Thank you so much for your comments, which are a HUGE help. I have good news to report. I went to bootcamp this morning. This is something I've been doing twice a week since September, and I absolutely love it. Initially we were outside in the park, since November we've been indoors. We do exercises and running which don't require anything much apart from your own body. And it's fun. The woman who runs it, Donna, is great, knows what she's doing, gets us going, and is super-nice. If anyone lives in the Hudson Valley NY area, I really recommend joining the group. What I've found with exercise, is that you have to want to do it. If I think "Oh no. I have to go to the gym today," I know I'm onto a loser. Previously, the only place where I really enjoyed exercising was at my Dad's house in Italy. I run up the hill behind his house, on the dirt tracks amidst the olive groves, up, up, until I reach the tall pine trees at the top and sit down and look out at the view over Rome. Whenever I'm there, I get very fit, because I want to go running every day. It's a treat. Not surprisingly, this is not something I've been able to replicate in "normal" life. It's always "Oh no. I have to go running." Bootcamp changed all this. I want to go, I think because the company is so nice. One Danish woman doing it is actually 79 years old (I think), you wouldn't believe it, she looks about 60. She used to be a cross-country skiing champion.
Anyway, I struggled through bootcamp today. I really felt my muscles hurting as I did the exercises. This doesn't normally happen. Even exercises I normally find easy (eg. standing with my back against the wall with knees bent so I'm in a sitting position - sorry don't know the term for it) I found hard to do. I could feel my stomach muscles as I was doing planks, I could feel my arm muscles as we used the kettlebells. It's very strange, because normally it's only the day after that they ache. But afterwards I felt great. I still do. Those who recommended exercise are right!
My weight is 162 lbs, so down approx 4 lbs since starting this...and I feel very upbeat and energetic.
I still have an issue with eating though. I really appreciate your recommendations on food, and will try to follow some of your tips. I think my issue is partly one of time management, in this sense: my days have never been structured to allow time to think about food/recipes during the day. I rush around with the kids, I spend time in my office making calls and doing work, and it's only in the evening that I have time to think about food. It's not that I don't want to cook all these lovely recipes and think about them, but my day isn't organized to allow it.
So, for example, yesterday, I really honestly wanted to eat lunch, but I didn't get around to it. I had bacon, eggs and sausages for breakfast, and spent the rest of the day getting by on water (and maybe a cup or two of coffee) as I drove the kids around and did interviews from my office. I finally found myself in ShopRite at 6pm, buying food, and trying to come up with ideas, which I did. I had a great recipe book with me, Nigel Slater's 30-Minute Cook which has lots of enticing vegetable and meat dishes. I also had one www.fastpaleo.com recipe with me, for pancakes. But I got so tired I actually sat down on the floor at one point, and just looked at my shopping list.
When I got home, I ate a ton of pistachios, and quickly put together an avocado filled with crab, cilantro, mayonnaise and turmeric. We were supposed to have steak and various things as our main course, my husband had offered to cook, but I had a "quick rest" before dinner, read my mystery for a few minutes, and promptly fell asleep. When my husband asked me if I wanted dinner I had no idea what he was talking about. I woke up in the middle of the night with the light on, my contact lenses in, all my clothes on, and my husband asleep beside me.
This is partly because I'd had to stay up till 2.30 am the night before, writing up an interview. So it seems like a one-off. But there always seems to be something throwing off my day...