows it all and won’t be told what to do. Dieting needs to be her idea to stick to it and it will be the diet to blame if she doesn’t. She may fail but as she never learns from her mistakes, it’s not her – it’s the diet. Don’t bother discussing dieting with her – she’s not listening.

WoS rating: *****

Taurus: 20th April – 20th May

Makes a mule look a wimp on the stubborn stakes. Apparently mild sort but likes to be in charge (to control freakery levels). Do not attempt to tell a Taurus what to do. She has loads of persistence and once committed will take control and keep going. A little bit unwilling to acknowledge she needs to diet.

WoS rating: *****

Gemini: 21st May – 20th June

A bit all over the place. Often hasn’t got a really strong grasp of who she is so persuadable to diet by someone else. Needs attention so once the someone else takes her eye off the monitoring ball is likely to give up. Could be a serial dieter with a string of failed diets behind her.

WoS rating: **

Cancer: 21st June – 22nd July

Emotional, though not without initiative and tenacious in hanging on to something she commits to.  Rather prone to get podgy, so knows she needs to diet but also needs family and friends’ support to diet. Will never speak to you again if you try to make a joke of her weight. And moody, so will have a sulk when the fat isn’t shifting as she had hoped.

WoS rating: ***

Leo: 23rd July -22nd August

Strong character, needs to be the leader in any dieting initiative. A high achiever. Bit of a show off so likes an audience and if her audience applauds loudly enough will stick to the diet. A group dieter, where she leads the group. Because of pride in how she looks is least likely to need to diet.

WoS rating: ****

Virgo: 23rd Aug -22nd Sept

Self – sacrificing type and very often puts others first so while often prone to fat is likely to diet at other people’s instigation. Virgo fat tends to hang around the upper body – back, arms, boobs. Good at dieting with someone she is “helping out” with their diet. Not hard to lead astray, but has the persistence to reach a goal.

WoS rating. ***

Libra: 23rd September – 23rd October

Apparently  indecisive but tends to know exactly what she wants. And what she wants is a box of choccies. Rather attention-needy, so requires loads of support. Prone to falling off the wagon then beating herself up about it. Idealistic so thinks she could make it, but not on her own.

WoS rating: **

Scorpio 24th October -21st November

The most stubborn and unpredictable sign of the Zodiac. Once she takes up anything which is her idea has the determination stick it out, but another one who is not likely to need a diet as much as some.

WoS rating: ****

Sagittarius 22nd November – 21st December

Very restless. Has plenty of will power in pursuit of a cause, but short of stamina for seeing things through, and easily bored so is off to the next appealing thing before completing the diet. Always on the move so not particularly fat – prone.

Running round in circles is good exercise.

WoS rating: ***

Capricorn: 22nd December – 19th January

Solid as a rock. Often in shape as well as will power. She may take a while to acknowledge she needs to diet (always too busy busy to notice) but once she sees the light, or the changing room mirror, she won’t be deflected from achieving her target.

WoS Rating *****

Aquarius: 20th January -19th February

Mind over matter. Aquarians will take an analytical approach to the weight problem, work out what to do about it, and get on with it. Do not invite Ms Aquarius to your party when she’s on a diet. She won’t come. Loves to party but has her priorities and the head rules the appetite.

WoS rating ****

Pisces: 20th February – 20th March

Compassionate (for which read soft as muck and a bit gullible). Not that self indulgent so not often a candidate for dieting. Somebody else may have to tell her she’s a big fat slob, but she is unlikely to care, and should she be able  to make her mind up at all about which diet to follow, is not likely to see it through.

WoS only emerges when Pisces is very threatened. Even so she’s the one hiding behind the sofa when merde hits fan.

WoS rating: *

So: Success depends on getting your WoS moving in the dieting direction and for most, getting the support systems in place. These are the Sun signs. If you have Mars in a strong place your WoS will be strengthened. A Pisces with an Aries or Capricorn Mars will gain at least two more WoS stars. An Aries with a Pisces Mars will lose one. You put the fat on – your task to take it off. Good luck.

She’s back – slimmer and fitter than ever before – 72 year old Superwoman

July 5, 2011

IF….. Diet tips from  a used to be fatty ( with no apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

IF you have let yourself go and your weight has crept up to fatter than two pigs proportions, you will feel better about yourself, and actually owe it to yourself,  to go on a diet. It is bad for you to be carrying an excess  couple of stones or more around with you.

IF you normally eat stuff slathered in cream, wine and other rich sauces, and can’t pass the biscuit tin, the cake plate, or the box of choccies without having a dib into them you will find it difficult.

IF you go for a diet made up of food you don’t like and wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole it’s not going to work. From day one of a diet you need to be thinking about reaching your target weight and maintaining it so the prospect of a lifetime of things you don’t like will be neither appealing nor sustainable. Your diet needs to mirror your normal eating practices but stuffing a lot less into your mouth. It’s how much you eat as well as what you eat that has made you fat and a diet needs to signal a permanent change. Healthier eating  is for life not just for Christmas, in fact especially not for Christmas. Sustainability is the ultimate goal.

IF your diet of choice (and there are dozens of them available out there) is restrictive like all cabbage, grapefruit, eggs or whatever, this does not represent normal eating. The crash and burn (fast fat burning weight loss) diet  is both bonkers and bad for you. Variety and balance is what you should be looking for and while the weight loss might be slower it will all come off in the end. Just keep at it.

IF a few weeks in to the diet after knocking off a steady so many pounds a week you hit a plateau and the weight is not dropping away as you’d hoped, don’t despair. Your body’s metabolism is adjusting to the new regime and once it gets the hang of your objective it will say “Oh that’s where we’re going” and get back in line again.

IF you are trying to target one area, like the bingo wings, that doesn’t work very well . The fat shifts first from where the pile up is so it’s usually the pot belly and the muffin top that’s first to go. Then the fat backside. The meaty thighs and the bingo wings  are usually the last to go.

IF, as I am, you are very very old, the elasticity in your skin will have gone. When we had babies the enormous lump that involved whipped back into place relatively easily. When the bounce has gone from your skin what you get is the skin hanging in rather unappealing folds where it once might have recovered. I have lost two stones, and have a less than delightful row of pleats hanging round my belly. It doesn’t matter to me as nobody but me sees my naked belly and it’s preferable to the pot and the muffin top. Old former fatties who are on the pull might find this a disadvantage, unless the prospective lover is also awash with sags and droops.

IF you don’t take any exercise the weight will shift more slowly, and, if you’re not too old, exercise will help dissipate the folds of saggy skin effect. You don’t have to go mad working out at the gym and jogging, brisk walks and plodding up and down a swimming pool will do. Posture also helps. Walk and stand up straight and stop slumping like a sack of potatoes at your desk. If you thought the sack of potatoes act disguised the fat you were wrong. Only a wheelchair is higher visibility than being too fat.

IF you fall off the wagon, which you inevitably will, having a bottle instead of a glass of wine or a bag of chips instead of that one boiled potato you should have had, you won’t lose much, if anything, that week but put it behind you and get back up on the diet horse. With strengthened resolve. On a diet you pay for all that fun falling off the wagon brought. It’s great to get naughty but on a diet no more than once a month for about a day is all you can afford to spend kidding yourself you can get away with it.

IF you are competitive or joined at the hip to a fatty friend, go for a regime which allows you to be star of the show in the  local community hall or to compare progress with friend. I am a solitary kinda gal so the will of steel and support from mentors on the net did it for me.

IF you are a smoker, here’s where you have an advantage. When you are desperate for something to pop in your mouth the fag is always there for you. When the entire planet is anti smoking this is not a tip you will find on any diet regime anywhere in the world. Works for me. And Kate Moss. Talking of whom…

IF you are starting from size 20/22 or more it is daft to be aiming for a size 0. You will certainly drop a few sizes and that’s a real buzz. Make your target realistic. A size 16 for the really obese or a 14 for the not quite so obese will be a huge achievement.  Do not read magazines featuring cadaverous models. They are more unhealthy than the fatties. If you aspire to look like famine victim in Africa, go to Africa, and try famine as a weight loss venture. They don’t have any choice. We do. If your inadvertent choice is fatter than two pigs, it’s time you acted and headed for one pig size.

IF you are tall and people say You don’t need to diet you can carry it, give them a smack in the chops. We all know where our ugly lumps and bumps are and the overhanging flesh is and it’s up to each individual to deal with that if she less than happy with what she looks like.

IF a 72 year old fatty can lose two stones, without being a  diet bore at Olympic level, so can you. It’s wanting to feel better about yourself that motivates you. See you hanging round the elegant end of the size 12/14s in John Lewis. Go, girls, go.

Here’s another pastiche – with apologies to Rupert Brooke

If I should diet think only this of me

That there’s some corner of the kitchen fridge that is for ever furry.

Out! Out! damned tasty lump of gorgeous Cheddar

Begone ! you smelly Brie and Stilton treasures,

For you are simply lumps of lard as I am.

And now I must forsake you for another,

That cottage cheese in pride of place front-fridge.

OMG do I have to? YES. Get rid of the lumps of lard NOW.