Fast is the new…. Fast!

Forgive me friends it has been 66 days since my last blog.

Going back to my last blog, on 7th Jan, I was 7-days into the Fast Diet (or 5:2 Diet) and was feeling superb.  Fast forward to today and I am only just finding time to sit down and update you all on my progress. Continue reading

Fast is the new Slow

This year, in my ongoing efforts to loose the weight I gained during my battles with Glandular Fever in the 90’s, Post Viral Fatigue in the naughties and eventually Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the naughties/”210’s” I have started following the “Fast Diet”, alternatively known as the “5:2” diet. Continue reading

Turn sideways and…

I’ll disappear!

Not quite but this dieting stuff is getting pretty damned exciting!   Sorry if I am boring any of you with these diet updates but for someone who has struggled for many, many frustrating years with increasing weight and decreasing ability to do anything about it, being on the verge of hitting a stone lost since Christmas is a BIG THING.   Continue reading

Keeping my promises

With just over a week left of January, I have to say I am feeling pretty good about things.

I have been keeping my ‘new year promises’ to myself so far….

1. I have instigated the ‘jar of good stuff’ promise, utilising a bit of potential “tat” I saved from the bin; a Jubilee special edition Lyle’s golden syrup tin which I was SURE I could find a use for… and I did.  I think the wording on this is quite appropriate for its new task.20130122-212603.jpg

2. I am heading off today on the first of my ‘do exciting/fun things’ trips.  A few days in Bath (or ‘the Bath’ as it was in the last book I read) with a good friend, seeing Les Mis and possibly heading to the Baths… If the weather could provide a sprinkling of settled snow shortly before we take a dip in the rooftop pool, that would be great.

3.  I am still doing well with Weight Watchers; I did a cheeky mid-week weigh to help bolster my resolve to eat ‘wisely and not too well’ during my time away and I’ve lost another pound (lb).  This takes me below a certain figure which I haven’t been below for a while, which makes me happy.

Now I must get back to work and finish packing before catching a train up to ‘the Bath’.

Same but different

As I sit here at my newly re-vamped desk, typing on my new computer (laptop finally becoming more limited by age than was good for work) and with the cat curled up in one of her favourite spots – tucked up my jumper – Continue reading

Beware the Underminer

There are many walks of life where you can experience these pesky little beasts… you know them, they’re the ones that knock you down to feel good about themselves, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Fortunately, my underminers (barring one persistent one which I will come to in a moment) have pretty much been work-based.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t have just as much impact on your life and confidence.  When I’m feeling a bit down, the lingering insecurities can often raise their heads and I start to doubt myself… then out comes the “upbeat” playlist and a litany of all the reasons why those underminers are wrong to build myself back up again.

There is one, however, which I just can’t shake.  Myself.

I, together with being rather impatient with myself, am my own worst enemy at times.  Specifically related to my weight, I find myself thinking “I’ve been dieting like mad for [3/5/10]-days and nothing has changed…I must be a failure”.  Yes.  I know.  Unrealistic expectations and all that.

No matter how much I know that I need to be in the long game I can’t seem to get my impatience with myself in control where it comes to my weight.  This leads to self sabotage: the aforementioned unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment and disillusionment and thinking ‘what the heck, what’s another chocolate bar to loose at this point’.  The times where I cave in to that are getting fewer and farther between thanks to the fact that I have made some sustained, and maintained, progress but that doesn’t mean that the times I experience those thoughts get any less frequent.  It is an almost constant struggle.

In some ways it ties in to my self-esteem issues surrounding my luck, or lack thereof, with men.  Not that I need a man to make my life complete: I have a wonderful family, good job, great friends and in fact with some of the guys I have dated I’ve actually dodged a bullet (I sometimes marvel at my ability to find complete weirdos in both guys and -with a few exceptions – housemates…not apparent at first but there all the same).  It’s just that sometimes the constant rejection, or distinct lack of interest if not flat out rejection, can get you to thinking “what is wrong with me?”.  Don’t get me started on online dating, I was foolish enough to be persuaded to go back on a site a while ago and that just brought another long period of being ignored*.  Seriously, if anyone else says to me “Tricia, I don’t understand why you’re still single?” (especially if they are of the male variety)… I’m not sure I can be held accountable for my actions.**

I’ve become a bit rambly there.

Anyway, my point is that quite often, even though your conscious mind knows better, your unconscious mind can be your own “Underminer”, digging under all your positive fortifications until they come crumbling down and you become vulnerable to all the negative external influences that are so prevalent (I stopped reading any of the weekly ‘glossies’ years ago as I realised they were toxic to your psyche and made you very negative about others).

Quite how I can go about quieting my inner underminer for good I’m not sure but I’ll keep building and re-building those defences.

*No, weird pervy interest from the over 50’s or guys who look like they just crawled out of the primordial reject bin doesn’t count.  I’m a bit lonely, not desperate.

** For the record… I don’t know.

Time and Motion

I’m away house/dog sitting again this week and, as happened last time, I realise that I have let my step-count dwindle since I stopped wearing my pedometer every day.  It is difficult when I am working hard to build up my business which is mainly desk-based.

I have always struggled with working hard at work and working to maintain my fitness; getting home (or leaving the home office) after a busy day leaves you reaching for the quick and easy choice for supper, which is not always the healthiest choice.  When dragging your tired body out of bed ready to start another busy day the last thing I want to do is jump on the cross-trainer, even though it is right by the bed (which I try and avoid looking at so as to not feel guilty).  You may have the time, but don’t have the energy or you may have the energy but not the time.

I have been keeping up with the riding, which at times has been the one thing that gets me going through the day: my “raison d’etre” when I wonder what all the hard work is for.  I’m really enjoying the ‘map my run’ app on my phone and using it to track the rides we go out on – especially useful for tracking the fitness of the horses too, giving top and average speeds and an accurate track of our mileage (then you realise that the dog has also been coming with us on our 7-8 mile rides).  Having kept up with the riding, which is good all over exercise, I’m not so unprepared for the dog walking I do when I’m dog-sitting but I do need to make sure that I do 20 minutes on the cross trainer every day.

I haven’t been doing my EAP exercises, although I have been trying to stick to the nutritional plan and last week I had lost another couple of inches although the weight hadn’t changed much.  Not sure what this week’s measurements are going to bring as I fell off the wheat wagon and am struggling to get back on the straight and narrow.  I always find it difficult with the change in the seasons, not that we’ve really had a summer to speak of, when the nights draw in.

Since receiving my diagnosis of CFS and getting set on the road to recovery, I have always known that I need to prioritise my fitness as equally important as my work because without maintaining my fitness, I will not have the stamina and energy to do my work.  I have always hoped to be able to work not-quite full time in order to devote some of the time that would normally be spent working to building and maintaining my fitness.  However, to get to that point working for yourself means that you have to work more than full time to initially build up your client base which adds an extra challenge.

I’m now 3-years on from my diagnosis of Hypothyroidism and CFS and sometimes can’t believe how far I’ve come: from someone who was not far off being bed-ridden to someone who would be considered ‘moderately active’ (or ‘Active’ when I keep up with my step-count).  I still have a way to go to get to the level of fitness I want but when I worry that I won’t be able to get there, I just have to look at what I have already achieved – and also at the determination that kept me going before my diagnosis – and I know I can do it.   I hope it doesn’t take me another three years to get there but if it does then it does and it’s still a great achievement.

Could do better

As the title of this post implies, I have not been on top of things, diet wise, this week.  However, overall I’m not disappointed, I’ve lost 3 3/4 inches and 1lb and it has been a rather busy week with work which has used up a lot of my resources making it harder to get the exercises done.

Calculating my inch loss is much easier this time round thanks to the wonders of excel spreadsheets!  Much easier on the brain after the initial setup of the formulae.

In other news: we got Archie put-to on Sunday!  First time we’ve had him in the carriage since September 2010.  It was a bit ‘high-octane’ at first with the dear boy being wound like a spring and not able to relax (or concentrate/listen) at first.  At times like that it is difficult to keep the ‘calm assertive pack leader’ attitude in place when your brain is thinking of contingency plans if he im/explodes.  After a good talking to, and lots of singing of “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean” (a good walking speed song – you also can’t hold tension in your voice or body if you sing, good way to trick the brain/body into relaxing) he had chilled out enough to take him out on the road.

What a different horse; relaxed, striding out and [reasonably] calm and easy going.  There were a couple of moments where he wasn’t sure of things, but a quick revision of the “do not deviate, do not hesitate, etc” speech and he settled down nicely.  Now need to just get a few more trips like that under our belts (without the initial hiccups preferably) and we’ll be out and about in no time.

Off now to make some healthy lunch, bake some spelt bread and then back to work to earn some pennies.

Gone but not forgotten

I have been rather absent from here of late.  That is party because I had to take a halt in my pursuit of my healthy body circa 1996/1997 due to the decrepit nature of my hip (since identified as muscles of my right hip being chronically in spasm, severely limiting my movement and being a RIGHT pain in the arse – pun intended) and not wanting to advertise it to the world*.  Since then I have had the madness of pre-holiday, holiday and post-holiday to contend with as well as work and other ‘stuff’ that has got in the way.

Incidentally, it has actually been nice to have a break from doing the EAP as I have been able to appreciate the weight that I have lost and being able to re-claim a good portion of my wardrobe from storage in the “I’ll slim back into that one” section of the attic.

I’m going to be starting again on Monday, back at the start of week 1 having been working on my hip to try and avoid hitting the same wall after week 4.

In other news, Archy has been away to ‘boarding-school’ up in Swansea for three weeks to get him back in the shafts… sent up to a lovely chap, very kind and gentle.  However, we think the Welsh accent, and being away from home, rather stressed Archy out as he was wound tight as a drum when we went to pick him up.  The first time we sent him away to get him broken to drive (the time where he came back actually broken in body and mind) was to a Welshman – who was NOT kind and gentle – which is why we think the Welsh accent may have been a tipping point.  Anyway, he managed to progress in his training somewhat, in spite of being stressed out, and he has relaxed a huge amount since he has been back so all is not lost.  He has become more resilient.  Either that or he is just so relieved to be back here that he is on his best behaviour so he doesn’t get sent away again!!

* – no, I don’t think the world does read my blog, just that the the option is there 😉

New Beginnings

Today I started on an exercise and nutritional plan called “The Equestrian Athlete Plan” (http://theequestrianathleteplan.com) which was recommended to me by the lovely Lucy.  It is specifically targeted exercises for riders to develop their bodies in a way to enhance their riding performance – which puts significantly different demands on the body than any other form of exercise.  As I am doing a fair bit of riding, and plan to do more, it seems like the sensible way to go.

Having been doing some schooling with Archie (now that his more chilled out) I’ve been noticing that my left leg is weak and I have trouble getting Archie to work evenly as I can’t support/direct him as well with my left leg as with my right – leg yielding to the left is fantastic, to the right not so good because I just don’t have the control/strength in my left leg (sorry, not that interesting for you non-horsey readers).

The nutritional plan that goes with it is rather extreme but makes a whole lot of sense.  The exercises form a 30-minute workout every working day and the whole thing is designed to fit around a busy life with horses.  The plan is 8-weeks long so, having started today, I will have completed it by 26th August.

My declaration: I’m not going to set goals for dress sizes dropped, weight or inches lost, however my SMART goal will be:

  • Specific: to stick to the Equestrian Athlete Plan 100% – no self-sabotage, no “just this one Fredo bar won’t hurt, NO EXCUSES – to achieve the best results I can
  • Measurable: I will have lost weight, lost inches and my clothes will fit better
  • Achievable: 30minutes of exercise a day, 5-days a week + following a detailed nutritional plan
  • Realistic: this has been done and is being done by many people who are achieving results.  There is also ample support available through the Plan.
  • Time restricted: The plan is 8-weeks long.

I’ve taken the before measurements and photos (photos will not be shared with anyone but me!!).

Having recently totted up my step-counts since January and realising that my average step count of 10k+ is actually above average, I’m feeling ready to take this on, no holds barred and take the next steps to reclaiming my once fit and lovely body, which I didn’t appreciate half as much as I should have (cue strains of Baz Lhurman’s ‘Wear Sunscreen’ swelling in the background).

Having struggled for so long (14 years and change) to shed the weight I gained when I had Glandular Fever there is a certain element of Fear that I won’t succeed but I’m not going to let that stop me from sticking to the plan 100%.

Cutting out dairy will be my biggest challenge I think.