Friday, 31 December 2010
You were an awesome year - you had some ups and downs, a few frustrations but some successes when I rode the rough times out.
I've gained and lost this year, hit a new low, but (I suspect after Xmas and New Year) ultimately maintained. And I'm happy with that.
The travelling was amazing, the parties were awesome, my friends went above and beyond the call of duty because they cared.
I've got a new job, and a new flat in a new city.
I ran my first ever 10k, and feel I can call myself a runner. I did my first black runs on my bike and on skis.
I achieved a lot. I'm content to let 2010 to close out and say good-bye. I'm looking forward to 2011.
I have one resolution for next year: to keep trying.
I've already entered a 10k and a duathlon. But they're just personal goals. Overall - my resolution is just to try.
So hello 2011. And welcome.
Oh yeah - and Happy New Year!!
- Posted from my iPhone
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Well, since I have successfully reached the bottom of the open bags of chocolate (yes, I pointed those too), that's one temptation removed.
But I hearby pledge to keep my grubby little fingers out of the chocolates tomorrow. And the biscuits. Also mince pies, fondant fancies and whatever-else-is-hiding-in-the-corner-cupboard-of-treats.
Let's aim for a day without silly snacking, people!
Monday, 27 December 2010
Have seriously cursed not bringing my running gear home, but have spent time plotting more races to run in the New Year and devouring Womens Running magazine this afternoon and generally getting excited about getting back to it after the festivities are over.
Other than that I'm plotting my costume for New Years Eve and trying to work out what starter I'm taking to the dinner party on 29th. Hmmmm - so that's lots more food and some drinking then - phew - think I'm going to need all this running in January!!!
- Posted from my iPhone
Saturday, 25 December 2010
This post was originally something I was writing off my own bat about and for next year. But then I came across the next prompt for the Reverb10 project (late of course, because I’m behind but still going - story of my life):
Prompt: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn't go for it?
Well – I’d already started it, so that slots in nicely: Please See Below!!
2011 – Things to do.
I have tons of things I want to achieve in 2011 – some are things I’ve been pondering over for a while, others are things that are brand new goals for this year – maybe prompted by something I achieved or discovered last year, some just wild, out there and shiny brand new. Currently, they fall into two categories – already committed to and on the list, but will not be planned in just yet.
Run Bristol 10k – May
Every Woman Duathlon – June
Yep – last October wasn’t enough, and I’ve gone back for more. I’d been considering it for a while anyway, as I a prompt to get my running kick-started again in 2011, and because the 5ks I have run recently have been feeling good. Yet again, it’s come about in support of another friend who’s running the distance for the first time, but for me it’s a well-timed challenge to try and beat my time and set a new personal best (I never thought that would be a phrase I would using about myself). So, I’m aiming to try and run it in less than 1:12.
Well, after saying yes to the invite to Run Bristol, I got a bit excited chatting to Hannah, and we talking about maybe trying a Tri sometime. Off the phone, and doing a little research on the internet, I stumbled on the above Duathlon. A text to Jo (my fellow health-chaser / conspirator from the start of the whole 2009 challenge) and my fate was sealed. She got so excited that she signed up for not just the 10k, but the challenge distance of the duathlon too. So on the 4th of June, 3 weeks after my 2nd ever 10k, I’ll be participating in the Every Woman Duathlon on Clifton Downs – 5k run, 20k bike, 5k run. The current training plan for these, also includes the 5 mile Weston Promenade run in Feb or March too.
Now perhaps you can understand, why the Bristol Half conversation came about last night (Jo was out too), and why I half want to do it, but also think it’s a hell of a scary jump in my running. I liked the fact though, that the pact that was drunkenly proposed, was that all 5 of us run it together … at my pace. That group consists of Ben (NY Marathon), Koks (Royal Parks Half and Great South Run), Kate (2 x Great North Run) and Jo (just ridiculously fit and naturally athletic). I’m touched that these guys would do it, and do it at my pace to support me, but also a little intimidated by their combined credentials!
To try, and see if I like it:
British Military Fitness class
Bikram yoga (hot yoga)
One of my tactics for approaching my new life in Bristol, as I’ve mentioned several times before, is exploring what it is I like to do, and trying a few new things that I’ve been meaning too. I’ve been doing a fair amount of online research over the last couple of weeks of possible classes / clubs / sessions I want to try in the New Year. It would have been sooner, but things like terms starting afresh in Jan, the big freeze and lack of money at the moment, made January seem like a good time. I’ve already worked out that all of the above things are available in Bristol, nearby and at not-ridiculous prices. To spread the fun (and the cost), and to prevent me over-complicating my diary, and over-committing myself, and to make sure I give each one a fair chance, I’m going to give them a one-at-a-time approach. I’ve got a provisional plan of which terms / sessions I’d like to try the Street Dance and Spanish classes, and we’ll see how everything else slots in around it – especially as I need to leave plenty of time for running!
What I’ve learned from 2010
What I’ve learned from 2010 is this: it really is true – you never regret the things you did, only the things you didn’t do.
I took a few more risks, sucked up the nerves, and found great rewards at the end. Or at least, knowledge. Sometimes it was small things like finding the nerve to contact the Gloucestershire mountain biking club that I went out with – I had a great ride, and met nice people, but realised that I needed to find a club that ran dedicated novice rides. That was good thought, because it meant I knew what I should look for in a prospective Bristol club. Others were bigger risks like booking my flights to go travel, and then having to jack the job. No regrets.
What I didn’t have so much of in 2010 was focus. I didn’t make an actual list of things to do, so I tried things as I thought of them, or got invited. Now I have a list!
You’ll notice what’s not on this list, is any goal about getting to … well, goal. Obviously, it’s something that’s on my agenda, but I’m not going to make it a specific goal with a timescale. I was initially frustrated with my lack of progress in 2010 on the weight front, but I have come to realise that I have achieved something fantastic: I lost 4 stone in a year, and then kept it off for another year. What’s more, I’ve finished that second year, still focused on eating healthily most of the time, but living a lifestyle I can maintain, making improvements where I can, and just trying to move forward and improve a tiny bit at a time. I have work to do on my eating habits, but I’m confident that having fitness goals will help achieve a balanced outlook and help me to move further towards the shape I want to have.
Had a lovely night out with my schoolfriends last night, doing much over-excited, very fast gabbling, catching up - it was great. I always come away from time with them feeling well-loved and like I'm awesome.
Also - I blame this on the drunk people present (and this will probably make more sense once I've done my "things for 2011" post) - there appears to have been some sort of drunken pact made for the 5 of us present last night to run the Bristol half marathon in September. Let us just pray (as the only sober and driving person there last night) that they've forgotten about that this morning. A Half might be a bit of a scary step too far at the moment!!
Ate a few naughties yesterday, but all tracked and not ridiculous - hopefully that was the start of my Very Reasonable Christmas that I'm hoping to achieve this year :-)
Off to open pressies now and forage for some breakfast!
- Posted from my iPhone
Friday, 24 December 2010
I can't hide that my eating this week has been pretty close to the atrocious end of the scale. That in itself has displeased me no end, but I have still eaten badly regardless. At least I know exactly how badly I ate, because I forced myself to write it all down - so I know that my gain at the scales this morning to extremely displeasing 12st 8.5lb (3lbs up on last week) is down to the might 74 points deficit in my tracker. I have definitely reaped what I sowed.
Let us not dispair though. I'm off home this afternoon, and I know that a lot of my eating this week has been down to boredom and home-baking. It's been really freaking quiet at work this week, and that's always been one of my biggest triggers to eat. Combine that with me spending Sunday afternoon last week in a festive whirl of baking very belated birthday cakes for the office, and there's me with an empty in-tray and a box of chocolate and hazlenut cupcakes and a tin of sugar biscuits on the desk next to me all week. Not a great combination. Then there was pic'n'mix at the cinema on Tuesday evening (I haven't been for weeks, and forgot how sick that stuff generally makes me feel afterwards - now I remember, and hopefully won't make that mistake again too soon), and the fact that I haven't done a proper food shop in a couple of weeks and have been polishing off whatever's in the fridge combined with dropping in at the local supermarket on the way home each night to pick up "essentials" and there's me eating a lot of bits I wouldn't usually. Oh yeah - and there's too much ice to run, and the gym's cancelled loads of classes for Xmas .... boooooo.
Anyhoo - my fault. Move along.
What I did have on Wednesday was my second personal trainer appointment at the gym. Jesus Christ is that boy evil!!!! Hill sprint intervals on the treadmill, for crying out loud?!?!? I didn't even know I could do those (well, I can, but only with accompanying thoughts of passing out or throwing up), many weights, prolonged abs, and just as I was ready to drop, he wanted to see how many proper press-ups I could do. The answer's 6, but not with great form, but in my defence I'd just done a chest / arms / shoulders weights work out.
Sooooooo - next week. I'm off home to Dad's tonight. He tells me he's stocked the cupboards up, but I'm bringing in fruit, veg and healthier options. Plus, I don't get so bored, so I'm damn well aiming for next week's weigh in to be lower. I initially packed my running gear, since I'm no longer a member of the gym at home, but then realised that with 6 inches of snow down, that wasn't a practical reality. Instead, I've got walking gear for lots of exploring all the snowy goodness on the hills and sledging (that should burn a few Xmas calories!), and also my swimming cossie, as I reckon the pool should be open at some point.
I'm taking the laptop home over Xmas so expect further updates!! Hope you all have an amazing, enjoyable, not toooo over-indulgent Xmas's!!! xxx
Thursday, 23 December 2010
That I am stronger and better than I think I am. I constantly doubted myself and put myself down, and that stopped me from achieving things .... mostly because I'd not believe I could do it so I wouldn't even try.
I have learned over the course if this year (and last year too), that if I put my mind to something, and have a little self-belief, I can achieve loads of things.
For me, that's a self-fulfilling prophesy. If I see I can do something, then I'll try it. And when I succeed at that and feel how good that feels, I'm motivated to do more. I'm less afraid of failure, because I see it as being less of an inevitability, but also, like my fear of rejection, I realise it's also not as utterly terrible as I'd thought.
2011 is going to be all about trying things.
- Posted from my iPhone
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Prompt: Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
I don’t think there is one friend who I would single out above the others in 2010 – I have an amazing group of diverse friends, and they are all special to me in some way. They constantly (and very patiently I might add) listen to me and then give me a new perspective on things – usually a far more positive point of view than the one I am seeing things from, but occasionally grittily realistic to keep me grounded.
They have done this on so many countless occasions, over so many small things … but often it’s the small things that add up to the big World View. They have also been there for far longer than just this year, with this constant level of unending support. I love them dearly, for who they are, and who they make me when I’m with them.
They constantly work to shore up my flaky confidence, and encourage me to reach for things I wouldn’t dream of. It’s a subtle process, so I guess you could say it’s gradual, but it’s also never-ending – more of a natural evolution.
So, to the Bridgets, Jons, Hannahs, Sheenas, Becs, Jos, Lissas and Carolines of this world – I salute you, and say your friends are luckier than they will ever know to have you.
And to the originals? I heart you, totally, utterly and devotedly. Even if I’m occasional a stroppy bitch.
Oh my God - GO!!!! So much!
Travelling - all of it!!! The long bus journeys through unfamiliar landscapes, beautiful beaches and pounding surf, cycling along pot-holey roads on a rust bucket of a cruiser in vest, bikini and denim cut-offs. Playing with baby howler monkeys, the bubble of joy when I finally managed to stand (very wobbly) on my surf board, howling with laughter in the pool as we tried to do handstands. The white-water rafting and sliding on zip lines in the canopy. Jumping off waterfalls. Swinging in my hammock absorbed in my book. Independence.
Playing on the beach in Wales in May - turning my first cartwheel in 20 years. The funfair that made us sick and giddy with laughter.
Running through the snow in a bikini to the hot-tub in the French Alps. My first black run on skis, my first baby ski-jump, my first powder, my first border-cross racetrack ... in fact the whole damn holiday.
Some awesome bike adventures - reds that never ended and my first black and whooping exhilaration. And mud. Lots of mud.
Feeling good in black tie for awesome parties and weddings. Weddings in the sunny July weather and lots of smiles.
A day of manically grinning exhilaration when I did my 10k and the feeling of amazed wonder that I'd achieved it and come so far.
The relief when I finally visited my mum's grave after 3 years. Physically saying good bye and hello at the same time.
A comical year of romantic errors, including the boy next door that should never have happened, the vet and why you should never go on a date with a friend. Ok so two out of 3 were a bad idea, but I took risks and tried it.
Friends, walks, picnics, beaches, snow, mud, pretty dresses - I've run out of time but it's been an awesome year - here's to next year and a reminder of how awesome it should and can be!
- Posted from my iPhone
2010 was the year I started to make things really happen. Not that things never happened before, after all I've been to university and got a degree, landed myself a plum graduate job (and about another 4 subsequent to that), kicked and screamed my way through a professional qualification (13 out of 13 first-time passes, thank you very much!), and last but certainly not least, lost 4 stone. All by myself.
Something changed in 2010 though. All my decisions, and by extension, all my accomplishments, before then, kind of happened organically. I'd him and hah about things, vaguely dream of them, and usually fate would give me a helping hand, or sometimes friend's choices would give me a kick-start in a particular direction, and off I'd trundle.
I'm very proud of all that I've achieved, but if you'd asked me when I was 18 it wouldn't have been where I thought I'd be at all. I was going to be a vet, not an accountant. I have drifted and let life and circumstances mould my life.
Somewhere in 2010 I started reaching a bit harder for the things I wanted. I quit a job I hated. I grabbed an opportunity to travel and made it worked for me. I stopped being frustrated with my life circumstances and did something to change them and try an alternative by moving, and I've started to wipe up my own mess of debt.
The trick to making things happen has, for me, been accepting responsibility for my dreams and aspirations, and realising that no-one else is likely to make them happen. And to get where you want to go, you might have to go somewhere unexpected first.
An example: I want to be wealthy and able to afford the things I want and life-style I enjoy. So far, that got me in debt. To get there, I'm going to have to clamp down on my spending and get my debt cleared, because then I'll have extra money for me, rather than just servicing my credit cards. It hurts me to say no to ski holidays, and tickets for concerts I want to go to. But those baby steps will point me in the right direction.
Write lists, jot down your goals, break them down in to tasks. Research your dreams - know them. Understand your current situation and workout what needs to change to get you from A to B.
Whether it's debt, a fitness goal, a dream to travel, or a new career - take responsibility for your goal, plan it, and then, the scary bit, start executing that plan.
- Posted from my iPhone
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
I managed Friday night's Xmas party as planned and actually managed to bank some points, as well as avoiding a hangover, but undid that on Saturday when I had guilty takeaway for dinner. Also, Starbucks Iced Ginger Loaf? Lovely, but not worth 11 or 12 points, i.e. a 1/3 of my day's points!
I was up and all dressed to go to Balance on sunday morning, but was foiled by my gym cancelling the class in the run up to Xmas and with all the crappy weather. Not that we've got much crappy weather here - all the rubbish of the problems (cancelled classes, ice everywhere, travel plans being cocked up) without any if the actual fun of the snow. So not fair.
At least sorting my present shopping out has meant lots of walking over the weekend, which has been good, and I've got another appt with the trainer at the gym tomorrow to kick my butt.
Yesterday wasn't a great day, as I ate too much cake. I got home in the evening and couldn't decide what I wanted for dinner. I really wanted some of the smoked haddock from the freezer, I was craving broccoli and I was also desperate for some pitta bread and humous. Eventually, I threw the rules out the window and had all of them. And I savoured it - I forced myself to slow down and taste all of it.
I was feeling a bit emotionally spaced last night - feeling the pressure of impending Xmas I guess, so after I'd had a little sniffle I picked myself up, cleaned the flat and sat down to wrap all my presents with something good on the tv.
Then I took a well-timed phonecall from Hannah, who cheered me right up and suggested something exciting for next year. I said yes, and then set about investigating further exciting options for next year. I'm going to do a proper post on plans for next year soon, so keep an eye out for that!
- Posted from my iPhone
The way I interpret this, I will answer as follows: I feel best in the moments when I'm amazed at what my body can do. Instead of being aware of me, I'm aware of my surroundings and how everything feels. Usually this is when I'm doing something physical - biking, skiing, windsurfing - but it can also be those rare moments when you feel good about yourself. When a looks come together and you looks and feel great. For a peaceful instant you stop fighting yourself and just marvel at how far you've come.
- Posted from my iPhone
Monday, 20 December 2010
1) Debt - for a long time now, I've lived beyond my means. Never by very much, but enough that overtime that leaking trickle caused a mighty big lake of debt. Ironic for an accountant, huh? I'm on it though - I've started on the long run to being debt-free already, and although I think I'll be at this a while, I'll get there.
2) The last 11lbs or so to goal. I want to finish 2011 at goal.
3) Self-loathing - I need to stop putting myself down.
4) Self-doubt - I can do things.
5) Stop judging myself so hard and by different standards to everyone else.
6) Procrastinating - waaaaay too much of that round me. I put off everything (hence no. 1 and 2 I guess) - I need to get on with things and stop thinking how scary they are or how much I don't want to do them.
7) Whining about being single. It takes up way too much of my life. I should get over it, and live my life. I guess I'm getting a bit better, but all the fears and insecurities still come and go from time to time.
8) Untidiness - I loathe how untidy I can be - it makes me feel stressed in my own home. I've just moved into a new flat and it's currently pretty tidy - a good time to get in the habit if keeping it that way.
9) Clutter - directly linked to the above - moving to the new flat made me realise how much stuff I have that i don't need. Things I neither use regularly or legitimately need to keep - so why the hell do I still have it all????? It takes up valuable space in my flat, and makes it harder to keep everything I actually need tidy. I've just about started the de-clutter - I've put a couple of things in EBay to see if I can't get a bit of money back. After that I'll start on the bookshelves and the random boxes of stuff. Time to be ruthless and clear it all down so I can have a flat of zen calm :-)
10) Booking too much in my diary. It leaves me stressed, contributes to my lateness everywhere, and result in me spending way too much money. I want to pick my commitments more carefully 2011, savour them and leave a bit more room for spontaneity too.
11) Regrets. Who needs them? What's done is done - it can't be changed. We can learn from it if it's bad, for god's sake celebrate if it was good - but never regret. I do - it's not worth it.
- Posted from my iPhone
Easy - counselling. By far and away the wisest decision I made this year. Asking help was a big jump for me, but it helped with a lot of other stuff.
Best decision - quitting my job to go travelling. Might not have been wise, given that it left me financially wide-open and unemployed, but it was awesome and I regret it not one iota. I finally feel like I achieved one of my life goals.
Second best (and perhaps second wisest decision) - finding the balls to pick myself up and move my life to Bristol. I have yet to see how it all pans out but I have hope that this will be a time to find out what I like and want for a change.
- Posted from my iPhone
Oh boy - I am sooooo behind on these .... but I've not given up - I just might be finishing them off in the New Year is all.
The Best Party Award? Tricky. I automatically start thinking of all the bug fancy bashes during the year - Rob and Caz's black tie 30th, Jon's amazing party at the Yurts, my own 30th, but I tend to find anything that gets that much build-up tends to be a little disappointing in the end. A but of an anti-climax.
So this prize goes to all those nights that surprise you. The quiet ones that turn into epics, the little gatherings of friends that just totally worked and give you the kind of memories that last for years - the "Oh my god - do you remember....?"'s.
New Year with friends in remote Scotland last year was amazing - snowy landscapes, the freezing little cottage with us all crammed in, coal stove in the living room booting out the heat and us all sat round playing cards and silly games, everyone dressed in about 6 layers of woolies, lots of homecooked food, a murder mystery dinner, walks on the frozen beach and snowy hills, and a blurred recollection of drinking champagne from the bottle on New Years Eve and watching friends spinning fire poi in the garden. Epic.
This New Years Eve? A 3 day trip to Newquay in Cornwall, fancy dress and walks on Fistral Beach on New Years Day.
- Posted from my iPhone
Friday, 17 December 2010
I honestly think I didn't I deserved any kind of loss, but maybe those weights have been doing good things to my metabolism, or eating all those vegetables does far more for your sense of fullness than it does for increasing your waistline.
Either way - I'll take it and run with it. That puts me back in my comfortable zone under 12st 6. Next week I'd just like to lose something to keep me pushing back towards those last 10lbs.
- Posted from my iPhone
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Ok – not a great day today, but not a truly horrific day either. I got caught a bit short, as I forgot I was having catch-up coffee / lunch with my recruitment consultant today, which threw things a bit out of whack.
So that’s a slight negative. On the positive side, my overeating this evening has mostly been vegetables, some lean beef, a meringue and some dry cereal. An odd combination, but the cereal got scarfed down whilst I was waiting for my butternut squash to roast to go with my stew. Not so bad I guess, but eating cereal from the box is definitely a habit I do not want to get back into.
Pay attention, Self, and *note that down*!
Yesterday, I did good. I went to the gym after work for spin, and popped out a quick 10 min run, 10 mins of the rower and some quick upper-body weights whilst I was waiting for the class. And bugger me, if that class wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve done for a while! The instructor was a demon (and interestingly, the same instructor I had for Balance on Sunday), and it was tough!! I sweated buckets and gasped my way through the entire 45 mins, everytime I looked at my heart rate monitor I was in the 170’s, but pride wouldn’t let me slack the pace and not stay with the beat. Masochistically good stuff, as I was going harder and more consistently than the 4 pretty boys in the corner who looked like they’d accidentally wandered in from a pro football or rugby team somewhere – they looked broken. lol. Surprisingly, I’m not too achy at all today, and the instructor complimented me at the end saying I’d done well. So that was 880 calories wiped off the face of the earth in one gym session.
When I got home last night, I decided I was not so hungry that I couldn’t wait for the longer time required to cook stew. I ate a massive portion of it (and the same again this evening), but since it’s all lean stewing steak, root veg (mostly zero point) and stock and tomatoes, I figure it’s better to get full on that than rubbish. I’ve been very hungry the last couple of nights, but I’m trying where I can to not eat too much crap.
Weigh in tomorrow, and I suspect it might be another small gain, or a stay-the-same if I’m very lucky. I don’t deserve anything else with this week’s eating though. But, I have tracked the lot, I know what I ate, and I will take responsibility for myself.
Tomorrow is also my work Xmas party – menu’s are pre-selected – I’ve gone for mussels to start, a smoked haddock risotto for main, and a chocolate mousse for dessert. That’s not going to be great on points, but they’re some of the better options from the menu I think, and should be pretty portion-controlled compared to options like roast belly pork with all the trimmings. I doubt dinner will happen, and although we’ll be drinking wine with the meal, I intend to get back on the spirits and slimline mixers as quickly as poss, and for the sake of pacing, try and get some non-alcholoic drinks in too. This is my one big social blow-out this week, after that it’s a quiet weekend at the flat, pottering round town finishing Xmas shopping (but being very good and sticking to my budgeting, so no shopping for me), watching Xmas-y films, maybe doing a design project for the flat, and trying to eat a bit more healthily, and with some sense of volume!
Ooooooh – and waiting for the snow that apparently is going to blanket Bristol. We’ll see.
Weigh in results will be posted truthfully tomorrow.
Thanks as always for your support. xx
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
I dusted myself down last night (and you're right, Seren, in the scale of things 6 California Rolls and half a pot of frozen yoghurt isn't going to kill me - I've just got used to living on my allowance, so it seems a lot), tracked it online and closed that episode. Then I sat down and watched videos of Zumba online and got excited about it coming to my gym in the New Year.
Since I was awake very early this morning I rang the gym and booked myself in for Spin at 6.15 this evening. First spin class in far too many weeks and I have to admit that I'm quite excited. Hope it lives up to expectations! I'm going to try and fit my weights in before or after the class too - they're only 15 mins so they don't take long, but they're damn effective (at making me ache)!
This morning I bumped into a girl called Cat, who I know via Hannah, on my way to work and it turns out she works literally 5 mins from my office which is cool. We had a little chat and she mentioned that her and Hannah and some others sometimes meet for Friday lunch, and I'll have to come along next time. Things like that help me feel a bit less isolated, so that was a really positive boost this morning.
Food's ok today - I know I'll be hungry when I get back from the gym, so I've already set out 2 dinner options in my head - one quick and one a bit slower - so I don't have to try and make decisions when I'm starving later.
And no dangerous, hungry trips to the supermarket on the way home tonight!
- Posted from my iPhone
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
I would just like to go on record as saying that I categorically suck.
WTF is wrong with me???
I’ve just ballsed up another perfectly good day, and if sticking your fingers down your throat weren’t such an unhealthily bad thing to do (and if I had some kind of useful gag reflex) then I’d be right there doing that now. I feel shit.
I left work with what should have been a perfect number of points for dinner, but in dropping in at the supermarket I had a sudden craving for sushi, so I grabbed a pack of California Rolls. Fine, but instead of having those for dinner, I wolfed them down as a bloody appetiser, and then proceeded to have dinner after that. Admittedly, dinner wasn’t anything crazy (woooooooo – poached eggs and mushrooms on an English muffin – you cer-razy girl!), but the point is I knew I didn’t have the points for both and still ate them. And then I ate half a bloody pot of Ben & Jerry’s frozen yoghurt.
Why am I so intent on undoing all my good work at the moment?????????
It’s driving me nuts! I have one good day, followed by several bad days. And all the exercise in the world isn’t going to negate that! (Well, all the exercise in the world might, but obviously I’m not doing that).
Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah – I’m so frustrated with myself.
I was doing so freaking well just before I moved, within touching distance of goal finally – just on the verge of those last 10lbs, and now I seem to be unravelling like a ball of wool that the kitten’s just hit. Which is to say at an alarming rate of knots. And I hate it.
I don’t know if I’m acting out with my eating habits because I’m feeling the stress of leaving my friends and moving to a new city, or what it is, but I just want it to stop. I want to stop. I want to stop making theses stupid mistakes, and the stupid excuses too.
I feel gross. I feel fat again. I feel self-loathing. And yes, damn it, I’m wallowing in it right now.
If I don't get my miserable arse on here regularly (say at least every other day or so) then I don't have accountability for what goes in my gob.
There ... I've said it.
This weekend didn't go soooo badly, until Sunday night. And the reason for that is that I'd planned it. But Sunday night, after diligently pointing up everything and eating a sensible tea, I went to Hannah's for films and chat. And even though I'd eaten that sensible tea not an hour before, I ended up eating pizza with them when their takeaway arrived. Hmmmm - spot the deliberate error there!
And FYI? Domino's Double Decadence - the thin crust with the two layers and pesto sandwiched between? Not only ridiculously high in points, but actually not that great. Give me a standard deep pan or thin crust anyday. Too thin, too greasy, and not that tasty. I also wonder when I actively started preferring a veggie laden pizza to pepperoni / meat feast type ones?
Anyhoo - we can safely say that I was cursing when I stepped on the scales yesterday morning and they'd shot up to 12st 9. That's nearly half a stone higher than they were a couple of weeks ago. Obviously, I realise that it's very difficult to put 3lbs of fat on over one weekend, so a lot of that will be salt / chemical / MSG-type hangover, but it was still a shock.
As a result, yesterday I was good. I committed to tracking everything and finished the day in a sensible place (which skimmed 1.5lbs straight back off by this morning). Today, I'm on track to be good again, and I'm practically chanting the persistence not perfection mantra to myself rather than beat myself up. But I think I need to get on here much more often than I have been to say these things (and I could do with a little more of the perfection maybe!).
Exercise-wise, things aren't too bad; Bridget had an early-ish start on Sunday, which left me available to stroll over for Sunday morning Body Balance at the gym followed by a round of the PT-prescribed weights. Two things: a) I am really stiff at the moment, but sure felt better for an hour of stretching and bending, if a little wobbly afterwards, and b) those weights kill me in the space of 10 mins.
Seriously. Not even joking - I was absolutely crippled yesterday with post-work-out muscle soreness. Not that it's entirely unpleasant, but there's not much of me that doesn't ache at the moment. My abs (somewhere under all that remaining fat) especially.
So that's that. I'm recommitting you guys. I will be on here more often (as well as the Reverb10 posts that I'm now behind on) just talking day-to-day stuff: achievements, cock-ups, boring drivel - the works.
Now aren't you lucky?
Saturday, 11 December 2010
I see the world from a different perspective a lot of the time - I always pick up on the innuendo, the plays on words, the absurdities in a conversation and I use it to make people laugh. In fact, I'm pretty good at making people laugh. I can be the entertainer and I can make people smile. I can cheer then up, make them forget their problems for a little while, or put them at their ease a little more.
I can make people feel good about themselves. I give compliments, but only heartfelt ones, and I always make an effort to find something positive to say - especially if they're feeling low or uncertain.
I'm loyal, and a good listener - I like to make people feel they can tell me their problems, and get something useful back in the form of support and constructive advice. I will always support your endeavours, unless I really feel it's a bad idea in which case I'll try and guide you to something better.
These are the things that light people up around me- sometimes a fierce shine of laughter and raucous enjoyment, and sometimes the pleasure of getting a little comfortable glow where there was none before.
What makes me different though? I'm still trying to work that one out. I can be an amazing friend and the life of the party, and that's certainly why people are drawn to me initially, something I sometimes find it hard to acknowledge.
But in my quieter moments I find it hard to know who I actually am. When I'm not being defined by the people I'm with - I feel like I disappear a bit sometimes. That the bits of me that are left are all the ugly bits. And that's what I'm going to try and work on this year. Finding the person that's me - when other people aren't around - what she likes to do and to learn to love her.
- Posted from my iPhone
I'm not sure I really discovered any new communities in 2010 - mostly I was very wrapped up in myself, but also burying myself more deeply into the communities I already have.
Having discovered the blogging universe in 2009, I thoroughly surprised myself by sticking with something and continuing to blog my ups and downs right through this year. Sadly for you, I think we can safely say this now seems to be a habit and you're stuck with me for the foreseeable future. What I did find in 2010 was that I definitely took something back from the community - as I struggled with making any kind of progress from January to June, I found the blogs of others to be a constant source of inspiration and encouragement to continue, as well as a never-ending font of new perspectives.
2010 has also been a year when I found the confidence to start toying with the idea of sports clubs. I tried some mountain-biking outings with clubs and really enjoyed them, and that's definitely something I'd like to get more involved with in 2011.
In fact, 2011 is going to be all about building new community for me. Having just moved to a brand new city where I dont know many people, I've been thinking about approaching things a new way. Instead of finding people and then getting involved with the things they do (which is undoubtedly a great way to try new things), I'm going to think about what it is I really enjoy doing, or want to try, and find places to do those with, and see who I meet along the way. Mostly, I want to take a bit of time and figure out who I am and what I enjoy.
I don't know how that will pan out but current thoughts include mountain-biking (I've already found a possible club for when
the weather improves a bit), a show choir / Glee club, bikram
Yoga and Spanish lessons. Those possibilities should keep me busy for a while and it will be opportunities to meet lots of new people I might not get otherwise.
- Posted from my iPhone
Friday, 10 December 2010
Two weeks in a row. Hmmmm - not acceptable. I've been eating rubbish, on and off, which I did admit to, but obviously more with the on than the off, and it has, somewhat inevitably, bitten me in the ass. And latched on.
Not a massive gain, but enough to ring alarm bells and put me just back over that 12st 6lbs, I worked so hard to get under. 3.5lbs in 2 or 3 weeks. Not good. Not acceptable.
And not bloody staying there!
I blame the last little bit on dinner out last night - Mexican food and some pretty potent cocktails. Not big and not clever. Or actually too big and not clever.
So ... here's the plan of action. This weekend Bridget is down to play. I won't fall guilty to my usual trick of waaaaaay over-catering. I can be Good Hostess without needing to do that. We could go out to dinner tonight, but frankly why waste the calories and money? I'll cook us something tasty to eat at the flat. Then we're going out tonight - limiting the cocktails is key. I like vodka and mixers, so there's no need to go bat-shit crazy on cocktails. One or two should be fine. I must not fall into the trap of doing "holiday" breakfasts and lunches tomorrow - it's a waste. And I'm prepared for tomorrow night's pizza and film-fest. I've got thin-crust pizzas, not too big and with lots of veggies. I'm mini-pittas, crudites and low-fat humus. I've got lots of fresh fruit, and some chocolate for fondue, but also low-fat frozen yoghurt (but Ben and Jerry's of course!) for an evening of guilt-free lazing. And I might see if I can make a class, or get a run in on Sunday - some form of exercise.
As for next week - the crap is now gone from the house. I don't have any plans to eat out. My new PT has given me something to do at the gym. And after proclaiming I'd go for a run the other night ... I did. At half 8 on a Tuesday night, I wrapped up against the -5 temps and wound my way around the puddles of ice for 5 and a bit k. And it was a lovely run (does that mean I can officially call myself a runner?). So, a few more of those to come too.
Let's see if I can finish kicking my ass back into gear, and finally get to grips with this new ProPoints program. I've been letting events and eating badly act as an excuse, but really I've just being a grumpy child about not really getting on with the new program. But if I want to get to goal then I'm going to have suck it up and commit myself to it. Might as well start here and now.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
The last thing I made? Actually, it was my friend's Xmas present. I wanted to do something a bit more personal, and she luuuurves her photos, so I've been putting together a photo collage online and I'm having it professionally printed online.
I love that this present will be made of our memories from our summer spent travelling in Costa Rica. It will feature her best memories as well as, I hope, capturing the spirit of what we saw in that beautiful, amazing country.
It's nice to do this, as I've been meaning to do something similar for my own flat, and my own memories. I've missed being even a little bit creative in recent times. Even the little projects I have dabbled with have been fun, so let this be an opening to doing more of the same.
I admire creative types - always have, since my dad is an artist. I've always said I don't have the skills to do it, but maybe that doesn't matter if it's fun?
A little less perfection-seeking and a little more enjoyment in what I can do, perhaps?
- Posted from my iPhone
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Good thing: I had my first free appointment with my new personal trainer at the gym yesterday lunchtime. He smiles like butter wouldn’t melt, but none-the-less left me in bits today. Muscles hurting.
Bad thing: I ate flawlessly all day, then got sidetracked into the opening the second bag of Belgian chocolates bought home from my weekend in Brussels – the ones that were meant for friends. Blech.
Good thing: I didn’t finish the whole bag – I acknowledged that I was starting to feel sick and stopped ahead of time.
Bad thing: I’m clearly not quite over the have-food-in-the-house-must-eat-it food hangover thing yet.
Good thing: I thought it was too cold to go for a run earlier. Now I have the motivation I need to get my ass out the house. 5k run will help negate the chocolates. Serves me right.
Bad thing: I didn’t track properly over my weekend away, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I was over my points.
Good thing: I didn’t eat as much as I could have done, due to an absolutely killer, nausea-inducing, am-I-going-to-pass-out-or-throw-up style hangover that caught up with me midday on Saturday.
Bad thing: I’m obviously still drinking too much.
Good thing: I’m refocused on getting back into the whole exercise thing, and still have a refreshed outlook on eating well (just need to get rid of the very last bits of the rubbish food hanging round the house).
Bad thing: I’m eating out on Thursday night, and than have Bridget staying from Friday to Sunday – recipe for derailment.
Good thing: I’ve already started planning the menu for the weekend to avoid that.
Good thing: I’m off to freeze my butt off out there in the cold, cold night air and run now.
Sunday, 5 December 2010
I read this and I had a shameful and confused thought as my first response.
My very first thought was that I let go of my mother. Three and a bit years after losing her, I finally opened the box full of the snarled up feelings I had surrounding her death and took a peek under the lid. And then I went and visited her grave for the very first time since we interred her ashes.
But that's not right. Because in no way have I let go of my mother. I still have all my memories and always will, I just faced something and accepted it a little more (her being physically gone from my life).
That thought process lead me to what I have truly let go of this year, or at the very least started to let go of - the wall around myself and my need for utter control of how people view me.
At some point in early summer, I hit a low; I was in such a miserable place that I finally recognised I could do with some outside help.
Through reading so many blogs online, I had read about many examples of people turning to professional counsellors to address their problems, and it occurred to me to look and see if this was something that could help me too.
And so the Other Sue came into my life. An absolute professional, through and through, with a knack for making me turn my issues over and look at them from the flip-side.
Going to see someone was a huge step for me. I never admit that there's a problem. And if I do, I certainly don't ask for help. I maintained my outward projection of absolute strength and perfection at all times - an impregnable wall where I could reach out to help my friends, be their confidante and their shoulder to lean on, but they could never really get to me.
Seeing a professional, a kind but ultimately objective stranger, was what I needed. This was someone who wouldn't judge me, someone who I could trust to look at my snarly mess of emotions, and help me pull it apart with an impartial outlook.
Those 6 weeks with the Other Sue - just 6 hours in fact (ignoring the amount of time she let me ramble on for over the session end times) saw me looking at my life and my prejudices - mostly against myself - from a completely new perspective.
I let someone in, and she helped me see that I was overly critical of myself practically all the time, and that I'm better than I give myself credit for - that I can in fact afford to let other people in too. And god dammit - I'm missing out by not letting them in.
I left those sessions lighter in my soul - just in time to take myself away travelling, a more unburdened person.
It's fair to say that there were many things we discussed in those sessions that I wasn't able to deal with, in any practical way, straight away.
One of those was being able to admit to someone, a guy, that I actually like them. That takes confidence in your own worth. I wasn't there yet.
Another thing was addressing my insane shopping habit - a hangover from the days when nothing felt good - I didn't feel good - and the only way I thought I could boost my self-worth was being seen in the nicest clothes, with the newest stuff, in all the right places.
And then there was the fact that I kept the whole counselling itself a secret from everybody (apart from you guys obviously!).
But I did take everything she said to heart. And slowly, slowly it's finding it's way into my day-to-day life. When my friend Hannah was at a very low ebb, something I recognised from myself, I thought it was time to let her in on my secret and I told her about my counselling experiences. The possibility that the knowledge could help her was more important than my own need not to be judged. And unsurprisingly she didn't judge at all. In fact, she was fascinated.
In recent weeks I've also started to address my spending habits. I've made myself a mountain of debt, and as I've mentioned briefly before, I am now ready to acknowledge that I can't go on the way I have been, that only I can help myself, that it is no quick fix, but also that I am different now - I have moved on - and solving this myself will feel damn good.
And the other example? The guys? Well, maybe there'll be nothing exciting to tell you, but maybe, just maybe, there will. At any rate, I'm trying a new approach, and whilst I might not tell you everything here, suffice it to say that I'm moving forward one little step forward at a time - I may have actually told a guy I'm interested. It's a little complicated, but I'm content to sit back and see if anything comes of it. And if not? I dare say it won't kill me. And that's a lesson for me in itself.
And that lesson?
Let go. Live a little.
- Posted from my iPhone
I pondered this one for a couple of minutes before writing what I'm about to say. The prompts from the previous days have elicited spontaneous responses from me, but this one's a little different.
I think that's because the honest answer isn't the easy one. How did I cultivate wonder this year?
By which I mean I got off my ass, my lazy, dreaming, "if only" ass, and I did the stuff I wanted to do. I grasped opportunities as they were handed to me. I said "yes" where sometimes, even many times, I'd have said "no" in the past.
The wonder of this year, looking back, is how much I have accomplished and experienced. For much of that I had to put myself outside of my normal comfort zone. I had to make a few sacrifices.
And in doing that, I found something amazing. I found that my comfort zone was far bigger than I had previously realised. It appears it has elastic boundaries, when I had always thought they were rigid. And some of those sacrifices turned out to be no sacrifice at all.
So what I have learned is this. You can live your life comfortably, but it will most likely be a little dull. Maybe a little chunk of wonder will sometimes fall into your lap by coincidence; love, birth, success. But if you push yourself, and maybe start to follow just a few of those small dreams and "if only's" ... there's a whole world of discovery and wonder waiting just around the corner.
Maybe you should try it ...
- Posted from my iPhone
Thursday, 2 December 2010
The idea is to reflect on how 2010 went, and look ahead to how 2011 will be - how you want to be, and making it that way.
Mmmmm - reflecting - something I luuuurve to do - and hopefully in a way that will be helpful and positive to me. Each day, Reverb10 will post a prompt on what that day's reflection should be and you blog it, tweet it, talk about it - whatever floats your boat. I'm a little late to the party - it started yesterday - but better late than never - here comes Day 1:
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?(Author: Gwen Bell)
I read this and the very first thought that popped into my head was "amazing". Isn't that awesome? And interesting that that's what my subconscious chucks at me. If I'd stopped to consider it, I know I'd have thought of all the stops, and lows and frustrations that there have been along the way, and I'd have downgraded it to something less that amazing, but actually consider what I've achieved this year:
- I went skiing and I loved it. I went back to something that scared the socks off me when I last left it, and I made it my bitch. More than that, I turned around the fact that I couldn't snowboard after last year's injury into something positive. And by golly, did my fitness make a massive difference to this. On that same skiing holiday, I also found myself running through the snow in a bikini to our outdoor hot-tub, in front of guys I barely knew, and not worrying about it. In fact, I distinctly remember giggling and squealing at how cold it was, along with everyone else, as we dashed and slipped and slid through the snow on the deck.
- I hit a rocky patch on my weight loss, and I didn't give up. I persevered on, grumpy, frustrated and this close to giving up, and eventually, I figured it out and kicked it in the nuts. I clawed back that lost ground and went lower. And I figured out something else - it's no race, I don't need to be perfect, and I will get there. Now I'm a little stuck again, but I'm not worried. I just persevere.
- On that note - I feel, and look, better than I ever have. If ever there were a late bloomer, I guess it was me!
- I ran a 10K. Something I never thought I'd do. I'd vaguely aimed for a 5K, but I surpassed that. I always considered myself someone who couldn't run, so to have not just started, but to have persevered and built up to a 10K was amazing. Other fitness high-lights this year included my first ever black-runs of skis and my mountain-bike. And my first ever attempt at orienteering which turned out to be brilliant fun.
- I made the momentous decision to quit my job and achieve a life-goal of going travelling. I might have screwed myself up financially doing so, but I don't regret it for a second. They say you don't regret the things you do, you only regret those you don't. They're right.
- The financial hitch from travelling has bought me to a place, where I feel I'm on the verge of finally taking responsibility for my debt. I kind of feel now, how I felt when I finally took responsibility for my health nearly 2 years ago. It's not a race, it will be a struggle at times, but it doesn't have to be all the time, and only I can solve it.
- On the back of quitting my old job, I got a new, better job and moved cities. I have fully picked up my life and moved it to a new place, shaken out the dust and I'm busy setting myself up again. I needed this I think, because even if it doesn't work out, I tried. And you can't ask more than that.
- I'm feeling more open to people - to letting them see who I am.
In 2011, I have one word for you: and it's "progress". I have no final goals in sight now. Sure, I'd love to lose that last 10lbs or so and hit my goal, but based on this year, I'll just be happy if I've made some kind of baby-step in the right direction. The same with my fitness - in some ways I'd quite like to run a half-marathon, but I'm content to just keep running and enjoy where it takes me (literally and figuratively), and just to improve a little bit more. Speed, distance, whatever. And for those other parts of my life - relationships, work, personal development - no goals - just little steps forward to make me better and happier.
At the end of 2011, I'd like to be able to say that I follwed the amazing year that was 2010, with progress - which really means that 2011 will be more amazing, doesn't it?
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Dictionary definition: “Birthday Hangover” – that period following a birthday, or other large celebration, when there is still a surplus of
good bad food hanging around, and due to you being a nice girl / boy, you’re manfully making your way through it, rather than throw it away and waste it. This hangover period will mean that, despite all the best intentions of eating healthily, you’ll frequently get slightly waylaid by the odd bag of marshmallows (which, incidentally, turn out to be pure evil despite their innocent, whiter-than-white appearances) and that tempting little box of French Fancies.
My birthday hangover, fortunately, or unfortunately depending on which way you look at it, coincided with a period of great stress and instability, but also a period when I was running round like a loon doing quite a lot of heavy lifting. For that reason, and probably that reason alone, it didn’t take as great a toll as it could have done. The “unfortunately” of the situation was that the stress and instability “excused” me into allowing myself to indulge in all the things I knew I shouldn’t be. Slapped wrist.
And then finally comes the end of the Hangover. This occurs when you make one small mistake too many and get fed up of it, and just start hurling the offending items of food into the bin. Waste be damned, I freely admit I don’t have the willpower to leave them sitting around the house and not attack them like a ravening hoard of locusts …. and if it comes down to a choice between in my belly (and on my hips) and in the bin, then it’s a fairly easy choice to make in the end.
Other than that, my eating has been ….. ok, I guess. Take away the added points of my Birthday Hangover mistakes, and the rest isn’t so bad. It’s not fantastic either though. For one thing, I could really do with cutting my booze intake back again. Easy enough to address though. For another thing, as much as I love Nature Valley bars, one of those, plus a morning skinny hot chocolate from the Starbucks in my new office, pretty much demolishes a third of my points for the day. Not big and not clever – because I’m not getting a lot of value for my points.
Good news though – I am ready to address those points! Nature Valley bars are finished, Alpen Lights are in. I’ve bought more fresh fruit, and I’ve stopped attacking the wine that’s in the fridge. And I’ve even made the grand step of introducing myself to my new running territory!
Yes – I have braved the minus temperatures to go and explore. And like all things in life – the things you procrastinate about and try and put off – once you’re fleeced up and out the door and running, the pavement just unfurls peacefully beneath your feet, and you find that the run you dreaded is flowing past pretty effortlessly. Just shy of 6km’s of satisfying me-time. Feeling strong and fluid pretty much the whole way. It turns out that my local loop around the harbour is probably about 5.5km for the basic route – which is mostly away from the road and unexpectedly quiet, with just the odd detour on to the road, or through some slightly spooky night-time ship yard. Options to extend exist in both directions – in the summer there’s the promise of the countryside paths out along the Avon to explore, or a for a challenge I could work up through Ashton Court to come back over Clifton Suspension Bridge and down through Clifton Village. Always lots of options, but most importantly, that great first run back makes me think that night / city / winter running doesn’t suck as much as I thought it would.
Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the fact that I regularly seem to hit “quiet times” when I hover at a weight for a while instead of actively losing. I think that’s where I am right now, but since I’m hovering within a lb or so of my lowest weight ever, and staying consistently below that barrier weight of 12st 6lbs it took me so long to crack through, I’m not too worried. I’ll pick up momentum again sometime soon and edge down a little more. Into those last 10lbs. Into the 11’s. It’ll come when it’s ready, and I’ve lost the anxiousness to achieve X weight by Y date. I’ll get there some time, and it’s just about improving just a tiny bit at a time.