Thursday, 30 April 2009

Details man...

A walk from a few weeks ago with D round Peter's Dale near Litton.

"What are we looking at ma??"
I like this one of Shelagh - she looks really smiley.

I don't know why D didn't buy her a drink...meanie...

And finally, the Daddy's girl!

The short answer to the question is: no, they haven't given us a diet. The nutritionist was on holiday so we will meet with him on Tuesday. The Psych is very keen that we cut our foods right down to 10 basic items (I don't think he's counting condiments or dressings etc - low fat of course). The idea being that it is a strict rule (much like LL or CD) and rules are easy for our chimps to follow. They like them.

It is very difficult to decide what 10 foods will work best so I'm keeping a food diary and refining my list while keeping to 1500-1800 calories a day (plus loads of exercise). Hopefully all will be revealed next week on the food front.

He is keen though, that we take responsibility for coming down hard on our chimps. He says we will know when we're eating something wrong so basically any indulgence at all is "giving in"to her. It all sounds very harsh (and it was a bit intimidating last night) but I think the idea is that we really get in control of our chimps now so that later, when we've attained our goals and are fit, slim athletes, we can relax on "our" terms not engaging in a constant battle with our chimps. Not dissimilar to the LL route to management really but with added ape....

Not having a plan does have the advantage that we are very much having to be responsible for ourselves rather than just blindly following the programme. It certainly makes you think. But having strict rules and the need to be the best dieter ever (an elite one no less) means you don't do the internal bargaining about what you can and can't get away with. If it at all iffy, you don;t have it. I'm the best after all!!! Tee hee

About the elite thing. He had a whole spiel about how British Cycling only takes on people who are among the top 5 or 6 in their particular discipline "in the world"! So, as we are now part of British Cycling (albeit temporarily) we must strive to be in the top 5 or 6 TV dieters in the world. Not too difficult at the moment but the next season of the Biggest Loser is starting soon and those kids can shrink! The competition is toughing up.

I must admit that it is apealing to my competitive, sporty nature. Not sure how some of the other women are taking to it. The rugby player seems to like it.

What else? Oh yes, apparently, not only do we have chimps knocking around in our brains, we also have gremlins. These are 5 or 6 (typically) untrue and unfounded beliefs about ourselves which we believe and which are the foundation of our lives. Apparently my nightly emails to him (which are quite chatty and written in a similar vein to this blog) have revealed a couple already. Apparently they leapt off the page. He didn't tell me what they were though, no doubt saving that for a session with the cameras when I'm one to one and more likely to cry....sigh....

He did give us one example though: he had asked us to identify non-food rewards for ourselves, both short term and long term. No probelm for me - a massage or other treatment and ultimately my dream safari holiday.
The rugby player though really struggled to find something as a short term reward for herself. She lives with her husband and brother (yes I know!?) and her chosen reward (after some thought) was the right to choose what they all watch on the telly without complaints for 30 minutes each night!!! "30 minutes!!" I squawked indignantly at which point the Psych leapt in. He said, why was it that I saw how meagre that reward was and she did not. Apparently she has a common gremlin (mercifully and definitely absent in me) that she believes that she not worth as much as other people so her opinions and choices are less valid and she shouldn't impose them on other people. I clearly do not believe this (I don't think I'm better than others BTW), hence I have no trouble speaking out (and I get to watch my fair share of choices on the telly too!!).

God knows what he's going to find in my brain...
Anyway, more later. I've done 20 minutes on the exercise bike at a good pace (not the best but I was finding my feet and getting everything set up properly - tomorrow will be better) as well as training this morning. A good day. BTW Peridot - I have definitely now located my "sitting bone"!! I don't think there's going to be much left of it by the end of July!! Ow...

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Better days

My walk last Sunday with my old school friends.

It's late and I'm tired as I'm just back from the Velodrome in Manchester from filming the latest instalment of the TV programme thingy.

I just wanted to check in and say that I had much better days yesterday (Tuesday and today) after my "flat" Monday. More exercise, less food and just generally brighter and more motivated.

The exercise programme started in earnest this evening and we have had shiney new WattBikes (spinning bikes I think) delivered to our houses today and we will be on them every day from now on in! All my training over the years has not been in vain as I was the fittest. Our average wattage was the main thing they seemed concerned about and mine was 160 whereas the other womens' ranged from 86 to 126. So, I've set the bar high for myself and intend to better it week on week.

The fittness coach guy is a world leader and a chipper Aussie. Very full on and upbeat but very uncompromising too.

The gloves are well and truly off when it comes to their expectations of us. Last week was a warm up with very touchy feely goals, targets and expectations. This week Steve sandbagged us with toughness and very exacting standards. He basically said that we are part of British Cycling now and should adhere to their standards which means that we must be "elite dieters".

So - this is my pledge - I AM AN ELITE DIETER!!!

Just one thing I haven't got my head round yet is this....I was an elite dieter in 2007 and lost 9 stone and ran a half marathon. Now I've gained a good chunk of that back and let the fitness slide. What is going to stop that happening again. The serpent in paradise so to speak.

So, more tomorrow when I am not knackered. Nighty night.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


I had a bit of a flat day yesterday. I didn't do anything in particular wrong; my only sins were some pitta bread and hummus when I got back in from work and a couple of leftover Lindor chocs. Apart from that it was a pretty good day foodwise and (because of my blog pledge yesterday morning) I forced myself to do 25 minutes on the trampette in lieu of a run in the rain.

But, my motivation was nil. I struggled to do much in the way of work yesterday and when I got home it was the same story. I was aware of the problem and trying to kickstart myself but without a great deal of sucess.

Flat flat flat

So, is today going to be different? Well, I have definitely got personal training this evening so I won't be able to lounge around. I feel pretty flat now to be honest but I'm going to try and tackle various tasks in the hope that, once I start, I'll get motivated again.

Bloody chimp. She is intrinsically lazy and scared of the work I have on my plate. Steve explained that, often the desire to put things off comes from your chimp: she is scared that she won't be able to do something so she freezes or runs away from it. I was in full avoidance mode yesterday and I'm not going to stand for it today.

Targets for today (on top of personal training of course):
  • Go to bed at a decent time
  • Phone a couple of people, don't stay in my "cave" sulking
  • Keep a food diary

Monday, 27 April 2009


These were taken on my big hike last Sunday. I left the reservoir and the geese and turned onto a path going straight up hill through the woods, very peaceful and cool.

After a bit of a slog, through a Chritsmas tree plantation, I could eventually peek a tiny view over the trees.
And then I turned round to see what was still to come...

and the view to the right as I emerged from the trees...

But the view was goregous the higher we got so it was worth it. I wish the path hadn't been quite so steep and that there hadn't been a couple having a picnic directly above me watching every laboured step!

The misty evening facing Mam Tor and Lose Hill

Minty got to the top first...

Then we went over the other side and could see Bamford and home.

I love the meandering reach of the river, reminds me of far ago geography lessons (no Oxbow lake though).

It was a good but busy weekend. Ideally, I would have liked to have had a quiet weekend to be able to assimilate all the information I received last Thursday night from the Psych but life isn't always neat and tidy and you can't just cancel 3 of your oldest friends at short notice for an ideal. I certainly wouldn't want to be that person!

We've known each other since we started school back in 1980; 3 of us were in the same dorm on that first night. It's good having people who can go that far back with you. Interesting too as, when I spoke about the weight issues and the TV programme, it was clear that they didn't really "see" how strongly the issues I was talking about affected me. Sometimes, I think a lot of them are in my head. I often think that I'm obviously a "fat woman" or clearly out of kilter on the food front but, over the weekend, I didn't eat much if any more than most. I do find it harder to stop but 2 of them also seemed to pick and slightly overeat too. Made me realise that I'm more norml than I thought.

That's not to say that I can relax about the issue as it is still there waiting to get me. The fat that is!
Anyway, this is going to be a bit of a bitty post as I don't have much time but wanted to blog to keep me focused. Goals for today:

  • Carry on with my homework for the Psych today and get the bulk of it done in readiness for our next session on Wednesday evening

  • Do some form of exercise, be it a run this evening a strenuous walk or some time of the trampette.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Very excited chimp here

Say hello to my pal from the other day. I thought she deserved a second airing as she was such a good photographic model, so lively, happy, healthy and fun.

I went to the velodrome in Manchester this evening for the first session with Dr Steve Peters for the television programme I mentioned a few days ago. I met the other 3 women, very nice. We had an introduction from Steve about how the programme will work and then a very brief go on the stationary bike for filming rather than training purposes. And then the real work began!

It was incredibly intense, tiring because so much information was being thrown at us and slightly emotional (although that could hve been TOTM for me).

He has set us loads of homework to think about for next Wednesday but I'm not starting it tonight as very tired and my mind is buzzing. I want to do this in a calm frame of mind.

Suffice to say, it is very impressive. Maybe my head is aching because Steve was ringing so many bells?! A very simple concept but one based in hard psychiatry and one which spoke loud and clear to me. I will try and explain it all when I have a bit more time as it will take a while but it was good stuff.

For now, all I can say if that I have met my chimp and I think she is called Doris. I initially thought about naming her Martha in honour of a friend's dog but then thought that she and I might be falling out quite a lot in the future and that isn't fair on old Martha. I can get proper mad with a Doris...

I must sound mad. It does make sense and all will be revealed, honest.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Consolidate and anticipate.

These 4 likely lads reminded me of the posters for Reservoir Dogs, lamb style... Ok, I'm stretching here...I can't quite picture any of them biting someone's ear off

And again only this time one of them is sticking his tongue out at me!

More sheep with the lovely village of Bamford in the background.

And a very winsome mother/child combo. Honestly, I could take pics of sheep all day, you're going to be so bored of them by the time I run out of pics to post...

I've had another decent day (albeit not finished yet) so I thought an early post on my return from work would consolidate the good stuff and encourage me to not to go off the rails this evening thereby anticipating temptation. Not bad eh???

So the food summary:

Healthy breakfast; no cappucino; v healthy lunch; 2 biscuits (again, dammit, but then I did sit through the most boring meeting known to man with plate of scrummy bics in front of me the whole time and only had 2 plain ones at the very end!!); pasta for supper being cooked as we speak. I will probably also have some fruit and/or yoghurt.

I'm not taking the dogs out this evening as I went to training this morning and they went for a walk at lunchtime. I really need to get on with some chores round the house to make it presentable for my 3 school pals who are visiting for the weekend. We're all turning 40 this year so thought we'd go for a swanky weekend away (no small feat for the 2 with kids) but due to various logistical cock-ups we left it too late to book anywhere nice so we've ended up having the weekend at my place. We're going to spend the dough we would have spent on a hotel on a spa and posh meal out and taxis etc and I've promised to put chocs on the pillows for the spoilt brats so they can pretend they're in a hotel!!

I'll probably enjoy it more anyway as we'll have the dogs and I know good places locally rather than taking potluck in an unknown city. Anyway, you know me, I prefer the countryside to the town....such a culchy girl these days!

So, send good resistance vibes my way for the rest of the evening and I promise to hoover and scrub extra hard to burn up loads of calories. Have a good evening all.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Stopping the rot....again...

The dogs and I went for a photography based walk on Saturday - I took my long lense to capture lambs and other rural sights. I liked this horse with a whole field of his own who was determined to steal from the neighbours... Truly, the grass is greener.

Then we met a very feisty and fun-loving dog, chained in a field. I don't normally like to see this but I happen to know the farmer and know that the dogs spends most of their days with him so don't feel too bad. She was having a great time barking at Minty anyway! I took loads of her because she was so photogenic!

And then we saw LOADS of sheep and lambs. I love this time of year and could spend ages trying to capture their various expressions. The dogs do not assist in this endeavour but I can see their point; to Minty a lamb is about the same size and colouring as her,why should she not play with it??

I love his velvety black legs and elegant.

As I'm going to be working with elite fitness coaches and nutritionists very shortly, I thought I had better try and get my head back into gear. I've been feeling very fat and unmotivated recently so today was important. And, overall, not too bad:

Healthy breakfast; managed to talk myself out of McDonalds cappucino; healthy lunch; 2 plain biscuits from the snack table (not so good but could have been worse); smoked sausage snack thingy when I got in from work (but managed to avoid all sorts of goodies in the shop on the way home while hungry!!); 4 mile brisk walk with the dogs and reasonably light supper followed by an apple. Not a starvation day by any means but not bad.

At least I'll be going to training tomorrow morning saying that I've been better over the last 2 days rather than with tales of woe. And I've done a LOT of walking. I went for a mega trek on Sunday, just me and the dogs. It was meant to be a fairly normal hour, hour and a half round the dam and ended up more like 4 hours round the dam, up Win Hill and across various moors and fields homewards. We were knackered and stiff when we got home but it was good exercise.

I can't seem to make myself get out and sweat at the moment. Apart from personal training twice a week which is sacrosanct, I'm only managing one other sweaty type of exercise every week. But I can make myself do the walks (because they're not a chore). So, if that's the way it is, I'm just going to make sure I go for LONG walks! What's that American phrase: if life deals you lemons, make lemonade...

So, that's why I've not been very active on the blog recently; because I've not had much to report and have been a bit, you know, blah. Not depressed as such, just a bit flat. Anyway, this TV thingy should change that and I'm really looking forward to my forthcoming Boot Camp at the hands of the people who helped create Chris Hoy's epic thighs!!

I was meant to be starting on Wednesday morning on the track of the Velodrome (being filmed in lycra trying to make one of the Olympic type bikes wobble round the track!!) but now we're meeting with Steve P on Thurday evening instead and will do the track thing next week. I'll also meet the other women taking part in the show. Exciting stuff eh?

So, watch this space. Oh, BTW sorry Peri, it's going to be on Sky Real Lives in the autumn (how obscure is that?).

Friday, 17 April 2009

Fame at last...mwah ha ha ha!

Pics from a couple of weekends ago with my pal Pernille and her 2 lads. Despite being proper London boys, they had such a good time out in the country, climbing stuff and getting mucky - really warmed the old cockles...

The thing I mentioned in the last post has come off after all so I can explain more. I'm going to be taking part in a TV show following me (and a couple of others) while we undertake a regime of fitness and psychological "reprogramming" supervised by the support staff for the British Olympic Cycling team. Yes, put that way, it sounds very weird.

The Olympic cycling team have a psychiatrist on the staff called Dr Steve Peters. He's been credited by several of their top performers (Christ Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and others) as being one of the main reasons for their successes. (Check him out on Google; he's pretty impressive.)He wants to apply his methods to ordinary people rather than just elite athletes and is writing a book to this effect. No doubt with an eye to a book tie-in he and other members of the cycling team's support staff (fitness, nutrition, body conditioning etc) have done a deal with Sky Real Lives to make a 3 part programme following 3 (I think) women over 4 months while they work with Steve Peters and the team at the Manchester Velodrome.

And one of the lucky women is me!

So a big thank you to Mrs L who kindly recommended me to the TV company (I don't know how she heard of it) because I think it's going to be quite a special opportunity.

I'm really not bothered about being on TV, in fact I'd rather it wasn't but that is the price you have to pay and I'm sure it will have the effect of making me stick to the programme knowing that any failure will be broadcast!

I've only met Steve Peters briefly and that was while being filmed in the final interview/audition on Wednesday evening so we couldn't really chat. But he struck me as a very intelligent, focused and determined bloke. The main thing he said was that he wants to work with me to make the whole eating healthily and exercising thing stop being a "battle". He wants to help me get to the stage where I want to do it rather than I must make myself do it. If that happens, it would be fantastic - it's all I want really.

So, I'm going to give this a massive shot and work really hard and hope that my bum doesn't look too huge in lycra on the telly!!!

Got to go now but will check in again soon. Hope you're all having a good weekend.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Back to the grindstone

A spring walk before D left for the rig.

D throwing a golf ball for the dogs to chase.

Shelagh looking somewhat too hairy - she really need a clip but I've been too busy to get round to it!

More stick wars...

A gorgeous primrose, so fresh, I love them.

It's been a busy day - lots of hard work and then driving from Rotherham to Manchester and then home again. An interesting little project which I'll talk more about if it comes off.

Anyway, not much to report apart from that I've made another start at being good. I've exercised restraint several times today, which restraint has been noticeably absent over the last few weeks and I did a little bit of exercise too. I've been quite slack just managing my 2 personal training sessions and a couple of walks each week. I need to up that by at least 2 sessions of running, squash, swimming or gym per week.

But, a start has been made and it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be. That's always the way isn't it? You dread doing something but, when you actually get stuck in, it's not too bad.

D left for the rig today and, for the first time in years, I was actually relieved to get a text from him saying that he'd landed safely. Normally he'd not bother and I wouldn't think twice about it but with all this stuff on the news about helicopters falling out of the sky and the funeral in Aberdeen today, it does make even sanguine, tough old me think a bit. Poor beggars.

And don't get me started on Hillsborough. I don't care for the idea that there must always be "justice" or someone to blame after an accident. Having looked into the Hillsborough disaster quite a bit and spoken to loads of locals from Sheffield who were there, I think there is such a thing as a terrible, terrible accident; a coming together of a number of contributory factors resulting in one hell of a mess. So, although I feel desperately sorry for the families, I think this campaign is ultimately unfair. They're trying to apply what is known now, with hindsight, to a situation in the past. What happened in Sheffield that dreadful day could have happened to any number of clubs and matches and it just happened to be Liverpool FC at Hillsborough.
I wish it hadn't happened at my team's ground though...

Monday, 13 April 2009

Lesley is a Bad Blogger!!

My Danish friend Pernille and I out walking with her 2 London boys. They turned into proper country lads and loved clambering over the rocks and streams and chasing the dogs so it was a fab weekend. More pics when I get them organised.

I have been quiet recently and thank you for popping on to say hi! I don't know why I've dropped off on the blogging front, I've not really been too bad food wise or anything. I think it must be a combination of busy at home, work and socially all at the same time - something has to give.

Anyway, I'm knackered this evening and have hardly sat down all weekend so I'm going to commune with the sofa but I will return in full blogging force this week. D is off to the rig tomorrow so I will have more time. I need to become a bit more accountable before the slackness really sets in. No damage as yet but I did detect a tight waistband today so the warning signs are there.