Tag Archives: blogs on health and fitness

Day 30: Goals for next month

Well that 30 days whizzed by at high-speed – it’s the final day of the Fitness blogger 30 day writing challenge.

lt-back_ache_pain-410x290Today is all about my fitness goals for next month. This is a simple one; there is nothing fancy – no marathons to contend with, no faster paces, no super training plans – just get out running again! Get your yawns out-of-the-way now – but as some of you know I have been blighted by injuries the past couple of months. As my body appears to have given up the ghost I have had to admit defeat and take a step right back from my running. This is making me sad, as I really miss it and want to get back out there training for my upcoming year of events! I think (I hope) I am making progress on the aches and pains front, but am taking each day as it comes, giving my body a proper chance to heal. My running mojo is still burning away under the surface, so if I can get back out to a spot of plodding soon I will be a happy bunny! 🙂

Day 27: Meal Replacement Shakes

It’s Day 27 of the Fitness Blogger 30 Day Challenge and today the question is all about whether I use meal replacement shakes.

No, I don’t use them. I would rather eat a healthy (or as close to it as I get!) than replace meals with shakes. Besides, this type of diet doesn’t really fit in well with my will-power and eating habits. If I try to replace food with shakes I will quickly become obsessed with food and what I can’t eat – so I tend to steer clear of this type of approach.

Day 23: Sleeping Beauty

Day 23 of the Fitness Blogger 30 Day Writing Challenge is all about how many hours sleep I get every night.

Firstly it is worth pointing out that I need my beauty sleep or I quickly turn into a grizzly, bad tempered beast. I’m not a late to bed, early to rise sort of person, as this type of routine will quickly send me into a non-functioning mess of overtiredness. I love my sleep and I love my bed, but anyone with a toddler in the house knows that sleeping patterns are largely determined by those of my 3-year-old. On average I would say that I am in bed for about 8-9 hours per night (the ideal) – however, it’s a rare occurence to be undisturbed all night, having to attend to the demands of drink, wet wipes and cuddles (and that’s just the OH!) 🙂

Day 20: The Enjoyment

Its Day 20 already (can’t believe there is only another 10 days to go!) of the Fitness Blogger 30 Day Writing Challenge.

What do I enjoy most about working out?

women-love-working-outGosh, this is another hard one. Not because I don’t enjoy working out, but because there are lots of reasons I enjoy it. I don’t think I can pick just one thing, for me it is about the whole experience. The chance to get some alone time, I love running – just me and the pavement, no worries and a chance to really clear my head. It’s hard to describe how therapeutic and de-stressing it is unless you are a fan of running as well – but it’s like I’m in my own little bubble, it’s verging on almost being meditative!

But it doesn’t end there. All the feelings I feel after a good workout make me enjoy the experience and go back for more – the huge sense of achievement I feel, the endorphins that perk my mood no end, the addictive urge to get back out there and go for it again, the fact I am feeling leaner and healthier …. and the list goes on.

Although sometimes it might prove hard to get my bum out the door, once I am running in the moment it can be one of the best feelings ever.

Day 17: My most embarassing fitness story

thCKEGPQOEIt’s day 17 of the Fitness Blogger 30 Day Writing Challenge and today I am reminiscing about a time when I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me up! 🙂

I’ve been digging around through the depths of my memories for this story. I don’t embarrass all that easily, with a joker of a father like mine when you’re growing up, you learn to develop a thick skin. I am pretty good at laughing at myself and then moving on, conveniently forgetting about any potentially embarrassing experiences. So for this, I am resorting to the days of my youth!

When I was a teenager I undertook a short canoeing course as part of my Duke of Edinburgh. To say I had a bit of a crush on one of the instructors is probably a bit of an understatement. In the midst of one of my lessons on a cold morning on the Thames I managed to capsize into the icy water. Being a beginners course, we had not yet learnt how to Eskimo roll back up above the water, leaving me the only option of abandoning ship! Over came ‘Mr Cutie’, pulling his canoe alongside my stranded one, whilst I treaded water trying to stay afloat. The plan of action was meant to be something along the lines of me elegantly flipping my legs over the front of the canoes and seamlessly landing back in the seat of my canoe. Cue the image of … a hippopotamus, legs akimbo, gyrating its pelvis before losing footing and plopping its fat arse back into the water… not just once, but repeatedly for about 10 minutes. All in close proximity of ‘Mr Cutie’, whilst the rest of the class looked on amused. Eventually defeat had to be admitted, as I swam to the bank in shame and re-entered my canoe on-shore. Everybody got a bloody good laugh out of me that day! 🙂

Day 16: Fitness Progress

Its Day 16 of the Fitness Blogger 30-Day Writing Challenge and today is all about how I measure my fitness progress.

Well, if I’m 100% honest there is nothing very scientific about this – it all boils down to how I feel! Basically, I mark my progress in how much ‘fitter, leaner and faster’ I feel in myself. I use Runkeeper to monitor my runs and I keep track of my times and pace via this. I look to see improvements based on these recordings. But other than that I use indicators such as how knackered I feel during a run, how far I am able to run for and how much my muscles ache afterwards. All very technical – NOT! 🙂

Day 15: My 5 favourite fruit and veg

thGMJ6UIHPI know, I know …. I’m late again! Weekends seem to knock me out of my nice little blogging routine, but here it is, a day late – my post for day 15 of the Fitness Blogger 30-Day Writing Challenge (who would be believe we are half way through it already! 🙂

Today it’s all about getting out five-a-day. I’m loads better nowadays at eating my fruit and vegetables – a few years ago it was more doubtful – and I make an effort to think about bulking my meals out with some healthy shrubs here and there! But the following would be my top five:

  1. Bananas – I should have been ‘banana woman’ – I actually think I could live off of them! I love them and probably eat too many – anywhere between 2-4 a day. They’re just easy to grab for a snack and, unlike other fruit, actually seem like you are eating something a bit more substantial. Brilliant for sweetening things up and I love ‘banana flavoured’ foods like banana bread. They’re great for you too, are full of potassium and make a great pre or post run snack.
  2. Grapes – I like my fruit easy. If it involves too much peeling or crunching then I quickly lose interest – lazy I know! So another, nice easy one to grab as a snack. I like most colours of grapes, but black seedless are probably my favourite as they are super sweet and there are no pesky seeds to ruin the gobbling experience. I just have to make sure I don’t sit there and eat the whole bunch in one sitting. Roll on recliner chair and loin clothed hunk luxuriously fanning me! 🙂
  3. Brussel sprouts – I know this is a contentious one, but they’re a bit like Marmite – you either love them or hate them. I fall into the love them club – always have done, always will do. A roast is not the same without them. I have no idea what it is I like about them, but they have always been the veg I will head straight to out of preference.
  4. Potatoes – how can they not be on my list, after all they are so versatile. Mashed, roasted, baked, made into chips – however they come, I love them!
  5. Rocket – no, not the flying variety! The green, leafy salad like variety. It’s a bit of a recent discovery for me, and right now it hits the spot in so many ways. I am a big fan of the strong flavour and it gives the blandest salad a major pick me up. It’s also really yummy in omelette and I make a mean tagliatelle with rocket and mozzarella – yum, yum!

Day 14: Do I not diet?!!!!

It’s Day 14 of the Day writing challenge and today the topic of conversation is all about whether I diet.

It would probably be easier to ask if I don’t diet! With a lifetime of weight struggles I am always on some diet or another. The only time I didn’t diet was when I was pregnant … 6 stone later, look where that got me! I’m still paying the price three years on! Heavier than I ever was pre-pregnancy – I am on one hell of a diet to lose another 4 1/2 stone!

I should be a diet aficionado as I think I’ve tried them all at one point or another. In fact I thought I might do a little review of some of the different diets I’ve experimented with over the years, starting with my current diet of choice:

20140205_181007The 5:2 fasting diet: I’ve been on it about 2 weeks so far and have already lost 7lbs. My weight fluctuates a bit day-to-day on this one, but overall I’m feeling slimmer and less bloated. Fasting is quite easy now and sadistically I rather enjoy my fasting days. Long term adherence to diets is a problem for me, so I like the free reign on non-fasting days. It feels like I only have to diet two days of the week! I really think this could be a good long-term diet solution for me. My digestive system seems more efficient, I am snacking less and I’m automatically opting for healthier foods. Something very strange is going on … but I like it and it’s the best I’ve felt in a long time! It works well with running too. I still have loads of energy and no muscle loss, as fasting is only intermittent. I just keep heavy exercise to non fasting days. A great big thumbs up all round! 🙂

Weightwatchers – I was doing this pre the 5:2 diet and had lost 10 lb in about three weeks, but I had fallen off the wagon and 3 lbs or so had started to creep back on. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have been on Weightwatchers. It’s a good diet and it works, but I personally struggle with maintenance issues. My mum who has better willpower than me lost a whopping 5 stone on it in just over a year. It’s flexible in that you can eat what you want, within your points allowance! The worst thing you can say to me is ‘you cant eat that!’ .. as then I become obsessive about the thing I’m not allowed! The point counts are fairly generous, but I have a tendency to drift towards eating lots of Weightwatchers products on this diet, just for the pure ease of point counting! Meaning lots of processed type foods! 😦

Slimming World – I tried this diet twice. I did well the first time but couldn’t get back into it the second time round. In all honesty I wasn’t really keen on either of the group sessions I attended. There was a very different feel to Weightwatchers’ groups and I just didn’t find them quite as welcoming. Saying that, the model is great if you eat lots of ‘proper’ food as you can eat as much as you want of certain things, e.g. lean meat, vegetables, fruit and pasta etc. If you like to cook from scratch it’s great and is great for fuelling your runs, but if you’re a lazy cook like me then you might find your weekly syns soon get used up! I also struggled with some things being completely off the scale of syns ever permitted – e.g. McDonalds!

Atkins diet – its been a few years since I did this one, but I have done it few times. It’s a great way to lose weight quickly. But the food choices get boring very quickly and there is a lot of debate about the healthiness of this diet long-term. I have never been able to stick to it for more than a few weeks at a time as I find it too restrictive. It’s  a good quick fix but not a great overall diet in my view. I also struggled with the lack of carbohydrates when it came to exercising too.

GI diet – I lasted the whole of about five minutes on this one. I liked the whole theory behind it and all those slow release carbohydrates should be great for running, but I found working out what I could and couldn’t eat was all a bit too complicated and a bit too much like hard work!

Slimfast – Now we are going back a few years! I couldn’t stick to this diet at all. It’s just far to restrictive and boring! I love my food too much and started obsessing about all the things I wasn’t allowed to eat

Overall right now I’m an advocate of the 5:2 diet. It definitely seems to hold the best long-term promise for me and it works well with my relationship with food. I hope to lose a few more stone on it … I’ll keep you posted as to its success!

Day 13: Feeling Proud

It’s that time of the day again! It’s day 13 of the Fitness Blogger 30-Day Writing Challenge. Today the big question is:

What is your proudest health or fitness related accomplishment?

Me coming over the finish line at Mablethorpe Half Marathon 2013
Me coming over the finish line at Mablethorpe Half Marathon 2013

This is an easy one for me. I can say without doubt that it would have to be completing my first half marathon last year. It’s something I had wanted to do for a few years, but had never committed myself to. For me it felt like such a huge achievement, as I’ve never been the fittest person in the world. Fitness doesn’t come easily to me, I have to work at it and until a few years ago even the idea of running would have killed me! 🙂 To start running felt great to me and I am still amazed how far I manage to go! Given I am seriously overweight as well, completing something as huge as a half marathon was quite possibly one of the most momentous occasions of my life!

Next up – marathon here I come!!!!! 🙂

Day 12: I’m a bit obsessed

thVGCDOCS6It’s Day 12 already of the Fitness Blogger 30 day Writing Challenge. And today it’s all about that sensitive subject – weight! 🙂

‘How often do I weigh myself?’

I know it’s recommended to only weigh yourself about once a week, but I ignore the advice and get on the scales pretty much every morning without fail! I’m even worse now I have started the 5:2 fasting diet, as I want to monitor every little weight fluctuation! I ‘ve even been known weigh myself twice a day on occasion! It’s a bit obsessive I know, but I find the daily weigh-in psychologically motivating. It ensures that I don’t let things slide too much! I have spent many a year battling my relationship with the scales, but right now I’m quite happy being obsessed – roll on tomorrow morning for my next check-in!