I made money by losing weight!!!


Being a family with one full time income (with £250 per month of that is spent on fuel for commuting) , it can be a struggle to make money stretch far enough when large unexpected bills come in. I always have to plan in advance and gradually build up enough to cover predicted expenses.

My daughter Jess and I are off to York in October to take part in the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. Expenses related to this will be travel and accommodation and a few months ago I booked us a couple of nights at the Premier Inn in York (the night before and the night the event after as there are hardly any trains on Sunday back down to Nottingham). I figured I could look at it as a weekend break and enjoy a day in York the day before too!

I’ve been taking part in a 6 month Transformer ‘DietBet’ which essentially is a website where you invest a month amount of money (in this case $25) and you have to achieve weight loss goals over a long period of time. My total investment with the 6 month Transformer was $150 and yesterday, because I had successfully reached all my goals and maintained in the last month, I shared the winners pot and have come away with $305!!! I’ve kind of used it as a way of saving and as an encouragement to lose weight with the AIM to cover our hotel expenses during the Marathon and feel very happy that this has been achieved!!

So $305 converts to £230 which covers our hotel bill and pays for breakfast for both of us for two days during our stay!

Just thought I’d tell you about DietBet incase you were interested in having a go and making a bit of extra pocket money!!

C xxx

My hoodie is too big and that is a good thing!


I shan’t deny that the last few months have been quite the struggle with my weight hovering between 245 – 255 lbs. I’ve been working hard recently, walking and jogging and eating more ration book style than I had been doing and consequently my weight is on it’s way down again.

It was chilly this evening so I grabbed a hoodie I hadn’t worn in over a year and it brought a broad smile to my face on realizing this item of clothing was far too big for me now. I took a quick photo in the mirror to remember that moment…



Yes, we ( my work colleague Alicja, Jess my daughter and myself) are doing another Marathon, this time to raise money for the ‘Sheffield Children’s Hospital’.

Despite being a bit lighter in weight this time around, I am struggling because I have to knock 1.5 hours off my previous time to finish the course in 7 hours (which is the cut off point).

Most weekdays Jess and I are out hiking in the evening and climbing hills. At weekends we are walking (and jogging a bit) longer distances at a faster pace. It’s really hard work. If I was 50 lb lighter it would be so much easier! BUT it’s a great cause and really want to try and raise money for this charity so we will persevere and give it our all!

QUOTE: “The money raised through donations buys life-saving equipment, funds vital research and treatment for thousands of children from across the world and helps us create a comfortable, engaging environment for patients at The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield. We’ll never stop striving to make it better…”

If you’d like to donate some spare change through our team charity giving page we’d really be ever so grateful!

Our page is HERE

Thank you as always🙂

C xxxx

You have two hours, precisely, to enter…

In precisely two hours the deadline will pass for you to enter the competition to find the new voice of the speaking clock.

In accordance with trying to be more confident in myself, this evening I pulled out my mobile phone and read the below script and e-mailed it to theoneshow@bbc.co.uk.

I’d encourage you to do the same if ever you have sat in your car or on the toilet pretending you are the speaking clock… It will make you feel good that you’ve had a bash and been one of the 20,000 + who will also be submitting an entry (no professional voice artists or actors are allowed to enter).


DEADLINE: 10pm on Monday 29th August 2016. Entries received after 10pm on Monday 29th will not be considered.


At the third stroke it will be one twenty four and fifty seconds.

At the third stroke it will be seven ten and forty seconds.

At the third stroke it will be three o’clock precisely.

Eight two and ten seconds.

Five fifty eight and thirty seconds.

Two eleven and twenty seconds.

At the third stroke it will be four thirty three and forty seconds.

At the third stroke it will be nine seventeen and fifty seconds.

At the third stroke it will be six forty nine precisely.

Quick update…dresser, heel and heart.

I’ve not really got a whole lot of news to share. My weight is currently fluctuating between 247 – 254 lbs and if I’m honest I’ve had some days where I’ve eaten junk and not been in control as much as I’d like. I guess they key thing is that I don’t feel OUT OF CONTROL so perseverance will pay off eventually.

I have a few ongoing niggles with my left heel and with only 7 weeks until the Marathon and not having trained for two weeks because of this I’m really not feeling very positive about this at all. The one good bit of news is that FINALLY I got the results from my echocardiogram that I had done 4 months ago (there was a mix up which led to a delay) and there was no permanent dilation of the ventricles so nothing to worry about my enlarged heart. BUT (and there always seems to be a but) the echo did reveal a heart defect I have been living with since birth for 50 years which could explain why my oxygen levels plummeted so rapidly at altitude (when I contracted double pneumonia in the USA last January) as the hole I have in my heart was possibly forced open more under pressure.

To be honest I’m not too worried about it. I am being referred to a cardiologist but figure if I’ve lived with it for 50 years that says it all. The dizzy spells I was getting last year haven’t come back since I lost weight and yes I still suffer with tiredness at times but again, I guess that’s a side effect of age and lugging a lot of extra weight about.

The unexpected findings certainly won’t stop me walking and training and working hard to keep on losing weight…

I just wanted to say thank you once again for being so supportive. Am just getting on with life and just taking this year to continue working on my health and mental well being.

PS: I bought a dresser top and an old chest of drawers off Gumtree and finally I have put them together to make a dresser and am beginning to paint it all up using an Annie Sloan chalk paint. I’m going to paint the backboard a cream colour I think and once painted will distress the edges. I think all my vintage tea cups will look great on it!

C xxxxxxxx


My keep the wolf from the door vegetable stew – Recipe No. 156


I think vegetable stew has to be one of my staple dishes when I am eating ration book style.

Just for the hell of it I wrote everything down today that I put in mine (which lasts me for two days and is 4 servings) and converted it to calories and how much the ingredients cost.

There are two things I struggle with most of the time. Making my pennies stretch and being able to fill my tummy without consuming too many calories. My stews are often a solution to these problems as I use up vegetables that are on the turn (I hate waste) and I can make a huge saucepan full to feed 4 which is nutritious and all for around 800 calories and just 50 p a portion! It tastes good too so what’s NOT to like about that!


  • 1 medium leek
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 medium parsnips
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion (I used some I was given at work from a colleagues garden)
  • 1/2 medium marrow
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet chutney
  • 1 can lentils
  • 1 tablespoon of old fashioned Bisto powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • water


  1. Saute chopped onion and leek in a little bit of margarine or butter in a large saucepan for a few minutes
  2. Add all the vegetables (and apple) chopped (those that take longer to cook add in smaller pieces and those that are quick to cook in large chunks)
  3. Add a pint of water and bring to a simmer.(add more if needed during the cooking process)
  4. Add dried herbs and chutney.
  5. Put Bisto powder in a separate bowl and add a little cold water and make into a thin paste.
  6. Add to simmering vegetables and stir, add pepper and salt to taste (I didn’t need any salt as the Bisto powder is quite salty)
  7. Add lentils and stir again.
  8. Cover and simmer on a medium heat until the carrots are tender enough to eat.
  9. Remove from heat and stir again.
  10. Serve with a hunk of buttered bread, or rice or mashed potato.

*On my plate in the photo is 1 serving of stew plus brown rice totaling about 350-400 cals.

Life update.

I’ve had a couple of slip ups this week which culminated in me enjoying several glasses of wine and packets of chipsticks last night which I immediately regretted.  Not only deviating from my eating plan but all that junk food made me feel like poo. I’ve had several things on my mind recently and been really struggling with trying to lose more weight and because of a small tear in my heel it’s been a slack week for walking/exercising.

Today my daughter and I went for a gentle walk and I felt somewhat better after that and some serious Marathon training will be taking place tomorrow at our favourite walking place, Wollaton Hall and Deer Park.

Keep walking and laughing and never give up!

C xxxxxxx



Kentish Pasties – Recipe No. 155


In the WW2 recipe book ‘Good Eating’ published in the 1940s by the ‘Daily Telegraph’ and which included wartime recipes tried and tested by readers, I came across a recipe for ‘Kentish Pasties’.

This particular recipe, according to the reader, was for a popular pasty distributed by mobile canteens and pie stations at Sevenoaks Rural District during the war.

Using the ingredients in the recipe, I was able to make three huge pasties which could easily be cut in two, one half  for your dinner (served with veggies and gravy) and one half for your lunch the next day (although I am sure if you were working on the land a whole pasty for lunch would be appreciated)  I also added two teaspoons of Marmite and one chopped leek which added to the flavour as it was a little bland without.

Overall I found this very filling and tasty!

Kentish Pasties


  • 1/4 lb of boiled rice
  • 4 oz grated cheese
  • 2 oz raw grated carrot
  • Salt and pepper

Carolyn’s extra ingredients

  • 1 leek chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons of Marmite



  • 12 oz flour
  • 3 oz cooking fat/margarine or butter
  • Pinch salt
  • Water to mix.



The original recipe calls for the filling ingredients to be mixed together well and then placed on the pastry and formed into pasties.

To improve the flavour, once the rice was cooked I placed a knob of butter in a pan and when it was hot added the chopped leek and sauted and then added the rice and mixed well. I then removed from the heat and mixed in the raw grated carrot, grated cheese and two teaspoons of Marmite and a little extra salt and pepper.

I rolled out the pastry into three rounds about the size of a large side plate and damped all the edges with water and placed a third of the mixture in the middle of each tapering out at each end and then brought the pastry up and over and created the frill with my two fingers.

The pasties took about 30 minutes to cook in a pre-heated oven at 200 C.

Makes 3 extra large pasties or 6 small ones!





I’ve fire in my belly…

Because of my insecurities largely to do with how horrid I felt inside at my largest weight, I’ve always felt safer working quietly away in the background when I do things. I rarely push myself forward to do things outside my comfort zone (except my new found love of hiking!) and always feel I’m probably just not good enough…

I recently was asked to do a small guest piece on a TV show (and I can’t mention what it is but will let you know when I can and when it will be aired). It sounded like fun and right up my 1940s’s street! Initially my thoughts were NO, I just can’t do it and tried to find someone else that would be suitable but when they couldn’t do it either I thought WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING! If I never try I’m never going to have fun things to remember and even if things go horribly wrong it’s not the end of the world, at least I tried and it’s another step forward.

So I said I would and on Thursday, with Jess my daughter for company,  drove a several hour round journey to a destination I had never been too before and despite being very nervous had a lovely day doing something I am passionate about.


Here’s a photo taken on Thursday and I feel my eyes are bright and alive, I’m excited and happy. Although I have lost 95lbs from my heaviest and am only 1/2 way through my weight loss journey, the loss so far has had a profound and positive psychological effect on my life. I wish I could share how wonderful I now feel on some days, a far cry from the torment inside from my heaviest weight.

And now I’ve fire in my belly… fire to see this fight against obesity through to the end, fire to keep pushing forward and achieve the things that make me happy, fire to keep on fighting, fire to keep on cooking, fire to keep calm and carry on…

C xxxxxxxxxxx