when will we share precious moments? more Slimming World shenanigans

Evening all!

Just a quick post to explain where we are – we’re currently having extensive work done to Chubby Towers (you can sum it all up by saying we’re chucking out everything we own and buying new stuff) – we’re also having all our walls painted, new carpets throughout, plastering, new central heating, new doors – all sorts of shite that I’m just too much of a Mary to do myself. It’s long overdue – we’ve been saving up to make the house look less like somewhere you’d go for an assisted suicide for a long, long time. Now we’re flush, we’re having it all done out.

What this means is that a lot of our belongings are packed away in boxes, including a lot of our kitchen pieces, just while all the dust and paint and gruff manly talk is flying around. This in turn makes writing the blog a bit difficult – our computer has gone to the garage (replaced with a shiny Mac which I’m not allowed to use yet) – and it’s quite difficult to type a long entry out on an iPad. So – I’m still going to be updating for the next couple of weeks, but it’ll be shorter and probably just me wobbling my lips about stuff that has vexed me! It’ll be worth it though. 

So yes! We’re still going to be around – you’ll see more of us on our facebook/twitter accounts and plenty of Slimming World recipes:

  • twitter: @twochubbycubs
  • Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/twochubbycubs
  • Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/588599111240512/

Enjoy!

J

my pussy is inflamed

In a major huff. I typed up, designed and published a wonderful article on Buzzfeed in the hope of driving more people to the blog, only to find it was deleted fifteen minutes later because I’d left a watermark from my blog on one of the pictures. BAH. I’ll redo it on the weekend but sadly, it means I don’t have time to cook a recipe tonight – so we just had tomato salad.

I have, however, finally managed to get the search button working on the blog again – so if you’re trying to find a recipe, you can just chuck a keyword into the search box and it’ll come up trumps. Best part is, given I’m probably mentioned every possible swearword at some point on here, you’ll even find recipes if you search for the Big-C-Word…

Finally, because I want to go to bed, I thought I’d share with you a picture of my poor, inflamed pussy. Bowser has been chasing bees around all morning and came in the house with a pet-lip where he’s been stung. He’s fine, eating well, but aaaw now then. I can’t take his cries for food seriously given he’s grinning at me like a court jester.

bowser

Recipe tomorrow! Paul’s writing it, the poor bugger! Be nice to him.

a serious post about anxiety

James here – posting yet again from work, activating a draft post because I’m stuck at work! This whole week has been an absolute bust diet wise – couldn’t get to class tonight either, so I can’t even assess how much damage I’ve done. Meh, a week off. Back on it tomorrow. Tell you what, I can’t even tell you all truthfully that it’s been wonderful eating lots of chocolate and nonsense because I actually feel bloated and oily! The problem is, when I’m working late, there’s nothing healthy to hand, and I do need to eat – so we end up getting in takeaway which sounds great in principle but eating Chinese at 11pm with a couple more hours of work ahead of you doesn’t do well for the diet. That said, I feel considerably less bloated now because in the middle of that sentence I had to excuse myself, nip to the gents and let rip a fart that I’m surprised didn’t tear the tiles off the wall. Good lord. Anyway: tomorrow something new and exciting comes onto the blog. And not in that way. We’re experimenting! Here’s this evening’s post…it’s actually a serious one for a change!


Serious post tonight, folks, though I’ll chuck in a few jokes because why the hell not. I received an email from wordpress (the guys who host my blog) saying happy anniversary – it’s been three years since you set up your blog. My first thought was that I had clearly stroked out for a few months because I was sure twochubbycubs had only been going for a few months, but then I twigged it was actually my first blog where I documented my ‘battle’ with health anxiety. I was so proud of that blog’s name – I called it shakerattleanddroll because of my obsession with my shaking (Parkinsons), rattling (tablets) and droll (the sparkling wit you all know and love). Mulling on it a moment or two, I thought it might be a decent thing to talk about anxiety to give some hope to anyone out there suffering with it.

I suffer from health anxiety – I’d go so far to say that it doesn’t affect me so much anymore and that I have a handle on it, but I’ll still have the occasional wobble (the wobble being a clear sign that I’ve got vertigo, or balance problems, or seasickness, or a brain tumour). Anxiety is an awful, awful thing and those who dismiss it as anything other than a serious illness can kiss my arse. I’m a strong-minded, confident bloke and I was brought to my knees through health anxiety – quite genuinely the worst three months of my life. I became hyper-sensitive to every little thing that my body did and what it meant – always the worst case scenario, and was completely unable to relax or think straight for months. Imagine always fearing you were about to die.

My obsession became multiple sclerosis – I became genuinely quite convinced that I had MS simply because my eyes were aching and I had perceived weakness in my right leg. I had, quite innocently, typed those symptoms into Dr Google and of course, the worst case scenario came up. I knew nothing about MS at the time (I could write a fucking book on it now) but everything ‘clicked’ in such a way that I started experiencing other common symptoms – balance problems, forgetfulness, more vision problems, which only reinforced my belief. I spoke to doctors who ruled it out but I knew that MS is an incredibly hard thing to actually diagnose because there isn’t a concrete test for it, so I ignored them. It’s actually a very common disease for those with health anxiety to latch onto for this very reason – plus a lot of the symptoms of anxiety and MS match up, and the more you worry about having MS, the more your anxiety grows, the worse the symptoms get…

Then, because I saw an article on Parkinsons, I became convinced that I was suffering from that purely because my hands were shaking a little. Just like that, MS was forgotten (and it seems ridiculous to me now) and Parkinsons became the focus. Pick up a piece of paper by the corner and hold it in front of you – watch the edges shake a little. It’s perfectly normal. But to me that was a sign I was going to spend my life unable to type and never eating peas again. Eventually, I pretty much snapped through all of the worry and went to talk to my doctor, who god bless her, went through each and every one of my ‘symptoms’ and told me it was anxiety.

I was put onto an anti-depressant called citalopram for six months – only a small dose, but enough to ‘take the edge off’ my worries. It worked to some extent because it dulled my senses and stopped me thinking about every little thing, but I was cynical about it working. Then it happened – a few peaceful hours became a full day, one day became two, two days became a week, and I just stopped worrying, and I stopped taking the tablets and felt fine. Paul was an absolute wonder through all of this, being my constant rock, as always, and I do try and tell him how thankful I am.

It’s not perfect – even now I catastrophise – if I have a headache, I’ll immediately start running through my mind the possibilities: brain tumour (unlikely, I’m not seeing blue flashes), mad cow disease (possibly, I grew up on cheap beef), stroke (touch each tooth with the tip of your tongue, if you can do that, you’re not having a stroke). Crazy. But, I know how to deal with it – I take solace in statistics. The same logic and rationale that gets me onto an aeroplane keeps me from flipping out over health worries. I’ve had a weird tic in my left eye for a good few weeks now but I don’t care, and that feels good.

I’m not posting all of this for attention or for people to say ‘Oooh, haven’t you done well’ – in fact, no comments wanted, I know I’ve got it licked. No, I’m posting this because if anyone is reading this and going through anxiety themselves – whether health anxiety, general anxiety or just a period of depression, know that it does, and will, get better. At my darkest I thought I’d suffer for the rest of my life and to be quite honest, it’s probably always going to be a small part of me, but I go weeks without thinking about it and I can’t, genuinely, remember the last time it was a problem. It might feel neverending or that there’s no hope, but there’s always something positive to cling to, and things always get better in the end. I did…!

four years a slave

Good news, it’s our anniversary today – four years of hard, solid marriage, and eight years of being together. The eight years is a bit of a fudge, we can’t actually remember the date we got together, but eight years in gay years is almost a century, so we’re doing well! We had such a romantic start, looking back. I was trapped in a Tyneside flat with a borderline psychotic flatmate who never cleaned up, paid her bills or washed – and worse (as we found out after she left), used to hide her used, bloody drip-trays behind the radiator rather than putting them in the bin. You can imagine how fragrant her room was when the heating came on. Meanwhile, Paul was a tenant in a mansion in Portsmouth, paying all of his meagre nursing wage to two old queens who had a sling set up in the same room as their chest-freezer, meaning there was every chance of seeing some turkey-necked, bollock-naked aged twiglet trying to get top value out of his black-market Viagra with some bought in piece of rent each time you went to get a box of fish fingers. Wow, there’s a sentence I don’t get to type often enough. We’d met previously through university friends, but after our first proper ‘meeting’, Paul got the Megabus back to Newcastle with me and never went home. In the spirit of Queer as Folk, he’s quite literally the one night stand who never went away. And damn it, we work together very well. I don’t say it often enough and I’m often a bit mean in my depiction of Paul but I’d really have him no other way. Even if he is sulking a bit because I told him that hugging him when I’m sitting down and he’s standing up feels like I’m trying to move a hot-water tank.

Our wedding was a very low-key affair, but deliberately so. We spent as little money as possible on our wedding and then thousands on our honeymoon and went to Florida for a month. Some might say that’s selfish but actually, given we don’t like any kind of fuss made over us, it suited us down to the ground. Now, because I like writing, I immediately typed all of that up in a book, and although it’s four years old, if you’re a fan of my writing (and who wouldn’t be?) you can find it here on Amazon for a tiny £1.20. I’d die a happy man if people had a read and left a review. Other people immediately copied my idea but well there’s only one me. So there!

Remember we were going out for a McRib yesterday? We went out at midnight and didn’t get back until 2.30am, mainly because once we had enjoyed the McRib, we decided to go for a drive along the coast. I love driving at night, partly because I’ve got a bit of boyracer in me (Paul’s anniversary present) and it’s good to get it out of my system every now and then. So, naturally, we were enjoying the various ice covered car-parks in Whitley Bay. That said, we must be the first two chavvy types to be doing spins on ice in the car but with the 25th anniversary special recording of Grease coming out of the speakers. What a mix! Oh and we managed to drive into a clearly very popular dogging spot – St Mary’s Lighthouse car park, if you’re curious. We parked up for a moment just to cause mischief – two bears in a DS3 screeching and cackling their way through Look At Me I’m Sandra Dee would stop anyone on the vinegar strokes. We left before things got nasty, although the sight of someone’s cottage-cheese thighs wobbling away in the moonlight half-in and half-out of a Vauxhall Astra made me a bit bilious. Still, each to their own – no judgement here.

Finally, if I get the time, I’m going to go into William Hill tomorrow and see if they’ll give me odds on losing 150lb between the two of us this year. If it’s decent odds, I’ll stick £250 on it. Game on!

DIET STARTS TOMORROW. GASP.

I can smell a lie like a fart in a lift…

The best news Fatty and I have had all day is the fact that Judge Rinder has shown up in our Sky Planner again, and not only that, it’s for a 100 episode run. I know I know. There’s so much wrong with it I know, it’s very one joke, but we’re a sucker for watching people in ill-advised acrylic sportswear swearing and rocking at each other over bingo winnings. We once went along to a bingo hall in Scarborough and it was one of the most hilarious evenings, though I think I only saw enough teeth in total to furnish eight mouths, and there must have been two hundred plus cattle in there. I managed to get a house (well, the little tablet thingy that automatically dabs your numbers for you did, I was too busy looking slackjawed at the carpet) and I genuinely feared for my life on the way out – so much resentment and seething in the air, I was half-expecting the Premier Inn to be burnt out during the night. So yes, Judge Rinder. I know it’s all bollocks but it’s entertaining bollocks, damn it.

Just a quick post tonight anyway, as my ear is giving me a lot of pain. I can deal with flu, cold, anything – but as soon as my ears play up I just want to bubble. I’m completely deaf in my right ear at the moment, and it hurts every time I cough. Paul has the same problem with his left ear – we were in bed this morning and I was happily rambling away to his back like I normally do (he loves my nonsense and hints about him getting up and making me a cooked breakfast) only for him to completely ignore me – it was only after ten minutes of me gabbling on that my breath on his neck attracted his attention and he reminded me about his ear. I got my breakfast. I do feel that we’re both using our deafness to our advantage when it suits – the amount of times I just haven’t heard him when he wants a cup of tea made, or a toilet roll bringing, or that he’s on fire. Poor bugger!

Final day before the diet starts anew on Monday! We’ve got six recipes lined up for this week:

  • tomato, fennel and feta soup;
  • baked cod;
  • omelette and chips (well, you might not need a recipe for that one);
  • grilled chicken salad;
  • flicked bean chilli; and
  • quick chicken curry.

We’re heading out now because Paul wants to see what a McRib tastes like. WE KNOW HOW TO PARTY!

we’re losing backup power – we’re down to mood lighting here!

I was going to do a quick post about my deafness but a much graver situation has arisen – we’re down to one light in our bathroom. Which sounds fine, but we should have six. We had our bathroom done out when we moved in, more out of necessity rather than choice since the previous occupant died in there, knocking her head on the shitter on the way down and causing a slow leak which ruined the walls (her last act of malice, bless her, she really didn’t want the gays in). We had six of those flush spotlights built into the ceiling – I like a lot of light whilst I bathe so that I can gaze upon my beauty and really soak it in. The plumber was fantastic, catering to our every whim, though he did fail to install a gloryhole through to the built-in wardrobes in our bedroom so he gets a mark down for that.

Anyway, over the course of the year, the lights have steadily been going and now the lighting is critical – when the first went, that was no problem, five was more than enough to read Viz by and even when the second one went, as long as I had enough light to differentiate between my toothpaste and Paul’s heavy-duty Preparation H cream I was fine. To be fair, Paul doesn’t have piles, though given the pressure I put on him as soon as he has to go I’m rather surprised – I’ve been known to bust out the Countdown clock if we’re watching something and he’s taking an age. Yep. Then the third light went, and at this point we decided that we really must replace them, but once we realised that would mean finding the garage key and getting the tiny stepladders out, that got forgotten about. Four went a few weeks ago, but luckily, the light above the netty remains resolute, as did the one above the bath, meaning I could still crack on with my Bill Bryson books in relative comfort.

Until tonight – we’re down to one light, and it’s the one above the toilet, which means that every time we have to go and drop the kids off we’re going to be sat in a dark room with a spotlight directly above us, illuminating us like a prize on a second-rate game-show. That won’t do! But see this is where our inherent inability to do anything especially manly comes in, because we genuinely can’t figure out how to change the bulbs. According to the Internet, we should just be able to unscrew the fitting and replace the bulb, but I’ve tried with all five, and none of them can be moved one jot. Part of me is anxious that we’re going to have to go in the loft and replace them from up there – surely not though? Going into the loft causes incredible anxiety in this house, not least because of the way the ladder flexes and bends (I had never heard a ladder cry out in pain until we got on it) and the beams creak underneath us.

We’re left with two options, both equally embarrassing. I can call my dad to come over and do it, but well, I feel like a tit being a 29 year old bloke and having to get his dad to effectively change a lightbulb for us. My dad would do it no problem and be entirely gracious about it, but I always feel just that little bit less masculine. The alternative is to pay someone to come and do it, but that is even worse – they’ll invariably try and talk to me about tits or football or cars and I’ll have to stand there with glazed eyes looking non-plussed. I once had a BT engineer comment on my then-flatmate’s knickers which were drying (or rather, knowing her delight in shagging every other guest she checked in at the Travelodge, they were airing out) on our hallway radiator, until I cracked a joke that they were actually my evening knickers and he spent the rest of the visit ashen-faced and scrabbling away at the junction box. We do get a lot of ‘OH SO YOU LIVE HERE WITH YOUR BROTHER DO YOU’ and then thirty minutes of awkwardness and loaded mentions of their wives/girlfriends (just so we know, see, in case the sight of a pock-marked arse sticking out of a pair of paint-covered slacks framed by a copy of the Daily Sport is going to set our loins aflame).

So what do we do? Who knows. I’m just dreading the moment that I’m using the loo and the light above goes pop, meaning I’ll be stuck in the dark until Paul comes home and hears my plaintive wailing from the bathroom, only to refuse to come in because it smells like something died. What fun!

Oh, and before anyone suggests putting a candle in there, we can’t – have you ever seen Panic Room? It’ll be just like this very moment, trust me:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/F7bAUwj2HEs?t=1m30s]

Finally, remember how we’re starting Slimming World on Monday? Well we thought we deserved a little treat today after all our ills. So…

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Honestly, bathroom hijinks aside, it was like heaven in my mouth.

J

Christmas is over, now it’s time to get serious

Go on, admit it, you’ve missed us. Christmas was alright, the food delicious, the atmosphere wonderful but at the back of your mind, burning away like a bout of cystitis earned from a bout of regretful office-sex at the Christmas party, something hasn’t been quite right. What happened? Perhaps Paul had had enough of cooking me delicious meals only for me to litter the recipe cards with swearing and euphemisms for fisting and done me in with a slow-cooked lamb shank? Well, neither.

As ever, the truth is far less interesting – I got too caught up with Christmas stuff and work, had a great Christmas, and have then spent the last week full of flu and cold. And not man-flu, either. I take great exception to that turn of phrase, actually – I don’t see why it is fair to put down men for being ill. I reckon I could go out and about with my lungs coughed up through my mouth and the skitters blowing out of my arse like an overflow pipe from an at-capacity dam and someone would still tut and go ‘tsk, man-flu, don’t know how easy you men have got it’. We suffer too! If anyone does say that to me, I’m going to cough the wallpaper-paste contents of my lung right in their cornea. I’ve seen 28 Days Later, I know how this shit will go down.

To make it worse, Paul and I have had this illness, which has manifested itself in lots of coughing, blocked ears, blocked noses, no energy, tinnitus, inability to eat, crap or walk without seismic, bone-rattling amounts of hacking and spluttering, since the day before Christmas. I’m half-heartedly hoping the neighbours have overheard and are planning a Make-a-Wish intervention anytime soon. Still, as Freddie Mercury sang (and there was a man who understood how serious a cough can be), the show must go on – so here we are.

My New Year’s Resolutions are threefold – to write more (and perfectly, Paul’s resolution is to read more, so he can be my proof-reader), be more sociable and to actually take this weight loss business seriously. I’m going to be thirty this year – I want at least one bath in my lifetime where my fat arse and side-flanks don’t create a dam behind me when I sit up, creating a disgusting slurping noise as I tear skin away from enamel when I get up and the water rushes back. Writing more is easy – I love the sound of my own heavy breathing as I clatter away on my keyboard, but being sociable is a tricky prospect. I spend a good 90% of my time feeling mildly irritated by something – annoyance just running in the background like the noise of an air-conditioner or the ticking of a clock, only this is normally as a result of someone having a stupid face or wearing nasty perfume. This peaks when I’m out by myself – I actually caught myself growling and showing my teeth in John Lewis when I was Christmas shopping, which I’m fairly sure is a sign of being a sociopath. But nevermind, I’ll work privately on that. So what does this mean for the blog?

As before, we are going to follow the Slimming World plan, with our classes and weigh-in taking place on a Monday. We will aim to do 5 new recipes a week, with a soup and a salad option where possible. Recipe cards will be dished out as before, and there will be plenty of sass and sarcasm included. We want to aim to lose 2lb a week – doesn’t sound like a lot but if we keep at it, that’s 104lb in a year each – over seven stone, which is roughly what we both need to lose anyway. We still have a shitload of Christmas food to work through and our next class is on Monday, so we’ll start then.

We’ve also set up a companion Facebook group which you can find by searching for ‘Two Chubby Cubs: Slimming World, Syns and Sass’ or clicking here (haven’t officially kicked it off yet, so it’ll start soon!) and we’ll add you in and you can post questions and whatnot in there if that helps. We’ll also be posting more photos and general nonsense in there. All good fun!

Until Monday then – I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. Here’s to 2015…

weigh in week nine – but that’s impossible! they’re on instruments!

Monday night! You know what that means! No, not THAT, no that’s for birthdays only or when I want to buy a new car – no, Monday night is weigh-in night! So without further delay:

weeknine

Now that’s an awful lot of penis colada, or as it is known in some circles, an Essex mouthwash. I jest, I’m from the town with the friggin’ Bigg Market – the street of broken dreams, broken windows and broken hymens. It’s getting difficult to come up with suitable weight comparisons!

CHUFFED with the weight-loss this week, because I really thought I was going to gain, not because we’ve been eating especially badly – we’ve been good, as you can see by the recipes, but I just felt…fat! Paul has had a lot on at work so has been snacking, but we’ve both decided to give an experiment a go – from tomorrow until next weigh in, we’re going to use exactly 0 syns (or at least try to). This actually goes against the Slimming World way a little, but I’m curious to see what the results are. Before we embark on this week, we’re going to make a MONSTER. More on that during the week!

We were chatting in the car that previously we would have been disappointed with the slow weight loss – we’re definitely chase-the-numbers type of people. But the key is – before we used to cut stuff out, and go without – nevermind making all sorts of new recipes. It was a deprivation diet, and as soon as you stop that, you go straight back onto the crappy foods and bad habits. By doing it slowly, spending our syns and making sure we cook something new at least five times a week, we’re keeping it interesting and neither of us is craving bad food (although Paul timed that impeccably – he brought me a cheese slice in from the kitchen as I typed ‘neither of us’, haha). I have been a proper yo-yo dieter in the past – here’s to hoping that a) this is going to stick and b) it keeps going!

Goodnight!

Oh, and:

look at my pussy and smell my cherry

Just a quick post as we’re watching The Fall and I love Gillian Anderson. She’s possibly the only woman who I’d kill Paul for. I used to be a proper X-Phile back in the day, but that went to the wayside when I discovered a) boys and b) tauter, less convoluted drama. So, as I’m watching that, I just wanted a quick word on something I’ve found that really hits my sweet tooth and is completely syn-free – wild cherry tea. It smells amazing and I found it for 70p for the tin in a chinese supermarket. There was a whole range of flavours, but I used to smoke cherry tobacco so thought this might replace that taste. It’s delicious! Other teas are meant to be beneficial to your health, particularly green tea – so why not give them a whirl and see how you get on. Much better to have a cup of black tea than a box of Black Magic, after all…

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Finally, as compensation for no recipe today, here’s a picture of Cat One (Bowser) enjoying my freshly laundered towels. The little tinker looks bright as ever.10733724_782297968510475_6257548938090561680_o

Goodnight all. Baked polenta and chicken recipe card coming tomorrow…

J

weigh in week eight – Mr Sleek will see you now

Firstly, the results of week eight:

weekeight

Remember Sooty, because I’ll get to him in a second.

Only a quick post tonight as I’m about to have my tea (chicken burger – Heck variety from Tesco for 1 syn each) but just wanted to put it out there that between Paul and I, we’ve lost two stone in eight weeks. Now, the weightloss hasn’t been rocketing along, but that’s how we like it – slow and steady will always win the race. Slow, breathless and clutching my left arm will almost certainly win too. We’re going to have a strict week starting from tomorrow though and aim for at least 2.5 each next week. Go go go…

Also, I won Mr Sleek! I know it was a shoo-in as there are very few men who come to my group but it was still a lovely honour. Many words can be used to describe me: cheerful, effervescent, roly-poly, jolly, prepossessing, modest – but sleek? No. I’ve never been called that. I got a new fancy sticker on my book and a certificate to wave in Paul’s face whenever he wants me to rub his feet and/or move.

Finally, I mentioned above that we’ve lost the equivalent of a cat called Sooty. Well, here he is – this will help visualise what it is we have lost…

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A two stone cat! I want him.

J