It's a funny thing with the healthy kick: it really does go in cycles. Just when you fear that you'll never find the motivation to get going again, or stop the backslide, something comes along and gives you a boot up the jacksy that has the galvanising effect of the proverbial firework.
Exhibit A: I was going through the photos my Dad took last week whilst we were away, and came across the ones of me heading out horse-riding. It shook me to see that most of them showed a very unflattering lifebelt-sized ring of lard round my middle. Far more than I thought I had. And since it was the same in pretty much every photo, we can safely assume it wasn't simply a bad angle. Annoyingly, I was trying to upload a photo to prove my point, but Blogger and my laptop are having a disagreement about uploading photos to my blog right now, so you'll just have to use your imaginations.
Anyway, my point was, that the photo was just an extra illustration of the fact that I'm not done yet, and that it would be quite nice to get this thing wrapped up at some point. Yes, I feel a hell of a lot better than I did when I started out, nearly 4 stone ago (I'm up a few lbs at the moment), but I'll know doubt feel a hell of a lot better still if I can get rid of this last 20lbs that are bugging me.
It comes at a good time though, when I'm also open to considering the why's of my non-progress at the moment. The not-quite-sticking-to-it-strictly days, the creeping portion sizes and being-a-little-too-generous-with-guesstimate-pointing when I don't know something for sure - none of these are doing me any favours.
Then there are the times you read a well-timed blog post that just points out the should-be-blindingly-obvious to you - (exhibit B - from Ms Bitchcakes on the subject of Hunger) - I need to work on my issues of being scared about getting hungry. I do not live in a situation where I'm ever likely to go hungry for prolonged, painful periods of time so it's a mystery to me why I have this aversion to feeling hunger. So I'm trying to pay more attention to what I eat for a while .... concentrating on how much I actually need and when, rather than eating from habit, or a misguided sense of self-preservation.
And I'm cracking down on the pointing, as well as the tracking - working things out properly rather than just guessing. Some days just won't go right, and that's fine, but keep it in perspective. I got home from work today and had planned on having a little Higgidy feta and roasted red pepper quiche (seriously tasty) with some veg in tomato sauce. The veg was from one of those individual steamer packs, and although it had a use-by date of yesterday, I assumed it would be ok - first mouthful said otherwise - it had already got that taste when it's just started to ferment in the bag. No panic though, picked out the fresh pepper I'd added which I knew was fresh, and chucked a small jacket potato in the microwave to do quickly (no other veg in the fridge at the moment). Yes, it wasn't ideal because it was more points than I was planning on using, but not a cause for alarm.
On the upside, I decided to go for a run this evening once it was cooling down a bit. I went for a run last week down on Exmoor (yes - I ran on holiday!), and it was nice, but I know I need to be doing a bit more at the moment to make the most of the running summer school. Only thing is, the last couple of runs I've done have felt super-tough - I'm lacking energy and feeling worn out and lethargic really quickly. I don't know if it's the heat, or not eating at the right times beforehand, or just that I'd got used to running regularly a couple of times a week pretty much all the first half of this year whilst training for the 10k and duathlon, and now I'm seeing the effects of 6 weeks of not so regular running.
Tonight's run was hard. Just my usual 5k harbour circuit, but I was absolutely beat. I was slow. Very slow. But the nice thing was, I let myself be slow. I let myself take walking breathers, acknowledged that, for whatever reason, my fitness is down, and just did what I could without killing myself. What I find funny is that a terrible run like that can make me want to go running again tomorrow if the weather's clear enough. I find the running bug goes in waves - I get totally fed up of it, and then from nowhere, I'm all go again. So strange. My last 3 runs have been hard, but I want to get out there and (slowly and gently) do more.
I am debating whether I might need to ask to go down a group at the running club, mind you, with my running not being so hot at the moment. I'd rather be in a group where I'm near the front than lagging behind, and I'm worried that's what's going to happen over the next couple of weeks. I'll have to see how this week goes first though - no point requesting it before I'm sure.
It's nice to be seeing the positive side of things for a change though - see bad experiences, or things going wrong, for the lessons they are, rather than the setbacks they could be.
Must be all the sunny weather!
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