Friday, 29 April 2011

Weekends Past and Present

I have a lovely ginger cake (well, I hope it’s lovely anyway) cooling on the top of the oven at the moment.  That’s going to be my contribution to the lunch buffet for tomorrow’s wedding celebrations.  I’m heading round to the house of one of the girls I work with (yay – a new friend!) to watch over there, with a few others (I assume), and I was requested to bring cake.  So cake I have made!

This weekend’s looking set to be a car-crash of “oh crap, I have too many things to do and not quite enough time to do them”On the agenda:

  • training run with intervals;
  • get to Sarah’s house in Clifton Village by 10 – 10.30 am for wedding watching (with cake);
  • buy Lissa’s 30 birthday present;
  • meet friends for a drink / catch up in Malvern;
  • get to Kiddiminster to see Jo for walking / talking / films;
  • have Sunday tea with my Dad;
  • get back to Bristol and arrange to do something with Liz (another friend from work – wooohooo – two new friends!)

And I also need to squeeze in a second run around Sunday time, and of course, some sleeping.  So, if you’re feeling tired just thinking about it, here’s some idyllic pictures from last weekend’s awesomeness.

  P1010251 P1010262 P1010268 P1010275P1010277P1010248

They are, in order, the gang sat in the central square in St Davids, St Davids’ Cathedral with Bec having fun on the steps, the evening sun through some dandelions,  sunset over the campsite, proof that big boys are never too old to play on little boy’s bikes, and my lovely (still new) little car next to my tent ….. which lead to much speculation over whether the car would fit in the tent … we suspect yes, but it’s probably a good job we didn’t try and actually find out!


The problem with doing as much exercise as I am right now, is that I have reached a point when there are not many days in the week where I don’t ache like an absolute bitch.

I thought I’d got away with it after circuits yesterday, but it turns out …. not so much.

In fact, today’s run as a whole, was a bit of a trial.  First, I set the alarm for 6.30 this morning, so I could get up an hour earlier and get it done before work.  Except I then remembered that I was absolutely rammed at work and had a morning deadline, and actually needed the time in the office instead.  Rubbish.  So I packed my kit into my rucksack and lugged it to work so I could run on my lunchbreak instead.  Come lunchtime, I shimmied along to the changing room and discovered that I hadn’t packed my running trousers.  Fail.  So no lunchtime run either. 

At that point, I could either have given up and accepted that today’s run was doomed, or suck it up and vow to run as soon as I got home from work.  Option number 2 it was then.  And at about 4pm I got up from my office chair to go and collect some printing, and realised that my legs had stopped working, or close enough.  My ass ached, my quads ached, my ITB’s feel tight.  Circuits had caught up with me finally (that will be all the squats, lunges and box jumps yesterday then).  Ouch.

But I went for my run anyway.  I dragged my sorry, aching butt out that door again when I got home, because I figured it was no time to give up.  If it came to the worst, I could stop running and walk back home, and I already knew it wouldn’t be a fast run – more of a steady plod, so I just I ran for my required 35 mins straight, as called for by the plan, and then I rolled back home again.  There might not have been much variation in speed between my “steady” and “faster” paces, but it’s done.

On the other hand … I have no earthly idea how I’m going to totter round tomorrow’s required run which is more short interval sprints.  Hey ho.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Little Things

It's funny isn't it, how you can go days, weeks and months without seeing much in the way of change, but there it is, sneaking up on you when you weren't looking.

I'm talking about my hips, of course (yeah, how could you possibly have not guessed that!).  Or more accurately, the bit between my hips and my ass at the back / side.  Which I noticed last night had developed a significant inward dent.

How on earth had I not noticed that before???

Actually, I know exactly how I hadn't noticed it, because it's the area that normally sits just below the waistband of my knickers.  And to be honest, I'm not normally in the habit of parading around naked in front of the mirror inspecting myself in great detail (although I can spend hours in front of the mirror inspecting my latest outfit choice, and it's often the reason I'm late out the front door).  The only reason I noticed, was that I (for some reason) had my hands on my hips and moved them down, and had a bit of a "oh hello!" moment (yeah, not that way - god, get your brains out the gutter!!!).

So there it is, or rather isn't.  I've no idea if it's the effect of 4 runs in the space of a week and a bit, or the cumulative effect of a couple of weeks of Circuits and Balance, or a bit of all of the above, but let's be fair - I am certainly not complaining.

Long may the little things sneak up on me and surprise me in a good way!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Surf's Up, Baby!

Good news everybody!!! 

I am, in fact, not dead or lost in deepest, darkest Wales!

Yes, yes, I realise that you were concerned about my whereabouts (what? You weren't? Well, now I'm really hurt!), but I've just not been close to a computer for long enough to tap some words out and post them.

Anywho - I still exist, and here I am to prove it.  Survivor of a hectic weekend, and what is so far proving to be a hectic week; owner of the very beginning of a suntan, a few random bruises from (mis)adventures, and a long overdue "fuck you" from the scales, who have finally caught up to my antics and rewarded me richly.

So, first things first - my eating is pretty much suck-tastic at the moment ... or at least 80% of the time or thereabouts.  I'm the wrong side of the 80/20 rule right now, and need to haul myself back to it yet again.  Two good days eating under my belt and we'll see how it goes. 

I've been kind of bouncing along with "ok" during the week, but free-for-all-stupidity on the weekends recently.  Factor in a long Bank Holiday weekend, and it's no wonder the scales stuck their tongue out and said 12st 7.8lb yesterday.  5lbs up from my recent lows, and well deserved to boot.

It's the usual story however, or how one thing comes together when something else falls apart.  The eating might be gloriously epically anti-diet at the moment, but the exercise is on like Donkey Kong right now!!!  You may remember (if I even remembered to mention it myself) that I was going to commit to the last 4 weeks of the training plan for the Run Bristol 10k, that I'm doing May 15.  That was at the beginning of last week, and since then I've pulled 4 (bloody hard) runs out of the bag.  I would just like to take this moment to say interval training sucks ass.  Or I suck at interval training.  One or the other, any way. 

Man, oh man, is it testing me.  Suffice it to say that my "fast" is not really that fast, my "slow / walk / jog" appears glacial and is still an effort rather than the recovery periods it should be, and I've had several instances where I thought my lungs were going to auto-eject out my mouth.  Hey ho, only another 2 and a half weeks of it to go.

In some ways, I've actually surprised myself though - I never had me pegged down as the type who would voluntarily get up at 6.30am, an hour earlier than usual, and go and run 7km of intervals before breakfast (but post-banana).  Or getting up to run on my day off pre-breakfast either.  But there we go - it's happened.  I don't feel and faster or like I've got better endurance right now, but I'll keep going until race day in 2 and a bit weeks.  In between running, I'm still hitting Body Balance and circuits classes for strength, flexibility and toning, so I'm getting 5 good work outs a week right now.

This weekend saw me heading off to Wales for a couple of nights' camping with friends.  We struck out for South Pembrokeshire and St Davids, and as per usual I was hideously disorganised and scrambled to try and make it even close to the time I was meant to be there (I underestimated and assumed it would take 2 hours from Bristol, sat nav then said 3 and it ended up taking 4 - same old, same old really).  Despite a scare upon arrival that we'd left all the good weather in the East - hellooooooo chilly winds! - and making a parachute out of my tent before we successfully got it pitched, Saturday turned out to be a lovely chilled out afternoon with a picnic lunch, a stroll into the very picturesque St Davids for wandering, ice-cream and a couple of pub stops and then back to the camp site where one of our number was manfully making spaghetti bolognaise for 9 people on a campstove (impressive!).

Sunday was even better as the weather perked back up and we lobbed everything in the cars and set off for Whitesands Beach.  It was an excellent day, as we were there early enough to bag ourselves a chunky section of prime sand to call our own.  We hired a couple of surfboards, cracked out the bodyboards, donned wetsuits and got our chill on in the somewhat arctic-temperature Irish Sea.  And it was bloody ace.  I barely stood up during my time on the board, but I had fun and remembered how much of a giggle we'd had in Costa Rica last summer attempting to surf.  Plus, call me weird, but I have totally lost the wetsuit horror that used to dog me when I was bigger.  It's a wetsuit - a means to an end - and I don't get bothered what I look like in it anymore.  When not on (in / under) the water, I spent the rest of the day hanging out on the beach in board shorts and hoodie and reading / sleeping.  It.  Was.  Great.

I drove back to real life on Monday, and have just worked a 12 hour day in the office today though - so much for a quiet week between Bank Holiday weekends.

Aggravatingly, after being so smug last week about finally getting my credit card payments down to a point where I can afford to make a little extra payment each month, I received the news today that one of my credit card repayments has just gone up by £90 a month.  Gaaaaaaaaah!  I realise that this is their way of trying to be fiscally responsible and make me pay my debt off sooner, but it means that, yet again, I thought things are going to improve only to find my cashflow screwed up again.  It's going to be another lean month.  I'm now looking at other options to try and get the balance off that card and onto something for user friendly whilst I pay it back.  Time to talk to my bank again.

*Le Sigh*  It's never simple!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

And Just Like That My Good Mood Was Gone

Seriously – friends – sometimes, who’d have them?


I’ve spent a chunk of this evening on the phone to Jo, catching up on the last few weeks of our lives, and celebrating a minor victory in my journey to get myself out of debt.  With the aid of my windfall from changing cars, and some very careful spending restraint and juggling the last couple of months which has meant not adding anything to the credit cards, I have managed to pay quite a nice little chunk off my cards.  It’s not even 10% of the total balance on them, but it’s put me to a really critical point on my repayment plan. 

Up until now, I’ve been stretched to just make the minimum repayments and not put anything new on, and I’ve been very resigned to it being a long while before I managed to chip away enough of the balance to start making extra repayments over and above the minimum.  I know that repaying this debt will be a snowball – it will start small, and with a lot of effort not giving much of return, but as I go along, more and more of my money will go to repaying the balance and the interest payments will get smaller.  Well, with these latest repayments, I think I’ve got to the position where my payments should reduce either this month or next to a point where I can start making an extra little payment out of my budget to help things along.  Even £20 extra a month will help – my little snowball is growing!!!

Having been so stressed about money the last couple of months, this is such a victory for me, as I finally feel like my perseverance ,and giving up things like holidays, is paying off.

Anyhoo, that’s great, and there I was celebrating this little fact with Jo on the phone, and I was feeling happy.  I’ve also managed to finish a little creative project I’ve been working on for a friend this evening, a photo collage, and when I went to pay for it online, there was a half-price offer.  Even better!

So what with one thing and another, I was feeling quite chirpy this evening.  But I just got a text that ruined it all.  And it’s from the usual culprit for these things – I sometimes wonder why I bother.  It’s her 30th next weekend, and they’re all going away to some cottage or something for the weekend.  When it was first suggested, months ago, I thought I’d be working this weekend, so said I couldn’t go, and after her questioning whether I’d really be working on Easter weekend, I heard nothing more about it.  About 10 days ago, it started to become obvious that we wouldn’t actually be needed this weekend after all.  After a discussion last weekend at the house party, I’ve decided to go away for a couple of days camping in South Wales over the weekend with some of the Malvern crowd.  It’s cheap, which in my current situation is vital, and also allows me to stay home on Friday and completely relax before I go on Saturday, which is also a bonus considering how damn tired I am after the hours I’ve been working recently.  This has obviously just got back through the grapevine to the birthday girl, who has just sent me a snotty text saying, and I quote “Gutted u decided to go camping rather than come away for my big bday by the way.”  Nothing else.  At all.

Yep – I’m sure she’s totally gutted, considering she hasn’t spoken to me since Jo’s big birthday last month, when she disappeared half way through the night because she didn’t want to go to the bar Jo wanted to go to.  Actually – I lie – she texted to remind me I owe her for the hotel room, which she booked but didn’t stay in so I stayed at the last minute instead.  She hardly ever speaks to me, and gets annoyed when we don’t do what she wants to do, but does exactly what she wants to do without consideration for others.  She also knows full well that I’m really short on money at the money, and wasn’t going to go to most of Jo’s celebrations (who I’m much closer to) because of the cost (but proceeded to have a go at me anyway, despite being one of my biggest critics when it comes to my spending).  So I’m afraid there’s no way I’m stumping up to go stay in a cottage somewhere for her birthday, and trashing my budget for another month.  But her text just really wound me up.

And now my rant is over (and no, I haven’t replied and won’t be – she doesn’t get to make my choices for me and guilt me over them).

I was very good this morning, and went to another session of Brutal Circuits …. which ironically turned out to be not so brutal this morning.  The exercises were much simpler, so I was better able to have a go at them all with good technique, and there was no racing against ridiculously uber-fit men that I can’t keep up with this week.  Win!

On the subject of fitness, I’ve been trying to suss out my training diary, and think I’ve finally figured it out.  I want to do more running for the impending 10k in 3 and a bit weeks.  I’ve been sadly non-committal about it this time, probably because I know I can run the distance from my current fitness, but that’s not good enough.  I’ve been running a 5km once or twice a week, but there’s been very little in the way of longer runs in the diary.  The main problem was that I couldn’t figure out how to get in more runs / follow a training plan without dropping classes that I really enjoy and don’t want to give up.  But I think I’ve figured it out now.  I’m going to borrow the last 4 weeks from the official Run Bristol training plan, but I’ve adapted it to fit round my current timetable at the gym. 

I really don’t want to drop Body Balance and circuits, now I’ve finally got into them, but I’ve figured out that by shuffling the middle part of the week one day to the right, it all fits in.  This just means that I have my back to back runs on slightly different days than in the original plan.  Tuesday’s run this week was already fulfilled by my run round the harbour on Tuesday lunchtime – 30-40 mins easy run – done.

That leaves me with tomorrow’s delight to contend with:  10 mins easy run, 5 x 5 mins running at fast pace and 2 mins recover, 5-8 mins easy run.  Mmmmmm – intervally goodness!  The training plan calls for 2 mins easy jog on the recovery, but I’m not actually sure my fitness is up to that at the moment, so I might walk instead – we’ll see how it goes.  I’m planning on busting it out straight after work tomorrow, since it’s a 50 min session which is too long to do on my lunch break.

My eating at the moment?  Not too bad, but not quite perfect either.  Still things to to work on (mostly that there’s too many cakes in the office at the moment, and I should stop having one a day.  Oh, and icecream because it’s hot).

More anon, clingers on to sanity!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Lazy, Sunny Days


It's been a long time since I've had a weekend that was that off-track with the eating.  A hands-up-I-admit-it-free-for-all weekend of eating.  Which come to think of it, wasn't even a whole weekend since it only lasted from Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening.

Either way though - this weekend was an utter write-off, and probably this week's weigh in will be too, as a result.  It's Monday, 3 days into my tracking week, and I've currently got a 69 point deficit on the week, but whatever the why's, how's and (probably more) why's, the weekend is done and today is a fresh day to go back to normal.  Maybe I blew out because it had been so long since I stopped caring and cut loose, but I'm over it now. 

Today is normal eating and Body Balance at lunchtime.

And good things happened at the weekend too ... let me share ....

For a start we went to a burlesque show on Saturday night, and it was stunning.  Amazingly talented women (and a male magician), sparkling costumes and fun all round.  I think I might be a little bit in love with those women :o)  And refreshing to see a show where the women, whilst all beautiful (seriously stunning) were very definitely all shapes and sizes.

After the burlesque, we went to a house-warming party at my old flat.  Ummmmm, yes, I think carnage is probably the best word.  I've never actually seen a blender started without the lid on before, but it does look exactly like on tv, with pina colada flying all around the kitchen (thank god I was stood just outside the kitchen and therefore just outside the drop zone - phew!!).  There were tantrums, laughter (sometimes hysterical), arguments and friends making up.  What a party!  Despite not drinking, I lasted til 5am and was amongst the last still standing, but my head was absolutely caning yesterday as a huge overdose of Diet Coke caught up with me .... I might as well have been drinking for the hangover I was feeling!

We spent yesterday lounging round in the park and our friends' garden.  Unfortunately, I'd totally misjudged my packing, as I hadn't looked at the weather forecast, so only had jeans and a long-sleeve top with me.  I headed into the Fat Face store in town in search of something cooler to wear, and due to a lack of sizes in a couple of things I liked, I timidly took a size 12 of a dress and skirt into the changing room.  I didn't acutally expect either to fit, but they did!  I mean, they were snug, but not by much.  Twelves!!!  I have a few size 12 jumpers, but not properly fitted dresses and skirts.  As it happens, I wanted something to wear right then and there, and didn't have the right bra for the dress, so I bought a different skirt in my usual size 14, on the basis that the skirt can be belted so should last out the summer anyway, but it made me happy.

After that, it was a rug in the garden, my book, friends, a picnic lunch (such a danger zone, I got talked into fresh baguette, pate and falafel, instead of just picking up a sandwich), and then Sunday roast on the lawn in the evening.  Such an idyllic day.

Hope you all had fab weekends!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

I am so damn tired right now.  I've just finished an 11.5 hour day in the office, which comes off the back of two 12 hours days already this week.  And then we have the weekend ... when I'll also be working.  It's not just the hours though, it's the constant stress during these periods - I start every morning in the office by writing my to-do list for the day - right now, it's the length of the page each day, and it doesn't matter how many things I tick off, it's right back down to the bottom of the page the next day.

And the people???  Oh good god - don't get me started on the people!!  Not my team - they're lovely, but some of our clients around the business are a freaking nightmare - they just do not understand what we're trying to do, or in some cases, just stubbornly cling on the old ways and refuse to learn.  I've spent a large chunk of the last 2 days trying to sort out other people's cock ups .... not a happy Sue.

So in between juggling my deadlines, other ongoing project work, and Emergency Cock-Up Rescue for others, I feel pretty proud of having got my exercise in, and not being too wide of the mark on my eating either.  It feels like a far cry from the old days when I would have coped by eating sweeties and feeling sorry for myself.  Not that I don't feel sorry for myself, but I do some of it while pounding (slowly) round the harbour on my lunchbreak, or being yelled at in circuits.

Sadly, the Bastard Scales do not seem to want to reflect any of this hardwork and committment to the cause, and stubbornly remain about 2lbs above the weight I'd like to see this week, which would preferably be something new and lower than the 12st 2lbs I've been stuck at for a few weeks now.  And I rather suspect that none of that will have changed by tomorrow morning.  I partly blame eating so late in the evening's when I get home, and partly the Bastard Scales' stubborness to show me anything I want to see.

But there is a bright light, because the scales do not tell the whole story in this case.  I wore my black trousers to work earlier in the week, and although they've been getting a bit big for a while now, I noticed that there really was a lot of spare space around the hips, bum and legs on Tuesday.  I didn't actually put it down to much though, until I got dressed this morning, and noticed that my pencil skirt definitely seemed to have more room in than last time. 

Just got to keep the exercise up (oh god - does that mean more Brutal Circuits next week???) and keep my eating at least mostly reined in, and I'm sure we'll see something soon.

Other than that, I've had a rest day today.  I've got to the point where I can't remember the last time I didn't have aching muscles from working out, and whilst I'm sure that's an excellent thing, I thought it was time to take it easy and let it subside.  Tomorrow, I'll either do early morning or lunchtime spin, depending on how it fits around my work timetable.  And then it's on to a new week of eating, working, working out and sleeping, and the last week of no drinking for Lent.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A Beasting and Cupcakes

Sooooo, yesterday: some stellar eating despite a stressful day.  Or more accurately, stellar eating until the end of my stressful day, and then we went to the cinema in the evening.  I could blame Hannah for deciding she was having some icecream and pic'n'mix, but really, that has no bearing on what I decide to do, does it? 

So I'm slightly annoyed to have to confess that I blew a large chunk of my spare activity points on 2 scoops of Ben & Jerry's and a portion of pic'n'mix.  And ate the lot, despite getting to a point halfway through the sweets where I didn't want any more.


Still, I'm not in deficit this week, and still have around 15 activity points left.  And in penance (and because I've now finished my personal training sessions), I hauled my sorry ass to Brutal Circuits this morning for a 7.15am beasting.  And.  It.  Hurt.

This morning's session split the class into two halves - one half did the weights / cardio stations first, whilst the rest of us split into two more teams and did floor work.  Up and down the gym.  And back and forth again. Sprints, crab crawls, bear walks, hopping, frog jumps (all we're missing here is the flipping skipping, but that would probably have been too easy).  And in between your team's turn, the other team goes and you stay behind the line and do star jumps, crunches, jogging on the spot, starbursts.  Ooooh, and throw in a bit of pairs work on the floor doing crunches and passing a weight overhead. 

And then when you think you're about to die - on to the stations - spinning sprints on the bike, deadlifts, burpee / pressup / overhead press combos, kettlebell swing / shoulder press / side crunch combos, box jumps and I-can't-remember-what-else.

All crammed into 45 mins and a warm-up / cool-down.

I may have had a mid-morning cupcake for recovery (it was for charity - I was doing a good deed - honestly!).

Yesterday, I was good on the exercise front too, as I ran on my lunchbreak, and got my best ever time for my harbour run (30:25s for 4.55km - ever closer to that 30 min 5km).

If only the scales were listening and going down a bit, but the only bit they seem to have paid any attention to is the cupcake and cinema treats.  Serves me right I suppose.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Beauty of Exercise

These last couple of days, exercise has truly been a life-saver.  It's lifted my mood, pulled me out of a funk, and given me an outlet to de-stress and reset.

I've been a regular exerciser for a long time now.  Much longer than I've been successfully losing weight for.  I was pretty regular with my activity through most of uni - and when I say pretty regular, I mean 4-6 hours of fencing training a week, an hour of horse-riding, and often some swimming / gym time on top, plus walking between lectures and into town.  That all followed years of regular activity at school, because my school had us out doing games at least 2-3 times a week for an hour at a go.  And I also biked everywhere as a kid and walked the dog.  I ate pretty atriciously during most of that time (well, I realise that now), but aside from when I stopped moving for a short periods, like my first term of uni, my weight was pretty stable because I was so active.  My weight went always went up in short, sharp bursts when I stopped being active.

Moving to London after uni was a nightmare for me, because I wasn't at a gym or playing sports for the first time in my life.  And for the first month I lived there I was staying in a hotel.  Disaster.  And I sociallised like a demon.  The weight just piled on.  I managed to drop some of that weight off again by being a bit more careful with my eating, but I didn't work out regularly again until I moved away from London - I suppose the only saving grace of my time in London was how much I walked places.

Since moving back to the Shire though, I've been a regular gym member.  It's pretty much ingrained in me now as a standard behaviour.  I feel lazy when I don't exercise, and not in a good, indulgent way.  More in a self-flagellation, come-on-you-know-you're-better-than-this kind of way.

Which brings me to yesterday.  A beautiful sunny day, and an unexpected day off for me, as I was originally due to be in the office all weekend.  It should have been an enjoyable day, but somewhere along the way I got caught in a loop, and instead I was miserable and questioning all my life-decisions again.  Hannah was out of town with her new boyfriend (yeah, I know, 6 months of being single and convinced she'd never love again, and she's found someone already.  I'm happy for her, but seriously - how unfair is that?  Surely it's my turn?), and I was feeling like I had no friends in Bristol, and that after 6 months that was pathetic.  I basically sat in my lovely sunny flat and started thinking I'd made a mistake, and that I should never have left Malvern. 

I did all my chores somewhere during this thought-process, as a bid to distract myself, and then decided finally that enough was enough, and staying in the flat on a beautiful day was not helping myself.  So I put on some flip-flops, grabbed some sunnies and went for a walk round the harbour.

And it was absolutely the best thing I could have done.  It's hard to feel as lonely, when you're out surrounded by people for a start, and the sun always cheers me up.  And what do you know?  5 mins after leaving the house, I got a  text from Hannah to ask if I wanted dinner with her, Cassie and Piers later.  Then I bumped into Cassie and Piers themselves at my local cornershop as I picked up a magazine and a cold drink on the way home, and Cassie said she wished she remembered I lived nearby as she'd been out walking their dog, Henry, earlier.  And finally I spent a hour on the phone to Jo when she called me back just as I was settling into my window-seat to relax back at home. 

And suddenly, all my blues from earlier were gone.  Somewhere around the harbour, I'd cleared my head.  I started thinking that if I want friends then I have to make an effort and not expect people to just adopt me.  There are at least 2 girls at work I think I could probably be good friends with ... I just need to take the step of cultivating those relationships.  I was also thinking about all the clubs I thought I'd try, and why I haven't so far.  It did occur to me that maybe it was because I didn't really want to do those particular things.  I do really enjoy my bike rides, but I generally find it quite a faff getting kit sorted, etc.  So am I scared to turn up to  a new group, or can I just not be bothered with that level of biking committment?  And in which case, what activities can I be bothered with?  I think the answers are there if I just have a good think.

Other than that, yesterday was good.  Things got done, and I ate well too.  Even to the point, that last night's impromptu paella was in my daily points.  Today's eating has been pretty ok too, but I've used up the last of my flex points on a snack to keep me going til I could get home for dinner.  It's been a long day as I was in the office from 9am this morning til 9pm.  Thank god for quick dinners in the fridge this week!

I did take the time out this lunchtime to head to the gym for Body Balance though.  I've only been going regularly for the last 3 weeks, but I feel like I'm starting to see the difference in some of my bendiness already!  I really found myself deep in the stretches today and feeling remarkably calm and comfortable.  There's still some things that are horribly stiff - my hip flexors and upper back just for 2 examples - but they can be worked on.  The best thing though, is going back to the office on a busy, stressful day feeling revitalised and calm - exercise rules.

And on that note, I'm going to take my bendy self off to bed and catch some decent sleep.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

I was so tired last night that I went to bed at 10.30pm. So tired that I was going to post quickly before I went to sleep but it never happened. Just a solid 9 hours of sleep through to 7.30am this morning.

That's what 4 and a half hours sleep on Friday night followed by a day at the office will do for you.

Friday was this week's indulgent meal, but curry without the alcohol isn't so bad. I dipped into my flex points and it was fine.

Yesterday's eating was a bit of a jumble a banana grabbed from the boy's flat as I left because there was no time for anything else, a Double Decker grabbed at the garage on the drive back to Bristol from Malvern as I was beyond starving and it was what there was (rural garage). I did stop and make myself a proper lunch to take to the office once I was back at the flat though. We get lunch provided when we work weekends but it's rarely healthy, so I took a sandwich and a yoghurt with me.

The Rules for April go something like this:

• take your lunch at the weekends - save yourself.
• if you're going to have an ice-cream in the unseasonably warm weather make sure that you just have what you actually want - don't bother with unnecessary cones etc, and savour your treat.
• walk in the sunshine. A little bit of exercise is infinitely better than none at all!

After work I watched the Grand National - my horses didn't win, but I was glad to see them both finish safe and sound. I found myself so sad that this was one of the bad years when two didn't make it - I know that there's always a risk with big races but it's heartbreaking when it happens. Such big, beautiful creatures and they give everything to the race and then there's just ... nothing. All over for them so quickly.

I wasn't terribly hungry last night, which was probably a good thing as there was absolutely bugger all in my fridge. After a quick wander to the local supermarket, I had a nice light stir-fry and fell into bed.

So not much to report really.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 8 April 2011

Helloooooo Friday!!!

Helloooo lovely people of the blogging universe, and may I just say, a Very Happy Friday to you all!

It turns out I love Friday's, even when I will be working Saturday, Sunday, and all the days thereafter.  For some reason, they just feel like a better day than the others.

First things first - the obligatory Friday weigh-in:  1.6lbs down on last week.  Yesterday was lower, I'm heading in the right direction (again), and as previously mentioned I'm at the start of a long period of all-work, all-training, anti-socialness, so I'm pretty confident that things will continue to head in the right direction.

Last night was my last personal training session for the time being, which was a bit bitter-sweet, as I get on really well with Rob, and he has a knack of pushing me.  It was a good session - nice to finish on a high.  We did a long rowing sprint (2km at pace, and a new best ever time for me of 8:39), hill intervals on the treadmill, and then circuits.  Rob was really understanding about me not being able to continue, but we've agreed that I can book one-off sessions as and when I've got a bit of spare cash for a bit of goal-setting and fresh ideas for training.

Up early this morning for spinning and abs at 6,45am, and like a muppet my inability to pack for the gym struck again.  This morning's moment of genius?  45 mins of very sweating cycling, 15 mins hard floor work, a lovely fresh shower .... and the realisation that I'd not packed a clean bra to put on afterwards.  Ewwwww!

So I had to put my wringing wet sports bra back on and walk back home to get changed again.  D'oh!  Fed up of walking, I decided to be a bit different and bike back to work.  Yes, I realise it's only a 12-15 min walk, so barely worth getting the bike out, but so lovely to be pedalling across the square and the bridge for a change!

Tonight, I'm bombing off back to Malvern (in the shiny new car!) for a birthday dinner for my friend Alex.  I'm really looking forward to it, as I haven't seen Alex or his wife Sarah for aaaaaaages, so it'll be really good to catch up with them and the other folks going.  Then back to Malvern first thing in the morning for work.  Ah well.

And totally the best thing about working my tail off in the morning, is that I've had a dirty baguette for lunch (bacon, blue cheese and caremellised onions if you will - oh my god, it was good!), and I'll have curry tonight, and still only put a fairly mild dent in my flex points for the week!  Love it! 

Right kids, the sun is shining, it's 5.01 and time I biked home, grab a change of clothes and shoot off to be a social animal for the last time this week!  Mwah - see you later! xx

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Looking Forwards

Yesterday was a great day for eating, although it was a rest day so no exercise other than walking between the office and home.  It was lovely enough to risk some more bare legs to work too - I'm loving that I can wear skirts and no tights comfortably from the start of the Spring / Summer this year!

I've got a personal training session this evening, and tonight marks my last session with Rob.  I'm kind of gutted, as these sessions really push me, and especially to do stuff I wouldn't try on my own.  I mean interval sprints on the treadmill?  Any interval training, in fact?  And kettlebells?  I'm going to miss our sessions.  But the truth is that I just can't justify £70 a month on top of my gym membership, right now.  Money's tight, I'm in debt, and I need to be practical about my expenditure.  Shopping for frivolous stuff like clothes has already been cut.  Holidays have been cut.  I've downsized my car.  I can't downsize my flat because of my contract.  My weekly budget is already squeezed, so it just doesn't make any sense to be paying £70 for 2 hours a month, when I'll do a workout of my own in that time anyway.  I just need to make more use of the classes like circuits and the gym floor classes where the numbers are small and you get a bit of individual attention.

No regrets though - it's down to me to make the best use of what I can afford.  And that's the gym, and running, and even biking.  There are clubs near me for both running and mountain biking, that are either free to join or £5 a year.  There are dance classes that are £36 for a 6 week term.  Surf clubs for £5 a year plus subsidised trips.  We're getting zumba at the gym later this month.  There's bikram yoga 10 mins from my house.  Lots of options, and all of them cheaper than personal training for the moment.  Hell, I could go and do British Military Fitness on Clifton Downs for cheaper than my training, and that would certainly give me a total beasting.

They say you regret the things you didn't do, not the things you did .... in that case I'd best get off my ass and go and try some stuff out!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Mmmmm ... sunshine!

Afternoon all - and are you not loving the glorious Spring sunshine and warmth outside??? Amazing!

Yesterday was pretty good for eating - bang on, in fact, aside from helping myself to some Cadbury Buttons from my friend's share-size bag at the cinema last night.  Nothing too catestrophic though.  Other than that, it was all groovy and well controlled.  We opted for an evening of supremem girliness and went to see Chalet Girl ... seriously - the option of taking a season out and being a chalet-bitch (once I get my finances back on track) is uber-tempting.  I'm not afraid of hard work and cleaning, and I can definitely cook - I nearly took time out from my career to go and do a season abroad a while ago, but plans change and I ended up in Costa Rica last summer instead ..... I am seriously, seriously still considering some adventures though.

Yesterday lunchtime, saw Liz and I dragging our unwilling backsides outside for a slow 5km round the harbour - ploddy and comfortable (and hence the non-panic over the Buttons last night), and another day's exercise ticked off.  I'm very tempted to walk home from work the long way round tonight (go right round the harbour instead of along) and get some evening fresh air and sunshine, since I haven't got any other activity planned for the day.

Keep on trucking in pursuit of healthiness, sunshine and fun! :O)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Ticking Over

There's not too much to report at the moment, as it's all ticking over quite smoothly this week.  Yesterday was bang on track with eating and pointing, and I went to a Body Balance class at lunchtime, so felt fabulously stretched and relaxed in the afternoon.  We even got to do the new release a week early - aren't we priveleged!?  (It's good by the way).

Work's just starting to hot up now for the busy period, so I planned my meals for the rest of the week, and did a quick provisions shop after work this week - my fridge is now stocked for the rest of the week, and I have a selection of quick and healthy meals planned to take me through til Friday - no excuses for poor choices in the evenings for me!

I also managed to stick to my water challenge for the whole day.  Good things - I drink a lot more than I thought I did - I'm very well hydrated :o)  Bad things - water is just so boring!!!!  So, ok, I did the challenge for one day, but I'm not sure I'm quite prepared to give up my squash and diet Coke just yet, although I did ditch my morning fix of diet Coke this morning.  Maybe a reduction in the amount I have is more manageable?

Just been for a run at lunch, so my activities banked for today - just an afternoon of work stretching ahead of me now ...

Monday, 4 April 2011

Back To The Crazy

Today marks the start of The Quarterly Crazy at work. Oh joy. For the next 18 days straight I'll be in the office and working long hours. My social life is officially cancelled for the next couple of weeks. Time outside the office will pretty much be limited to eating and sleeping. Oh, and exercising, because I refuse to sacrifice that to the Gods of Work.

However, there is a potential bright and shiny side to this impending workathon. January's Crazy shut down my social life in a similar fashion, and it may well be no coincidence at all that I lost 7lbs in that same post-Christmas period.

It's a well-known fact that my dietary trip-ups mostly occur on a weekend, so it is a logical conclusion to draw that no weekends = better losses.

This weekend has been spent near Northampton celebrating Bridget's birthday amongst friends. It was a lovely weekend including a walk through the nearby woods (and more giant wood-ants than you've ever seen before!), an afternoon in a beautiful pub garden and some overly competitive games in the evening (mostly after a considerable volume of alcohol).

For my part, I'm still going strong on the not-drinking-for-Lent resolution, so I was hangover free, and I also tracked every lovely bit of food and managed to retain something approaching a semblance of control, meaning I've actually had a rather respectable weekend on the eating front.

The first road-trip in the new car also turned out very successful and proved ludicrously economical - 2 people plus a weekend's worth of luggage, 250ish miles and near enough £20 of petrol! Bargain!

And finally: just for amusement value, I've challenged myself to just drink water today - no squash, no fizzy drinks, no Starbucks. A little detox after all the Diet Coke and Sprite I've drunk the weekend. So far so good - just coming up to midday and I'm on my third 500ml bottle of water.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 1 April 2011

Keeping Going

This week didn't go entirely to plan.  Having managed the seemingly impossible task of a weekend of pretty much on-track eating, I then made a few mistakes, and the result is that, yet again, the scales have bounced back up again.  No surprise there.

But rather than sobbing into my zero point soup about it (or worse still, a big bag of chocolate), I've looked on my mistakes as lessons learned.  Mistakes I will now try and avoid making again.  OK, so I bought popcorn for the cinema on Tuesday night but ended up having the most extravagent dessert instead at the cinema's restaurant.  Fine - don't let it happen often, but more importantly, stop when you've had enough and don't keep going just because there's some left.  And ok, so I ate the popcorn on Wednesday after my run, and then it turned out to be 12 points when I tracked it, not the approx 6 points, I thought it would be.  Well, now I know.  And it's another reminder why working out the points first is a good idea.

On the good side of this week, I didn't wait til today to start repairing the damage.  The week might have been a write-off in terms of the weigh in, but that didn't mean I could just discard yesterday as last day of the week - it will just count towards this week instead.  And away from the scales, I'm still amazed at the changes in myself.  Apart from the fact I'm a size 14 now, when I started at a solid 18-20, there's the fact that after my run on Wednesday evening, one of the girls working late asked me how far I'd run when I got back to pick up my bag.  Somewhere along the line, I became the kind of person who can reply casually-ish that I just ran 6 miles.  In not a lot over an hour.  An hour of running??  And on a week night, just because I felt like it.  I never thought I would be that person.

Also achieved this week has been a new car!  Yes, I have finally gotten rid of that unreliable heap of junk they call a Corsa (although not without some sadness - you can't help but feel a little nostalgic for a car you've spent 4 years commuting over 70,000 miles in), and now have a shiny new Citroen C1 sat in my garage!  It's been a bit stressful, but it's all done, and with a chunk of money to put towards my credit cards too. And after several phonecalls and a lot of time on call-waiting, I've managed to track down and recover a chunk of change that the AA owed to me too.  Not a bad week on the money front - just got to make sure it all reaches the intended destination, otherwise it'll be rather like doing all the hard work of the run, and blowing it on popcorn afterwards ... oh no, wait a minute ... I already did that! :o)

Off up to Northampton this weekend for my friend Bridget's birthday - should be nice and relaxed with some gentle pub walks  (yay!), and much cake (to resist ... booooo!).  It's a good job the walks are going to be gentle though - I went to Fitball class at the gym yesterday, and after 45 mins of toning and strength exercises with a Swiss ball, I can't flaming move today!

Happy weekend, folks!