Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Austerity roolz!

A pre-Christmas walk with D in the snow on Surprise View. It was a strange day - a mixture of murk and sunshine and very, very cold.

I've already posted one of these of Minty but it's such a lovely shot I'm going to put it up again! She looks like this a lot - interested, alert and slightly stroppy!


D on the phone in the middle of nowhere like some saddo. Actually he was trying to hook up with his brother stuck in Paris due to snow but that doesn't stop me taking the piss!

Me standing on the Salt Pot rock formation - freezing wind and D faffing around with the camera.....brrrr again

View towards Hathersage and the Hope Valley beyond.

View towards Stanage Edge

How clever of Peridot to pick up on what I said in my last post about being excited about the upcoming month of austerity. I truly am.

But I often feel like this after Christmas, as though I want to "cleanse my palate", eat plain clean foods, fruit and veg and not much fat or sugar. And the exercise too, I want to be out of doors and sweating rather than indoors and stuffy with loads of people around. I'm a bit of a hermit really, quite like a dose of solitude here and there.

So, it's going well so far (albeit it only 3 days in). Did my long walk and gym yesterday and set a date with Vicky for another visit to the gym this evening. Which is just as well because it's filthy here today. There's no way I would have managed a run, long walk or bike ride today - sleety, icy rain/snow and freezing cold. The roads are treacherous and the dogs could not get indoors fast enough so no support there!

Despite that, there are loads of people out running or cycling. I think I'm mad but they must be certifiable! I drove into Sheffield this morning to buy my outfit for New Year's Eve (of which more later) and there was thick snow on the tops (the higher ground betwen here and Sheffield) and I was having to pass not one but several cyclists or runners! Who in their right mind would head out over Moscar Top in this weather??

So, back to NYE. The fancy dress theme in my local is the 80's. Not very original perhaps but entertaining and easy and fun for the likes of me who turned 10 in 1979!! I remember it all folks....

I went into town today to try and put together some sort of outfit. I wanted a proper Dynasty/Dallas type dress and all the trimmings. There are loads of vintage shops in Sheffield aiming at the student market but I was worried that I might be a bit big, erm...fat, for the gear. I needn't have worried!! I tried on 2 LBDs a la 80's - you know the ones - black velvet bodice with ra ra taffeta skirt in black shot with gold or silver lurex! They were both slightly on the large side! So that gave me confidence to try the less obvious.

The shop was otherwise empty and I managed to engage the interest of the assistant (who was really nice) so she kept bringing me possibles to try. Stuff that I would NEVER have picked up in a million years. In the end I settled on a daffodil yellow silk power dress. Big shoulders, peplum waist and draped handkerchief skirt. It's horrific in a strangely flattering kind of way. I will team it with black elastic belt, black lacy tights and stilletoes, lacy fingerless gloves, lacy bow in hair and a selection of the most horrific balck and gold jewelry Top Shop could supply me with. The Top Shop thing freaked me out as the worst of their jewelry wasn't even on sale - there was no irony- girls might actually buy this stuff in all seriousness!!!

Anyway, I promise to post the pics. Hope you all have a great NYE - even you Peri - and an even better start to 2010. Mwah!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009


I'm very behind with my photos. This was a walk before Christmas on Mam Tor - I started off with the best of intentions to walk for a good long way but the weather came in and I turned back early. Thank goodness I did - the last 20 minutes of the walk were into a driving icy rain. I was soaked and freezing. If I hadn't turned when I did it would have been terrible!
This is the view into the Edale valley.

The amazing flying Minty!

View towards Sparrowpit and Rushup Edge. The weather still fine at this stage but very cold.

The path to the summit. It is such a busy walk that the Peak Park has built these york stone paths or erosion would have ruined the land by now.

Edale and Kinder Scout.

Me and the dogs on top.

For once I met a competent photographer - normally they cut half of me off in these circumstances!

The Great Ridge looking from Mam Tor towards Hollins Cross and Lose Hill

Well, I had a lovely Christmas with my family. We were over in Lincolnshire at Mum and Dad's (or rather, Nana and Grandad's as I came to call them). There was my sister's family of 6 plus 2 gorgeous golden retrievers and the boyfriend of her eldest daughter and my brother's family of 3 minus my brother himself over from Canada. Poor old Graham is stuck out on an oilrig in Canada as is Diarmuid (although different rigs).

So, nearly the full family complement. It was chaotic but good fun. My sister in law Hadi is a marvellous cook of the south-east asian persuasion so she did the catering pre-Christmas and I did the Christmas day lunch (very traditional turkey and all the trimmings). My sister was very tired and a bit under the weather so did the breakfasts and we had plenty of teenagers to tidy up (when nagged) and help out where required.

My father loved it; all his family around him, going to the pub, to church, for walks with the dog and playing games and telling stories. It was lovely. I enjoyed it more than I have in the past, perhaps because the kids are older now - the youngest is nearly 14 - so they were less demanding and more entertaining.


  • Walking all 4 dogs by myself on a freezing foggy and snowy Christmas day morning at 8.30am. My sister's 2 golden retrievers merging into the fog and my 2 girls sticking close to guard me from the big boys! I felt like the only person out and about and it was just magical - time to breathe before the chaos of the day started.
  • Going to the pub with all the girls on Christmas Eve and then onto Midnight Mass in the church where my sister and I were both married. It was full and beautifully decorated and my nieces and my sister and I sang the alto and descant parts to all the hymns. The nieces all sing in choirs and hearing their 4 voices soaring up to those top notes while Hilary and I tried to remember the alto parts was brilliant. Probably a bit show-offy but my Dad loved it and loads of people have commented to him about the girls' voices in the pub since then so he is bursting with pride. Very special.
  • Shopping on Christmas Eve in Lincoln - such a nice shopping town - not to big, not too small, pretty and practical.
  • Seeing my mum happy and relaxed. She is in the early stages of Alzheimers but she was very much herself over Christmas so, although she can't do all the stuff she used to do, she is still happy and when you get her on old stories, very amusing.

Anyway, I'm back home now and have a week off before going back to work on Monday. It is great. I'm concentrating on exercise and sensible eating and am determined to drop the Christmas pud and make a good start on getting back to where I was this summer. January is going to be a month of austerity and exercise for me and I'm very excited about it.

I started the regime yesterday with a monster mountain bike ride with my friend Vicky. Trouble is, the side roads and tracks round her are still pretty snowy and icy in places. I'm a bit braver about that stuff than Vicky so only took one tumble on sheet ice but Vicky lost her confidence so was falling off rather a lot. Felt a bit guilty! It was beautiful though.

Today was a big walk (6 miles) around the Chatsworth estate - Baslow - Pilsley - Edensor - Chatsworth. It was rather murky but still bracing and pretty. I found myself on tracks I've never been on which I enjoy and a couple of the views were spectacular. Vicky is calling round at 6.30 to take me to the gym too so there is no escape! We arranged it yesterday and both of us feel that an appointment will keep us on the straight and narrow. There is no way I would have made it to the gym this evening if I was not meeting her so I think we were right to make the date!

I'm also going to dig out my book of notes from the TV programme and remind myelf about the things I did this summer which worked so well. One thing is definitely getting back to daily weigh-ins and marking my progress on a big chart so I have nowhere to hide!! That is tomorrow's chore though.

Anyway, I've waffled on for long enough now so have better get back to my jobs. Hope you're having a good break (if you're off work) and that the Christmas poundage is not too daunting!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

It's Christmas!!

Mintini in the snow - she loved it until the snow marbles appeared on her back paws...then there was much whinging!

Well, nearly. I've been rushing around like a mad thing to have a early Christmas with Diarmuid who has now gone over to Newfoundland and his ship. He was a very unhappy bear to be leaving - partly because we had had such a lovely Christmassy time before he went and partly just because. And then it snowed just to make everything look even lovelier and make it even harder (both practically speaking and emotionally) for him to leave.

And now I have to do it all again with my family. I'm about to head off to Lincolnshire and the parentship to rendezvous with my parents, sister and her family and sister-in-law with niece and nephew from Canada. There are going to be 13 of us and 4 dogs for Christmas - yikes! Really looking forward to it though. Then a week off after Christmas when I talk sternly to myself about food and exercise!! And blog, lots....

I have to admit to weight gain - but not a massive one. I got on the scales this morning and have an extra 5 or 6 lbs there which really shouldn't be there!! This is getting silly.

But I'm not distraught or even particularly unhappy. In fact, the extra weight is there because I've been so happy. I just need to re-focus and get back to what worked. In the meantime, over Christmas, I'm going to enjoy myself but not go mad so as to limit the further damage. Have some nice things but not eat for the sake of it. Keep up with the exercise (which isn't a problem for me at the mo) and just generally keep a lid on the excess.

The main thing to realise is that I'm still over a stone lighter than I was at the beginning of the year!! So that's a year when I have lost weight, not gained. And that is a GOOD thing!

I also have loads of photos to sort out. I have been slack on these as D bought me a laptop for my birthday and now I have to learn all the new gizmos on it. But I have loads of good pics to share. No wifi at the Olds' so it be next week now.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and don't go too crazy on the party food and drink. Have fun - take the special stuff and leave the dross behind!!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

It's been ages....sorry

This is just a quick helloo to let you know that I'm alright, sticking to the grindstone (most of the time) and enjoying life too. I'm very excited this evening as I'm about to set off into Sheffield for Sports Personality of the Year!! It's been one of my annual must-watches since I was a kid and now I'm going to see it live!!

We were out for a lovely walk in the sunshine this afternoon but apart from that have done very little so all in all it's been a great Sunday!

Hope yours have been too and I'll be back soon. Mwah!!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Chimp Theory

Below is an old post which I published back in April when I was first learning about the Chimp Theory during filming for the TV show. I removed it from my blog because the TV company got a bit paranoid and thought Steve Peters wouldn't be happy but he later said that he didn't mind at all! Anyway, Ex Yo Yo Dieter asked about the Chimp Theory so I thought I would re-post it for information. I learned a lot more besides but this is the clearest explanation:

So I don't sound like an insane woman rambling on about chimps, I had better explain the part of Dr Steve Peters' theory that he outlined to us last night. He said there was still more to come but he has to do it in chunks as it is quite technical.

The brain is divided into 6 sections. He told us to think of them as separate organs almost, like the liver and the kidneys. They work toegther but they develop differently and do different tasks. We're apparently only interested in the 3 of them that deal mainly with our emotions and behaviour.

The 3 are the frontal lobe which is "me", my logical, sentient, thinking personality. Then there is the computer which we didn't talk about last night and then there is "the chimp". He described her as being there already when "I" moved in. The chimp is the primitive, emotional, animal part of my brain which is NOT "me". And she is very strong. He said 5X stronger than me!

He said that me and my chimp do not always agree but if I try and take her on using strength (willpower) alone, I WILL LOSE. That was the first bell ringing. Willpower alone won't work. She (my chimp) might let me away with it once in a while but she remains in control.

This dual personality thing explains a lot for me. I often say in this blog how I conduct internal bargaining sessions. About what to eat or trying to persuade myself to go for a run, doing a short one and then carrying on etc. I've been talking to my chimp all along and I never knew!!

Anyway, what motivates her? This is the kicker.

Steve explained that for female chimps there are 3 primary motivating elements (there are many others besides but these are the main ones):

The first and most important is FOOD! Our chimps and therefore we are programmed internally from birth to be motivated by food. Men are not. (Their chimps' motivations are power, ego and sex - who knew!!). He explained that this is due to the female role in the wild of having lots of babies and the need to keep up our body fat to be able to bear them and them feed them.

The second (and this really knocked me down) is INSECURITY. He explained that it is necessary for a female chimp, due to her relative size to the males, not to take them on physically and due to her role in child care to be very cautious and fearful. Hence, constant insecurity is hardwired into our brains. A small rustle in the bushes and she's off. A male chimp, on the other hand will be more confident of taking on a threat so doesn't need the same level of insecurity.
Explains a lot eh?

The third motivation is the MATERNAL instinct. While this doesn't apply to me as I don't have kids, the women in the group with children were nodding. This is why women put themselves last in the pecking order and prioritise their family at the expense of their health and wellbeing. This might seem altruistic but it leads to sad, unfulfilled mothers which is, logically, not the best outcome for the children.

So, what does our chimp do about these 3 motivations?? Well, she fights, flees or freezes. Steve said that flight and freezing are by far the most common response with fighting being the last resort for a female.

This reveals it self in many ways. For example, one of my most detested personality traits is my procrastination. Steve explained that this was my insecure chimp, fearful of not being able to do the task, compelling me to either flee from it or freeze into inertia. Which is why, when I actually do start it, usually by bargaining with the chimp that we'll just do 15 minutes or something, we discover that we can do it and we actually enjoy it!

Regarding the food issue. I don't want to eat; I know I'm not hungry and can wait 'til lunch or I only need a salad. My chimp does want to eat. It's the jungle to her and she's not sure when her next meal is coming from. In a head-on battle, she will win. Maybe not always but often enough for me to know that she is in control.

So how to deal with her? Steve said, treat her like a child or a dog that you need to cajole, outwit and, ultimately, train. If a toddler was screaming for food 30 minutes before supper you would distract it. Try that.

My chimp is very social and concerned about her standing the group. You can shame her into not eating. Putting photos of your fat self on the fridge in a public place. Try telling people that you're not going to eat at a buffet, say. Your chimp is proud and will help you to not give in. This explains why I found abstinence when I was doing Lighter Life easy. I had told everyone at work, at home and in the pub that I was only eating packs and drinking water. My chimp wouldn't lose face by failing. Now of course, she is sneaky and tries to push the boundaries all the time. Cow!

We didn't have long on these techniques as the theory took a long time but it's all in the preparation. He wants us to identify our chimp this week and start to get to know her. Why don't you join in?

I felt a huge wave of relief as the theory unfolded. And excitement. Finally I could understand why I don't seem to be able to get past this permanently. Even Steve was slightly teary himself as he said how unjust it is that women beat themselves up for something which is not "them". It is their chimps. Once you get to know your chimp you can learn to control her and take over the running of your body and brain from her but until then, why feel bad about being a perfectly running female machine??

Also, so many of the diets, regimes and techniques which I've learned in the past are not wrong. They're just not the whole picture. It all hangs together now for me so I can see how CBT/NLP etc have their place (apparently we'll get to that in the computer part of the brain). I can see how the not beating yourself up helps. The take a small step, idea; the distraction techniques. Now I know WHY though and that, for me, makes all the difference.

Monday, 30 November 2009

What happened??

Over the last few weeks I've been a bit subdue: staying in more, lacking in energy, my eating hasn't been great and my exercise has been lacklustre. I've stuck with it but really only doing the minimum required rather than pushing myslef and I haven't enjoyed it. So yesterday, I had a bit of an epiphany and now I feel like a different person!!

What am I? Split personality or what? No problem sticking to a modect healthy breakfast. No complaints from my chimp about going swimming at lunchtime. Walked into town first to buy my lunch and picked up my formerly "usual" lunch which has of late been supplemented with fruit and energy bars etc. Again, no complaints from old Chimpetta. And then straight off to the pool with a spring in my step. Bizarre.

And swimming was a joy. Usually on a Monday it's a bit of a nightmare - too many people in the fast lane who don't actually swim fast and to make matters worse don't let me on at the turns etc etc But today, hardly anyone there, a lovely empty lane and I felt silky smooth and strong. So much so that I increased my usual top limit from 52 to 56 lengths!

And I sprinted for 4 laps at the end - really pushed it as though I was in a race! I felt a little silly arriving at the end of each length puffing and kicking for no apparent reason but it's very liberating. It reminded me of being on the track at the velodrome. Then we had to really push ourselves to the point of exhaustion and had a team of trainers exhorting us on. I used to enjoy it in a perverse kind of way and reflected that it's rare for grown up women to push themselves to that stage. I couldn't run far or fast enough to generate that sensation due to my weight and foot injury but swimming is very forgiving - as long as you have sufficient technique to go fast you can do it.

I felt young and powerful which is good way to feel on a cold Monday afternoon. Long may this positive phase continue.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

That's better

I'm already feeling much more focussed and on top of things. I have had a few weeks of drifting: spending a bit too much time on the sofa and not enough exercising or eating properly. It has not been really bad, just sub-par.

And I began to feel it on my thighs and hips and tummy. Just that little bit of extra coverage which makes exercising less comfortable, clothes less flattering and one's morale dip.

So, rather than let that go from not great to bad to worse, I determined to do something about it. Of course the weather this morning did NOT help. My chimp had the best excuse ever for not going out on a mountain bike ride - it was freezing and absolutely chucking it down for solidly several hours. Even when I'm feeling motivated, I'm no match for that sort of challenge.

But I didn't give in to doing nothing. First of all, I thought I'd have a go at going to church. I used to go relatively regularly but my attendance has dwindled to almost never over the last 5 or 6 years. My friends' daughter's christening last week reminded me how much I used to like it so I thought I'd go this morning. Dashed up there only to find that where there should have been a Family Communion at 11am there was in fact a joint service in Hathersage at 10am. Thwarted!!

This could have been a good excuse to do nothing but I still didn't yeild. Back home - chores and keeping a steady eye on the rain.

Eventually it started to lighten in intensity so at around 12.30 so I got changed, grabbed the dogs and headed out for a quick walk. This was an exercise in chimp management - I kept saying that I would only do a short walk round the block, then it was a 45 minute crcuit; then Shelagh pulled to the right so I extended it to the river circuit which is about an hour and includes hills and eventuallly I extended it right to the top of Shatton and had a good solid, muddy and very hilly 2 hour tramp!

If I had set out to do route that I would not have made it past the front door!! But, just pushing onwards and waiting 'til I was already cold and wet but enjoying myself did the trick.

Once back home I have been much more productive - paperwork, washing, hoovering and not eating. I have targets too - to lose 2 lbs next week and to do some exercise every day, Monday to Friday.

I was in a little "Fog" for a while there but I seem to have got myself out of it without too much damage. Now to keep up with the good intentions.

I'll let you know how I get on.


Only time for a quick post - I might try again later. But I wanted to sit down and write these words.

I'm feeling fat and I've gained some weight and I am going to do something to sort this situation out.

There are many reasons to sort this out but one is pressing - there is a strong possibility that there may be a TV follow-up programme in April and I'm NOT going to admit to not having kept the weight off!!!

Now is the time before it becomes a big task. NOW, while it is still eminently manageable.

So, on this kind of cryptic and ill-explained note, I'm going to go out into the cold for a bike ride! Wish me luck.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

At last

Me and Jen hamming it up on my birthday. We've been best friends (yes I know - I sound like a school girl!) since September 1980 when we met on our first night at boarding school - she was in the bunk above me and we shared a dorm for 7 years straight! I've got a picture of us taken on holiday when we were 18 in Torremolinos (yes I know that too!!) and I don't think we've changed much!! I also know that I'm lying here but you can't prove it !!

Oh, and I've learned another thing from this pic - it's not flattering for the person taking the shot, you should always get the other person to hold the camera - mental note!!

I seem to have had a season of 40th birthday events over the last 3 weeks. A big party on 7 November which was fantastic; various lunches and meet-ups with pals following on from the party - either people who couldn't make it or people who made it but wanted to have a proper chat which was not possible with the big crowd (hark at me - all conceited there!!); works lunches; a night at my school friend, Jenny's house with 2 other school pals on my actual birthday and finally last night - village birthday drinks in the pub. I feel like the Queen!!

But it's been wonderful. I don't normally make a big fuss of my birthday. Even for my 30th I just had a few people to the pub and then back to mine for many many drinks. So it was great to make an effort and then be rewarded by so many friends making an effort back. Maybe 40 is that sort of age - the taking stock and looking back as well as forward sort of age?

All in all, I'm very happy with where I am at this pivotal age. I've learned so much about myself in the last few years and have even put quite a bit of it into practise. Would I have been as content with myself and my life if I had not started this losing weight and growing up malarkey at the beginning of 2007?? I doubt it very very much.

So, it's been great and this blog has been a huge part of it too. Recording what makes me happy and why I'm upset. Taking the photos and actually showing them to people. Meeting new friends and learning learning learning.

Now it's all over - I'm just 40 now and I've got someone else's do to go to - little Fallon Rose is being christened tomorrow and there's a big party in the pub this afternoon! I'm going to walk up through the wind and rain, catch the second half of Bamford FC vs Tideswell on the Rec and then enjoy being part of the crowd rather than the centre of attention. Good luck with your first 40 years Fallon - I hope you have as much fun as I've had!!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Am I still "me"??

We're back to Botswana - God I loved that place. Now that the nights are dark and it's cold and rainy I love the photos even more. the animals were amazing and the lovely dry heat....sigh... An African Fish Eagle

Male kudu
Baboons en masse at the river side - there must have been a hundred or more of them!

Pied kingfishers

warthogs often eat from their front knees - weird creatures!

We were caught up in a herd of elephants heading for the river at top speed - it was exciting but a little scary too when the adults fronted up to us to protect the babies!

This guy definitely had his scary face on!

Oxpicker on male impala

Ugly vulture - there were loads of them around here on the body of a dead elephant - the sky was black with them and marabou storks at one point.
female impala - so pretty

male warthogs rutting - spring is sprung etc

elegant male kudu

I read a comment from Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie on my last post which referred to something I said in a very early post - it must be from March 2007!!! She had gone back and read my early posts for background - very diligent eh?! Anyway, in this old post, I was talking about how people had reacted to my going on a diet and starting to lose serious weight. Most were positive but some expressed concerns and doubts and one, my friend Andy, said that he was worried I wouldn't be "me" if I lost weight.

So, in her comment, Debbie asked me if I thought I was still "me" after all this time (and weight) has passed and if not, who am I??

It's set me thinking which is excellent news, so thanks Debbie. The short answer is that I'm not the same person that Andy was speaking to all those years and months ago. I feel like a totally different person since Lighter Life ended and often think of my pre-LL self in the third person (bizarrely). I feel sometimes sad for "her"; proud of "her"; occasionally ashamed of "her"; occasionally frustrated for and by "her". It's weird. I know the past is a foreign country but this is full-on space travel - as though I moved out of one body and mind and into another but took a lot of the furniture and decorations with me.

So, I do feel as though I'm not that "me" anymore. (By the by, I suspect Andy would agree with me that this is NOT a bad thing.)

That's how I feel but I suspect the truth is a lot simpler. Although I think I'm totally different, I suspect the person I am now is the person I always was but without all the coping mechanisms and disguises I had learned to apply to my fat-girl self.

I suspect that my friends see some changes but not nearly as many as I do. I was much more of a people pleaser then, reluctant to turn others down, always arranging things and taking on responsibility for things. Now, I'm happy to arrange an outing or event once in a while but don't feel I need to do it to earn friendship or respect. I used to be always bubbly and "up", always wore make-up and dressed smartly. Now, I'll do that if I feel like it but if I don't want to go out or, if I'm out and don't feel like being the life and soul, I'm happier to sit back and feel confident that this won't affect whether people "like" me or not.

Also, a lot of people have been asking me recently whether the TV programme "worked". Which is very tricky to answer. Short answer - I lost one and a half stone and I'm less miserable now, so yes. Long answer - the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I have not managed to lose any weight since the programme finished filming. Well, I had lost a few lbs but a couple of bad weeks have reversed that. So that means that I have maintained my weight for 4 months. Not bad. I seem to be less up and down. Bad times are fewer and of a shorter duration. Exercise is a LOT more consistent. Weighing myself is less daunting and less fraught with anxiety and potential depression. Weight is not such a personal test of sucess or failure; it's just something I need to keep on top of. I'm happier.

So, even by the long route, the answer has to be a heartfelt "Yes, the TV programme did work" with a big caveat "so far". I'm being vigilant to make sure bad weeks like the last couple don't happen often and are soon ended.

When I say "bad", it's all relative. I still did exercise, just less than I usually do. I ate too much, extras here and there but not packets of biscuits or binges or anything. Anyway, I'm going to be blogging a lot more too as a bad week is worse if I don't sit down here and think about things. But for now - I'm off to the pub quiz!!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Pics taken on my mobile phone (hence the not great quality) from a mountain bike ride a few weeks ago with Vicky. It was our first "proper" ride and we were so excited about reaching the top of Win Hill on bikes!!

Note the rutted tracks - they made it tricky to ride, you were constantly having to pick a lane and then getting stuck!!

My bikey pal Vicky!

I've just been back in my blog and read my post from 13 October entitled "Me and my monkey". I realise that not a great deal has changed since then. I'm slightly less profligate with the extras I identified but there are still quite a few of these knocking around. Cappucinos from McDonalds in the morning; a biscuit at lunchtime; spuds with supper and glasses of wine when I would not previously have had one.

I need to tighten up a little bit more. Really ratchet the extras out of my life. So, tomorrow's mini-target is very simple - not to have a McDonalds capp in the morning and not to have any biscuits at work. I need to break the habits a couple at a time.

I've been working from home today as I had an appointment with a podiatrist near home in the middle of the day. She confirmed what I suspected - that I have developed plantar fascitis in my left heel. It's quite painful AFTER I've been running or for a long walk. Grrrr. This I do not need.

After my cold and rainy run on Monday night I felt fine, shower, supper and sit down in front of the telly. Then I got up to make a cup of tea - ow ow ow ow. So sore and it was sore all day on Tuesday.

The podiatrist was about 12. She looked so sweet, like a Sindy doll with massive blue eyes, so I wasn't initially hopeful but she seemed to be very competent. She's getting me some insoles to support my arch and correct a slight pro-nate (?) in that foot in the hope of relieving the pressure on the heel and preventing further damage to the ligament under my arch. She also said that, as long as I can stand the pain, I can continue to go running occasionally and recommended Ibuleve gel before running and ice massage afterwards. Is it worth it I ask myself?!

Yes. I'm loving the exercise at the moment and anything which gives me more choice and no excuse to skive if worth a little discomfort.

I went for a mountain bike ride at lunchtime today from home. It was the absolute worst timing! I could only go at lunchtime but just as I set off it began to rain; cold, icy, hard rain. I didn't falter but I do admit to cutting the ride slightly short after 45 minutes of splashing through muddy puddles and when I could no longer feel my thighs!! Then, as I stepped out of the shower I glanced out of the window to see a blue sky and even a hint of sunshine....thanks for that!!

The schedule for the rest of the weeks is - swimming tomorrow as I have an early meeting which has put paid to personal training. Swimming or a class on Friday. Mountain biking on Saturday (and dancing like a mad thing at my 40th birthday party of course!!) and R&R on Sunday (with a little light dog walking of course).

It's all good.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Running again

Some more pics from our sunset river cruise on the Chobe river. The highlight was being on the river when the elephants were crossing.

After a somewhat "loose" weekend which involved slightly too much food and drink and not quite enough exercise, I was determined to start the week well and for that I needed to do some aerobic exercise today. I intended to go swimming at lunchtime but was called into a last minute meeting so couldn't make it. So, that leaves the gym or running after work. The gym is boring and the only class I could make was weights based so not that aerobic-y. Running it was then.

My chimp was pretty quiet when I came to this conclusion. Surprisingly she didn't try and talk me out of it at all. Not even when it started to rain a cold, sleety rain just before we set off!!

I stopped running a few months ago because I had developed heel pain. I thought if I rested it for a while it might go away. Well, it hasn't so I'm seeing a bio-mechanical expert on Wednesday but in the meantime, figured I may as well run as long as I don't push it too hard.

So, 4 months off - what was it going to be like? Terrible probably.

Actually no. It was fine. Cold, wet, sludgy leaves underfoot, dark etc etc But fine. I must be reasonably fit because I did the 2.5 miles in the same time as before and I wasn't knackered when I finished.

It's a shame that I can't push the distances up much but at least I know that, if I'm stuck for exercise, I can always find 30 minutes to go out for a quick run in the evenings. No excuses! It's a bit like having the wattbike again.

I might even get myself sorted with an ipod and start listening to these newfangled podcast thingies eh Shauna!!