Monday, 9 March 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly

The good first - I was really pleased to see that the scales had climbed down 3 lbs at this morning's weigh in, showing me 15st 5lbs. I've been waiting to see that for a couple of weeks now as that finally gives me my second shiny silver 7 star - although in fact it's pink on my WW's tracker! Whatever colour it is - I'm very pleased to see it there - that's one little mountain conquered and out the way.

The bad - now that I'm starting to see a difference in my size because all my clothes are sitting better, I'm back to shopaholic mode - damnit!!! My earlier sentiment of not wanting to buy too much because (hopefully) I won't be wearing it for too long, has now been replaced with the glee of trying things on and having them fit. I went to Oxford on Saturday to meet one of my ex-uni housemates and I ended up lightening my purse by about £120 - oooops!!! Now I've had time to come home and think about it, I'm going to take two of the tops back I think and get £70 of that back. On the upside, I was delighted to try a load of tops on in Freespirit that were all 16's and they all fitted. I know that it's mostly because they were all stretchy ones, but the point is that they all looked pretty good. I'm not really a 16 yet, but it's such a nice indication of what's to come. I settled on just purchasing one - a really cute red t-shirt from Animal - I figure that with it being a 16 I should get quite a bit of wear out of it as I lose weight. Also picked up a plain-ish white top from Next for work (an 18 that one, but it's for wearing straight away, and I tend to find their sizing a bit unforgiving on me). There was also a lovely light chiffon like top in grey with flamingo's printed all over and a tie-belt - it was really pretty and girly, but I figure £28 for a top I might not wear for that long is a bit pricey, so I'll take that one back and a jumper from Fat Face that I had second thoughts about when I got home. Going to have to remind myself that I need to be thinking short-term for the moment!

And finally the ugly - I have to laugh at this one really!! I met up with my new fitness buddy Ed yesterday for the first time to go mountain-biking (and no - I'm not saying he's ugly - that would just be rude!!! Stop jumping to conclusions you lot!). It looked nice enough when he picked me up at 10am - nice blue skies - but as we drove towards the Forest of Dean the weather started to look distinctly wet. Luckily, I'd packed a waterproof as a last minute thought, but I was wondering if we were actually going to set out in this torrential downpour ... and apparently the answer was yes! We were pretty much soaked in about 10 mins, but we bravely ventured out on to the singletrack course to give it a bash.

Now for those of you not sure what singletrack is, it's basically a set trail for mountain bikers - usually full of technical obstacles - steep, tricky inclines and descents, switchback corners, narrow stone or log "bridges" you have to ride over and natural obstacles like tree-roots criss-crossing the path. I've never done singletrack before, although it's something I've wanted to have a bash at since starting biking again last year. Luckily, I bought my current bike with this in mind, and it's up to the job .... the question is was I? The course at the Forest of Dean is graded as red (same system they use for ski pistes), which means whilst it isn't long (only just over 3 miles), it's designed with intermediate / experienced riders in mind.

And my god, it was fun!!! I thought my heart was going to give out on some of the climbs, and my legs on some of the descents - but there's a hell of a buzz in charging headlong down ridiculously steep slopes or navigating a series of drops and conquering the climbs. We finished splattered head to toe in mud, and decided that since this was my first time, rather than risk doing the whole thing again and making a mistake because I was tired, we'd cool down on some of the open trails in forest. Cue the ugly bit - as I was tearing down the last descent on the way home, I looked up to see a fallen tree blocking the trail. I hadn't looked up in time to see how Ed got round it, so I just slammed on the brakes and tried to skirt it - still pretty much going at full speed at this point. I nearly made it .... soooo close!!! Sadly, I managed to slip and plant my front wheel straight in the ditch at the side of the trail ... and sailed straight over the handlebars with the bike following me in a perfect somersault - beautiful!!! Consequently, I face-planted on the muddy trail with the bike on top - thank god it's not heavy.

I got off pretty lightly really - it didn't really hurt too much other than the indignity of being dumped in the mud at speed. Of course when I got back and went to change (having just sluiced off my legs and feet with the same jet-spray I'd used on the bike - wasn't going to make a lot of difference to how wet I was by then!) I discovered that I scraped a really nice set of patches off my elbow where I'd landed and now have a spectacular lump on it. Additionally, I've got another bruised lump on my hand, and a whole set of big bright blue bruises (oooh - look at that alliteration!) with angry red scrapes all over the fronts and sides of my legs - d'oh!! Still - amazingly for how bad it looks - it's still not that sore - only my elbows really a bit tender, but I'm going to have to get a new helmet after shattering the visor off mine. On the upside I wasn't the only one to fall - Ed went over on the singletrack so I didn't feel too embarrassed about it.

One hell of a bike ride, but actually I feel like I achieved something - I've been a bit scared to tackle singletrack because I kept worrying that there'd be loads of super-fit guys tearing round it yelling at me to get out of the way, but I really enjoyed, and now I know I can do it! I now also have that critical first fall out of the way and it hasn't put me off at all - yay!!

In other news, I went to a house-party on Friday night - and I could have hugged my flatmate when she saw me just as I was going out and exclaimed "oooh - you look so slim!!!". Quite an ego-boost!! And actually I just saw a photo taken during the evening, and it's not so bad.

I also feel a little selfish and guilty - my flatmate has just told me that, as I'm doing so well on WW's, she's thinking of giving it a go, and I half don't want her too - how awful is that? I think it's two things really - firstly, I feel like this is my sucess story for once and I don't want to share it - bad Sue!!! Stop that!!! Secondly, she can be very competitive and I don't want this to turn into a competition or a race. Oh well, if she does join up, I shall just have to make sure I'm supportive but maybe keep my progress to myself and hope that I can squash my own competitive feelings - sometimes I wish I could just grow up and act like an adult!!!!

And, one last thing, to end on a positive note - I just realised in the car on the way home, that in theory, if I can keep losing roughly 7lbs a month, I could be at or close to goal by the time I go away windsurfing in November. I cannot tell you how inspiring a thought that is for me!!!!

Sorry this turned into a bit of an epic!!


Anonymous said...

Your bike ride sounds like soooooooooooooo much fun!!! Well done for your loss too :o)

A Girl Called Dave said...

Hi, just wanted to stop and say how much I love reading your blog. You are actually an English version of myself!!! Same size, same love of the outdoors and outdoorsy sports, reading your blog is like reading about my own life!

Poppett said...

Hey Sue,

Sounds like you had an amazing time on your bike ride...good for you!! It's great to be getting back to something you enjoy..I'm hoping to go back to my Jive classes soon so should be able to enjoy them more now that I dont have to jig so much fat around!!

Very well done on your weightloss too... here's to more good news next time *chinks glasses of WW wine together!) :0)