Winter in Bradwell

Winter  in Bradwell

Monday, 29 March 2010

Sporting weekend

I'm not sure a picture of my backside is the best way to start a post but there you go. Just about to reach the summit and in a lot of pain!!

It's gorgeous but busy up on Win Hill on a sunny Saturday - great views and loads of variety.

A very blurry downhill pic. My arms were probably still shaking from my descent.

And now onto golf yesterday - what a day it was for it!! The course was nearly empty so we were playing Millionaires' Golf where you pretend that you own the whole course. This is the tricky 5th where you have to carry a ravine and avoid the railway track to the right! We both drove well but 3-putted so missed our pars!!

The stunning 9th - my first par of the day and it's meant to be the second hardest hole on the course!!

The beautiful 15th with views up to Bamford edge - my best drive of the day and a nice par here too. It's so weird to be talking golf again after all these years - I promise I won't do much golf chat though as I do appreciate how dull it is for the non-participant!!

As you had know, I had an awesome (are you still allowed to use that word once you hit 40? Or at all??) mountain bike ride on Saturday and now you've seen the pics to prove it.


Well, yesterday I played golf! For the first time in 2 years!! I used to play often and am still a member at my local club (which has, I've just painfully calculated, cost me over £1000 for no result!!) but just sort of stopped playing. I think it was the demands of the LL diet initially and then keeping my holidays for trips to South Africa and Botswana and, once you get out of the habit, other activities intrude and you just drift away. Also golf is quite a time-consuming game and you need companions for it so, what with the training for a half marathon (remember that?) and the TV show, I just never got round to it. It doesn't help that our Ladies section play on a Wednesday - hellloooo - working women??


Anyway, I was in the pub on Friday saying that I was determined to play this summer but was nervous about that first round. Scared about playing with the Ladies section when I haven't played for so long. Being unusually helpful, Sammy suggested that we have a round as I don't give a monkey's what he thinks!! Which is fair. So, Sunday afternoon, in glorious weather on a very quiet course we played a full 18 holes. And I wasn't half bad. I wasn't counting or anything and if I get stuck had no compunction about picking the ball up and putting it somewhere easier but I had did play some excellent shots and got a few pars along the way.


It just goes to show - you can build things up in your mind to be bigger or scarier than they are. You just have to manage your fears (ie. playing my first round with Sammy) and get stuck in. So now I have another form of exercise. Golf might sound tame but it's a 3 1/4 hour walk over hilly terrain dragging a heavy trolley and weilding a stick, you're pretty tired at the end!!

The weight loss quest is going well too. I had a great 3lb drop on Sunday morning but at the time suspected it was post-alcoholic dehydration and this morning was proved right as 2 of those lbs are back on!! Still, that means I did still drop over the weekend and have now lost 8lbs in total in less than 2 weeks so Bootcamp2010 going well.


Saturday night there was an Ann Summers party in the top room of the local - was a bit tame but fun and the evening afterwards turned into a bit of a bunfight for no apparent reason. Very late and I was drinking rose spritzers (why God, Why??). So felt a bit tender on the Sunday and chastened to remember that I was not meant to be drinking more than the odd one while on Bootcamp2010. Bad Lesley!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

What a difference!

Vicky rang first thing this morning in response to a text I sent yesterday. "Do you want to go for a bike ride this morning?" "Er, no" I thought. "Yeah - that'd be great" I said.

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

Things work out (including me...)

I had forgotten about these pics from my bad mo-fo mountain bike ride a few weeks ago. This was the one where I really struggled up the hills and decided I had to commit to Bootcamp!!

It was far too gorgeous for the gut-wrenching physical effort I was expending. Simply stunning
Don't let this pic fool you that Vicky was behind me - she had cycled ahead to check we were going the right way!! The shame!!

There - that's more like it. She was like Minty running ahead and then waiting for me with a slightly puzzled look on her face. Until the downhills of course - I own those!! But unfortunately can't prove it as it's far too dangerous and knackering to take pics on the rocky downhill stretches.

Am I smiling or grimacing?? You decide.

I'm really chuffed about getting a decent loss this morning. I knew I had been dedicated over the last week so was disappointed with a measley and recalcitrant loss. I know I shouldn't be too focussed on the scale but I had FELT bloated too so it was disheartening.
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.


I went full blast from the outset, thinking that 500m is not far really and it would be over in the blink of an eye. It bloody is far and it wasn't!! It felt like an aeon. I was every bit as sweaty, knackered and embarrassed as I had been after the 5,000m. Still sweaty and panting and wimpering out loud. At least I have the satisfaction of knowing I could not have gone any quicker though as I was dying on the last couple of pulls - I never would have thought that 15m could last so long!! BUT - I'm in the lead. The winner of December and January, Kerry, had posted 1 minute 50.8 seconds and I came in at 1 minute 47.6 seconds so a handsome lead. If she is motivated to try again and beats my time so I have to do it again, I think I will cry. Fingers crossed for me please.

Ginger Envy!!

Minty surveys the scene - "Oh my God - there are loads of them!".....
Ginger cows that is....

Here's a close up of a particularly pretty one specially for Peri.

A rock'n'roll non-ginger getting in on the act


A ginger baby.....aaaah

Even the non-ginger mums are not bucking the trend - they're all for ginger babies

"Yes, it's the way it should be - the world is orange and I like it!"


I have been on Bootcamp2010 for a week now and have lost......drumroll.........2lbs! Better than nothing but not exactly "falling off me" pace. I'm torn. Part of me wants to accelerate the pace, go back on the packs for a few weeks and lose a stack just so that I'll not show myself up on TV. The other, more sensible, part of me is pleased with how well I've done this week and how enjoyable it has been. I really feel relaxed and focussed and think I have a shot at carrying this on for more than the next 4 weeks as originally planned.

Dilemmas eh?

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).


Her first feature film is due to be released into cinemas at the end of April (it's called "A Boy called Dad") so now is when she should be lapping up all the publicity and meeting the stars etc. Unfortunately, she fell down the stairs nearly 4 weeks ago and broke her back! Just a random trip on her way down in the morning to put the kettle on and she ended up fracturing 2 vertebrae and could very well have been paralysed. The consultants told her she was one of a tiny percentage of people who end up walking after this injury so it is a miracle that she is up and about only 3 weeks after having her spine fused. She still has serious nerve damage and is very shaky and in pain but it is truly amazing.

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.

Update......Update.....Update

I typed this post yesterday before going to the game but because I called in to the pub on the way home it was too late to put it up last night. As of this morning, I have dropped another 3 lbs!! I reckon that has been coming for a few days as I've been having that mid-month bloated feeling. Yay!! So 5lbs in 8 days is a bit happier. Now I just have to keep up the pressure and not let a bit of sucess go to my head as it has in the past.
Also, Sheffield Wednesday managed a win!! 3 vital points in the fight to survive in the Championship. But at what cost?? The game was DIRE! So dull, no urgency, hardly 3 passes strung together. The ONLY good things about the game were the 3 goals. Sigh.... If that's the way we're going to do it it's going to be a looooong couple of months.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Hello to Amber

Sorry to use my blog to say Hi, Amber but I can't seem to post a comment on yours despite the button saying "post a comment". Is there something wrong with it?

Anyway, just wanted to say hello and chin up chuck!

Lesley xx

Monday, 22 March 2010

A good weekend

Some pics from our big walk on Sunday. We started along the river as usual.

Stopped for a swim and to collect some sticks...

Are these the dreaded Canada Geese?

Then carried on towards Hathersage.

No Shelagh, we're not going to cross here, we've got a long way still to go...

Choices, choices

I love this Hall. It's set well away from the road so you only see it from the river path. I want it...

Every time you walk past the Hall, this Lab comes bounding out, runs down to the river and barks at you the whole way along. This would be fine if he had a majesttic booming bark as befits his size and the property he's guarding but no - it's the most pathetic high pitched squeaky whine. My girls don't even dignify him with a response. I feel quite sorry for him!!

Then the river gets slower and lazier and it all goes quiet and peaceful for a while.

A quick stop for lunch and we're on our way again with renewed energy. Hence Minty chasing Shelagh and Shelagh's slightly hunted look.

How is this for a private driveway? It leads to Brookfield Manor which has recently been converted from a training/conference centre back into a private home at massive expense! It has the beautiful setting, a 2 mile long driveway leading to a lovely old manor nestling under Stanage Edge.

The view back toward Hathersage church and Carl Wark beyond.

It was steep! Come on Mum, what's the hold up here??

This was the closest I could find to spring - I could feel it in the air but the daff's aren't quite buying it yet!

It's not often they look so companiable. Minty had just spent a good few minutes chasing Shelagh in circles, barking like a mad thing and trying to bite her ears. Shelagh tolerates it with huffy grace and eventually bites back then it all settles down for another while and they are peaceful and friendly again.

Aaah, the Mill at Bamford, nearly home.

Just time for another quick swim...

So far I have dropped 3 lbs since the start of Bootcamp2010 last Wednesday. I'm hoping for another lb or 2 in the first week so need to keep the pressure on. I'm finding the chart pinned up on the kitchen cabinet to be very helpful. It's such a visual reminder of the endeavour and so far all the weights apart from 1 aberration have been written in green ink rather than red indicating a loss or a maintain. I think I will try and keep it going after I finish Bootcamp2010 as it definitely helps me to get on the scales every morning and I find that that discipline helps me keep on top of my eating and exercise in general.

So - so far so good is the early verdict.

It was meant to be a quiet weekend but turned out to be really good fun. On Saturday I met Jim and Kerry before the match and then onto the football. Nil- nil when we really needed 3 points but quite an entertaining if somewhat inept game. Then I went straight from the match into town to watch the rugby in a big pub called Walkabout. If you don't know the chain, they are aussie sports bars known for lots of big screen tvs full of sport, rock bands and relatively cheap beer.


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!!


It was ridiculous - we're in Sheffield but there are 20-30 blokes from the Valley all in the same pub and I'm the only woman! As the evening wore on, I became aware that all the other women in the pub were dressed up for their big Saturday night - loads of make-up, little strappy dresses and vertiginous heels and I'm there in jeans, big jumper and trainers from the game. I felt proper "daggy" to employ another aussie term I seem to remember from Neighbours!


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!


As you can see from the photos above, it was lovely. Spring has well and truly sprung and the sunshine was warm and gentle. The birds were going mental and I spotted quite a few lambs in the fields (we're late round here due to being at a higher altitude than most of the country). I walked along the river to Hathersage and then into the village to a deli for a sandwich and coffee in the sunshine. It was crowded so me and the dogs shared our table with a couple from Bakewell who were besotted with them - frustrated dog owners who can't have them due to their jobs. This couple were showering my girls with love and food despite them having rolled in all sorts and being wet from the river...sweet!


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.


We were tired out when we got home so a couple of hours on the sofa watching Lewis (my latest guilty pleasure - is it wrong to fancy Hathaway??) and then out to the final league game of the pub quiz league season.


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!!


I was chuffed 'cos I got loads of answers last night - although it can be a bit embarassing as the only woman in the team when your contribution consists of knowing the name of John Terry's ertswhile mistress (Vanessa Perroncel) or that Sade's latest album is called Soldier of Love. Why am I not the one coming out with the highbrow stuff about the Periodic Table or Opera?? I do know clever stuff too, honest!!

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

Update...Update...

Didn't fancy the gym - don't like being indoors on the weekend and went yesterday anyway. Also, was running out of time to walk the dogs before heading off out. So - I went for a run in the rain!! I had to go offroad because of the girls so it was a muddy track. I feel very virtuous but it was NOT fun.

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!!

The vagaries of the scale.

I haven't got any spring like pictures yet! So, these are some wintry shots from Lincolnshire taken when I visited the parents a few weeks ago. It was stunning out on the heath in the early morning chill.

I always wonder what they're looking at that has then so engrossed... Is there some poor mouse cowering in a hole with 2 giant sniffy snouts terrorising him from above??



This is why they tell you not to weigh yourself every day. Because sometimes, despite being stellar foodwise, drinking sparkling water all night at the pub and going to the gym, you wake up, have a pee, rush down to the kitchen starkers (only place with a flat floor for the scales), step on the scales and are told that you've gained a lb! It's most disheartening. I know all the theory; that it's water, that you look at progress over time, there's no straight lines yada yada yada but seeing a hard fought lb ping back on is irritating.



I've decided however, that I'm going to use this slap in the face from the Scale of Doom as a force for good! Today was always going to be trying: busy morning, pub before football, straight on to another pub for the rugby. Now I have a reason to stick to my decision of yesterday that I was NOT going to loosen up even slightly to accommodate all this socialising. If I had lost weight this morning, I probably would have wavered, especially after an hour last night with Sammy telling me not to be silly and to have a drink blah blah blah but now I won't.



The Sammy thing took me right back to my days on Lighter Life. He is currently cutting back to lose weight he gained after stopping smoking. He isn't drinking during the week, is going to the gym and is cutting back on fatty foods etc. And of course it's working. But he still feels it's okay to tell me that "you don't need to diet, you're fine" etc etc because I said I was not drinking today. It's probably because he'll feel that he could do more in his diet if he sees me being restrained. He's watched me try to control my weight for years but still interprets everything as a competition. Men can be very obtuse. Anyway, we had a good chat last night apart from that so it was worth putting on make-up and drinking water all night!


So - must dash - have to fit in the gym (too rainy for the mountain bike unfortunately), the butchers, a visit to a friend just out of hospital, a shower and then off to the football by 12!! Oh, and breakfast/lunch!! Yikes!!

Friday, 19 March 2010

So far so good

D was only just back here so the girls were in full-on velcro mode!


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?



I'm on day 3 today and days 1 and 2 were stellar. 2 lbs have melted off my frame and I haven't been tempted to stray. I went for a 40 minute run on Wednesday and personal training yesterday. My anti-stray resolve was severely tested yesterday evening though when I came home after having a tooth extracted.



I felt miserable and sore but more so because I'm facing a summer with a huge gap in my upper jaw or having to wear a temporary plate!! Oh my God!! I've had issues with my teeth on that upper right side for decades and after hours and years of painful and expensive treatments it's just getting worse. So I've eventually opted to have implants. Very expensive but hopefully a more trouble free and permanent (well 20 years) solution.



The trouble is, you have to have the problem teeth out, then heal for 5 weeks, then the pins surgically placed and heal for 3-5 months and only then do you have your new shiny teeth fitted. This means temporary solutions for 6 months!! I know it is the best thing but it's not a pleasant thing to face.



So last night I was very close to comfort eating. Luckily I didn't have much in the house and my jaw was sore anyway so I managed to avert disaster but it was a graphic illustration of the ridiculous thought process - sore and upset, I know - eat!!



Anyway, I'm working from home today so I took the dogs for an early morning brisk walk to the garage (local shop) for milk and the paper which made a lovely start to the day. I'm going to the gym at lunchtime and then hopefully will fit in another walk before it gets dark this evening. That'll be 3 walks for the girls in one day as I haven't cancelled the dogwalker - they won't know what's hit them!



So - the sun is shining and things are good. I need to see this and not worry about a gap in my teeth which is not permanent and will be much better in the long run.... Can you see me giving myself a mental shake here??

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Bootcamp!!

This pic has nothing whatsoever to do with bootcamp or my post but it amused me when D emailed it to me yesterday! He came home to find Minty proudly displaying her latest trophy! He asked me why I don't greet him in this way any more.... ;-)


I must admit to being a bit of a procrastinator. I'm gradually getting better at managing this tendency and mostly find myself able to limit the delay caused by the urge to procrastinate or to at least get something moving but it's a trait I have to fight constantly.


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

A start

It's a relief to want to post again. When I am avoiding things, I tend to hide away a bit and that includes hiding away from the blog world too. Anyway, the weekend's mega bike ride and the soul-searching that entailed, combined with my posting last night has seemed to unlock something. In any event I managed to work through my resistance to going swimming this lunchtime and dragged my sorry carcass unwillingly the short walk to the lovely modern pool only minutes from my office.


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

Good stuff and bad stuff

Good stuff - I went for a great bike ride with Vicky on Sunday morning. It was freezing cold but crisp and sunny with the most beautiful blue sky. We set off early and were well wrapped up and we needed to be! Brrrrr A couple of miles of flat and then - POW! - straight up a massive hill. It went on and on and on. My thighs were screaming and I was really struggling to be honest.

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!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Hanging on in there


I'm still struggling to find time for everything I have to do and my diet has not been particularly stellar recently but I'm sticking it out, limiting the damage and enjoying life. I'm pleased that I've managed to go for 2 runs this week as well as my usual personal training sessions so exercise is better.


It's nice to be able to run after a long period of enforced abstention from it due to my foot injury. I'm still a little wary but haven't had any foot pain after my short trots so think I can start to up the distances gradually.


I've been out for 3 x 2.5 mile evening runs in the last week which is modest but a good start. Soon the evenings will be just light enough to vary my route off the main road and things will start to get more interesting.


I've been fighting the sense of being disappointed with myself recently though. I suppose I thought I had it pegged and then the lbs crept back on as has happened so often before. But it's silly to be disappointed. I need to fight that sense of inevitability and desire to cave (and eat) and keep on keeping on. (Not in a bad, doomladen kind of way - more of an appreciate your blessing kind of way.)


When I compare and contrast my attitude to life, food and exercise now with a few years ago I'm a different person, but the old habits do lurk somewhat so they're bound to re-surface from time to time.


Kill the disappointment - it doesn't do any good and get back to DOING!!


Anyway, that was all very disjointed but I just wanted to get some stream of consciousness stuff off my chest for now so that I can clear the decks and get back to being a bit more methodical about this endeavour....