It's gorgeous but busy up on Win Hill on a sunny Saturday - great views and loads of variety.
Monday, 29 March 2010
It's gorgeous but busy up on Win Hill on a sunny Saturday - great views and loads of variety.
Saturday, 27 March 2010
I was dreading it after our last outing (see pics from last post) when I had been knackered, disheartened and had felt like dying on some of the ascents. But, I have lost half a stone since then and done a lot more exercise. It is a gorgeous day too, not as icy and cold as last time.
So, off we went. Along the railway track round the reservoir which sounds benign but has quite a few tricky little climbs. Then, just when you're beginning to enjoy yourself a left turn up a steep, rocky and, today, muddy track. The hill felt like it lasted forever and we had to stop frequently and walk for small chunks due to the rocks and mud but it was so much better than the last time. I rode nearly all the way up and was much more in control of the bike so had fewer incidences of nearly falling off due to steering myself into untenable positions.
We eventually made it to the top of Win Hill (well, almost the top, the bridleway doesn't quite reach the summit) and then came the fun bit. The downhill along Hope Brinks into Aston. It's fantastic, steep but not so steep that you have to have the brakes on hard all the time, grassy, muddy, little jumps, beautiful views, sheep, lambs. Brilliant.
After all these years of personal training I have finally found a use for the much vaunted "core stability"! It helps me stay on a mountain bike while steering a course downhill through mud, rocks, narrow tracks and sheer drops. That and strong shoulders.
I spent most of the uphills telling Vicky that I'd "gone right off her" and most the downhills thanking her for dragging me out.
So - progress is being made and I'm having fun in the process. Hope you are too.
Thursday, 25 March 2010
It was far too gorgeous for the gut-wrenching physical effort I was expending. Simply stunning
So, now I have a bit of faith in my body and am reminded that if I stick to my guns I will be rewarded.
Today was to have been very busy: an early morning meeting; rushing to a dental appointment at lunchtime; coming back for another meeting; then french. This meant that I had to cancel personal training first thing, couldn't manage a swim at lunchtime and would be home too late in the evening to go for a run or the gym. Aaaaargh. But then, the dental appointment was brought forward so I had time for a healthy lunch and my french teacher rang to cancel so I could go to the gym or for a run in the evening. Circumstances working in my favour for a change.
I feel really committed to this effort now and can only attribute this sense of commitment to my chart. It could be the threat of the TV show I suppose but I don't think so. To be honest, I had sort of said to myself that I would only do the show if I felt like it and would not be pressurized into anything I didn't want to do. No, I feel that the semi-public nature of the commitment (the chart is stuck to my kitchen cabinet) is a reminder of what it's all about - accountability, steady progress, commitment. The visual effect is striking too - red if I have gained, green if I have lost or maintained. It's nice to see a sea of green with only intermittment red blots. My chimp is coming nicely into line.
But, I must guard against complacency. I remember from the TV show filming last year that there tended to be a pattern - I would do well then get complacent and either gain or stop losing for a while, all the time kidding myself that I was still on track. Hopefully the chart will prevent this kidology, that and the fact that I'm ready for everything my chimp can throw at me.
Anyway, I've been to the gym this evening and had a decent work out. Every month we have a different competition on the rowing machine. Last month's was 5,000m which was an absolute pain. I really didn't want to sit down to the machine because I knew it would be over 20 minutes of hell. I stood there for so long that eventually a woman who goes to the same personal trainer as me made a comment about me taking root and I had to sit down. It's embarrassing really though as I push myself to the absolute limit and end up drenched in sweat, panting and wailing with exhaustion. I don't seem to have a moderate, non-competitive mode when it comes to rowing! Anyway, I won last month's challenge with a time of 21 minutes 38.1 seconds, having been second to Kerry in December and January so progress is being made.
This month it is a short 500m sprint. I'm not a natural sprinter but it's not as daunting because you know the pain will last less than 2 minutes. In previous months I've been rather blase, doing the challenge at the end of my workout, not pacing myself properly and only really pushing towards the end when I know I have it in me. So this month I was determined to give it everything. I did a steady 15 minute warm up as specified by the British Cycling team no less. You start slow and build gradually until, right at the end of your warm up, you're at peak effort. Then I cooled down with some stretches and then hit the Ergo.
A rock'n'roll non-ginger getting in on the act
A ginger baby.....aaaah
I think I'm going to keep it up for another week and then, if still slow progress, do a week of packs and then back to sensible eating, maybe alternate. I really want to get another 11lbs off before the TV show thingy at the end of April. That's do-able isn't it?
I've managed to exercise every day apart from Monday. Monday was a cock-up. I should have gone swimming lunchtime but bottled it in favour of going ot the gym or running in the evening. Then of course my friend, who has only just come out of hospital, texted me and said she could do with a visit that evening while her husband is out. That meant that I could only just fit a run in between work and visiting her and in the end, didn't manage this either. I felt a bit cheesed off with myself but then I also feel you should have one day off exercise per week anyway to allow the old legs to recover. But it also coincided with a precious lb going back ON so I felt doubly irritated.
So, on the basis that I don't dwell on things or call them "sucesses" or "failures" these days, I am trying to learn from what happened. Today, I pre-empted the running-out-of-time-in-the-evening excuse by making sure that I went swimming at lunchtime. I haven't been for over a week and it was still pretty hard but better than last time. I managed 50 pretty smooth laps and the other swimmers didn't seem quite so annoying as they did last time. (Fewer bikini part-timers Peri!)
I'm going to the football this evening and have arranged to meet Jim at Pizza Hut instead of our usual Italian restaurant. This may sound fatal but PH actually has some low-cal salads on the menu whereas the independent place, while much nicer, has only calorie laden no-no's. It's a relegation dogfight this evening. Wednesday are playing Watford and we really need the 3 points for a win. The season is rapidly heading towards a last day showdown between ourselves and Crystal Palace for the last relegation place and I'm not sure my heart can stand it. Hey ho - the lot of a steadfast Sheffield Wednesday fan is not easy.
In other news, it was a shock to visit my friend Stacey on Monday evening. She is an old college mate who came to visit me for a weekend a few years ago, met a friend of mine, James and ended up marrying him, leaving London and her high-flying legal career and becoming a film-maker from Hope (a village a couple of miles from me).
It just made me think about all the cliches. How you just don't know what is just round the corner. How you should live each day as if it is your last. How you should never take health and family for granted. She is shell shocked but, as an incredibly intelligent and forceful woman, I'm sure she'll pull through and put her life back together. Serious stuff indeed.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Monday, 22 March 2010
Then carried on towards Hathersage.
No Shelagh, we're not going to cross here, we've got a long way still to go...
I had expected there to be one or two other women in the group but no - I was the only girl. No biggie, I was with a group of 6 good mates....or so I thought. Then 4 lads from my local wandered in. Then a group of Derby County fans who had been watching the game (another 7 or 8 blokes from the Valley). Then 3 more who were going to see Stiff Little Fingers in concert (I was surprised to discover that they were still alive!) and finally a local farmer's son's stag do!!
Still, I stuck to my non-alcoholic guns, resisted all efforts to go on pints with the lads and had a great night. Ended up driving a few of the more sensible souls home at 10.30 (via a kebab shop for them....sigh) while the rest staggered on to further bars and clubs.
Sunday was much more wholesome. It was a gorgeous day so, although I had planned to go to the gym and then do some gardening, I threw those plans out of the window. I picked up the dogs' leads, the dogs, my camera, phone and a £20 note and walked out the door with no real plan of action other than to stay outside for as long as possible!
Then, rather than heading back, I extended the route up into the hills below Stanage Edge, cut across country to the back of Bamford, past the golf course, into the village, over the mill and across the fields to home. We were out for nearly 5 hours and it was fab. No part of the route was new to me but I have never put all those bits of walks together before and it was very satisfying.
The League only runs during the winter months so, apart from the Cup Final at the beginning of April, last night was the end of the season. We were promoted to the top division at Christmas and since then, frankly, have struggled with the more nerdy, less fun teams. So it was great last night to beat The Queen Anne who are a nice, chatty team and feel as though we haven't disgraced ourselves in the top division. We still have the Cup Final to come and, as long as they don't bring in a ringer, we should be able to beat our scheduled opponents! It's a cutthroat world in the quiz league big time!!
Anyway, all going well so far and keeping busy is the best way to keep away from temptation so long may it last.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
You know how you always say to yourslef when you're trying to talk yourself into doing some exercise "you'll enjoy it when you get going"? Well, today I didn't. I feel proud of myself but it was wet, muddy and hard work. I'm not sure who disliked it more: me, my chimp or Shelagh. Minty loved it of course - nutter.
Anyway - just wanted to get that down. It's worth persevering and, now I'm showered, dry and warm again, I feel great!!
Friday, 19 March 2010
The look of love eh?
But then again, I'm talking with the zeal of the "new-diet"-er. You all know what I mean. The great, empowered, strong and focussed feeling you get when you're just embarking on a new regime. I suppose I'm specifically playing up that element too by calling this phase "bootcamp" and limiting it to 4 weeks. But whatever works eh?
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
This has manifisted itself in my not getting to grips with losing weight since Christmas. I've delayed and delayed; done bits and pieces but not really got my teeth into it for far too long now. So, what am I left doing now?? Bootcamp - that's what!!
Not the pay hundreds of £s to be shouted at, starved and (if you're Kerry Katona) take cocaine and have an affair with the instructor type of Bootcamp but a cheaper, more immediate homemade version. D left for the rig this morning and I have marked off a chart covering the next 4 weeks in my kitchen. I will weigh every morning (as I did this morning - the pain of it!!) and I will mark it up on the chart along with what exercise I do each day and a smiley or frowny face for the day before indicating whether I stuck to my task or fell from grace. The chart was one of the tools Steve Peters had us use when I was doing the TV show last year along with the weighing and public accountability. I already feel determined and happy that I've made a proper start.
I've also cleared my social diary. I didn't do this when I did Lighter Life but then I was on that regime for 10 months so couldn't cut myself off for that whole time. This time, it's only 4 weeks and, although I'm still going to go out, I'm not going to drink or eat excessively in that time. If I have to miss a meal or a drinking session with my pals then so be it. I have prioritised me for this period of time and am happy with that decision.
I'm also using Steve Peter's other technique of publicly stating that I wont be eating/drinking in advance of an event so as to "shame" my chimp into sticking to what I've chosen to do. I made a start with this by emailing Jim about the football on Saturday and making it clear that I won't be drinking or having my usual steak sandwich and saying to Sammy that I'll drive after watching the rugby on Saturday evening. It's a lot simpler this way rather than constantly being caught between dieting and having a good time. Now it's clear what I'm doing and if I have a good time (sober and hungry!) then it's a bonus!!
I'll report the losses whenever I post but not the actual weight until the end...don't know why but that's just my instinct at the moment. Wish me luck....
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Really, from my attitude to going swimming over the last few weeks you'd think I was being dragged to a freezing ditch and made to swim through slurry or something!
Anyway, I broke the spell and managed 44 lengths which is not as far as I was doing a few months ago (I briefly got up to 60 lengths but average around 50-54). It would have been more I'm sure but the pool was busy and the numpties in the so-called "fast" lane were anything but. I was the only person swimming front crawl so found myself out of synch with the prevailing speed. There's enough room to overtake but then you have to sprint and it all gets splashy and tiring. If people were just polite and let you on if you're obviously swimming faster than them, you could keep up a better rhythym and churn out more lengths!!
Grrrr. There was one woman in a pink bikini who didn't seem to be able to swim properly at all so should NOT have been in the fast lane - several people asked the attendant to get her to move but to no avail. What is the point of having lanes if they're going to do nothing??
Anyway rant over - I made it there and swam. Things are getting back on track.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Whereas, when Vicky and I started out with this biking malarkey in the summer, we were evenly matched with her a little bit better on the uphills, now she was very definitely stronger on the uphill. Not puffing or panting as much as me and faster too. I was dying!! I can only attribute it to the fact that I've gained some weight. Even 10lbs or so is a lot when you're climbing.
But, this is the good news part of the email. And the good news is that I stuck it out and puffed my way up the endless hills right to the top. Well, we had to walk one section but that was the rutted mud track rather than giving up. And when we got there it was spectacular and so worthwhile.
The other good news is that I'm better on the downhills!! Phew - pride restored. I have greater upper body strength so can control the bike better going down steep rocky tracks which Vix struggles more with.
It was a great ride - knackering but really uplifting. And I went for a great walk in the afternoon with D and the dogs in the afternoon too so plenty of exercise for both mind and body.
Having written all that down, I don't really want to talk about the bad stuff. It's basically that I'm having difficulty limiting my food intake. I've got it down so that I'm not gaining but can't seem to get it further so that I actually lose! And my chimp has won the day over the last couple of days on exercise too.
I thought it out a lot while forcing myself to cycle up those hills on Sunday morning. I want to be slimmer to feel fitter and faster. I've been a bit unmotivated recently as I've been pretty happy but, when I think about it, being happy shouldn't de-motivate me from trying to be slimmer and therefore fitter. especially as I get so much pleasure from my walking, cycling and outdoorsy stuff. So - time to knuckle down here.
I'm not making excuses here but I'm not going to do anything radical for the next week or so, just try to re-impose my good routines and then, when D goes back to the rig I'm going to really push push push. I haven't got anything arranged for those 3 weeks so there's no reason I can't go on a self-imposed bootcamp. The time has come.
So - as I say often - wish me luck peeps!