Starting all over again!

It’s been quite a few years since I started this blog.  Then gave up.  Then restarted.  Then gave up.  You get the general idea!  Now I’m starting all over again.  I’ve deleted all the old content, and am going to start at the very beginning.


Not me, but the image is appropriate!

This blog will be about me, and my decision to change things about myself.

Firstly, I need to lose weight and tone up.  This is a school holiday week, so I can’t start now (not a terribly good excuse, but doing things with a younger child isn’t the easiest), however I can plan and work out what I’m going to do.  Food, exercise and general health options to make myself feel and definitely look better.

Secondly, my home.  It’s lovely, but having moved last year, I’m still prevaricating and not getting things done.  Mainly because I’m (hopefully temporarily) unemployed, so I feel like I have all the time in the world so I’m just putting things off in favour of watching Sky Box Sets – which has a knock on effect on my first option above re my weight.

Thankfully, I’m now near family so I can hopefully persuade them to help me out over the coming few months, as I suspect I’ll need all the help I can get so I don’t fall back into old habits.

I honestly don’t expect anyone to read this, but at least if it’s out there, I can pretend people are cheering me on and then I will maybe succeed!

I’m slipping…

And it’s due to my feet and knees!  I made it out on Monday, but within moments of starting I could feel the pain radiating in my knees, shins and ankles.  Adjusting my footwear didn’t help so I ended up walking rather than doing the C25k that I’d hoped to do, but at least I was still out there.

Unfortunately, Wednesday was a write off as the pain in my knees didn’t really abate so I was a bit concerned.  I managed 20 minutes of pilates though I avoided kneeling exercises and concentrated on stretching instead.

I now know I need new trainers, so I have pilates planned for tomorrow again, and then a trip to a proper running shop on Monday.  Fingers crossed that they can sort me out relatively cheaply!

It’s raining!

Actually, it was chucking it down, but here’s the shock – I went out anyway!  raindrops-1192363-640x480

Don’t get me wrong, the alarm rang, and I could hear the rain on the window, and I’ll admit to being very tempted to turn over and go back to sleep.  After all,
– it would only be one morning I’d miss.
– no one would know.
– I could say I’d done something else instead.
– I could just do it later on if the rain eased.
– no one would expect me to run in the rain.

And they could all be valid excuses.  Except… if I miss one run, and get comfortable doing that, then I’d miss another one.  And another.  And another.  And then I’d be back where I started, pretending that everything is okay.  Pretending that I’m happy with myself, when inside I feel fat, frumpy and desperately unhappy with that feeling.

So, I got up anyway.  Got dressed and went out.  And do you know what?  It wasn’t actually that bad.  Yes, it was wet.  Yes, it wasn’t the warmest, but then again I get too hot when I run so actually that wasn’t a bad thing.  Admittedly, I didn’t go as far due to altering my route to avoid a really wet playing field, and I definitely wasn’t as speedy as I was watching my footing on the ground, but I still did it.

And the reward for that – I can get into a pair of jeans that wouldn’t fasten properly a week and a bit ago!
I’ve said here that I’m not weighing myself, and I’m sticking to that, but the feeling of being able to put on a pair of jeans and zip them up without having to lie flat on the bed and suck everything in is a brilliant way to track things.

Now that I’m starting to lose bulk, I need to start adding in toning – especially round my middle.  So I think, given that I’m usually back about 10-15 minutes before the “normal” alarm goes off, that I’ll start adding in a few crunches and stretches to try to flatten things out.  Nothing too fancy, just gentle movements based on pilates – in fact I have Darcy Bussell’s Pilates DVD which has a 20 minute programme.

I’ll see how that goes on my next run!

I’m actually doing it!

A week has gone by since my last blog post, and actually the hardest part is trying to keep online and update!

I decided last week that I would do a pilates DVD – but I didn’t.  Instead, I went for a run.  Well, a jog.  Okay, a fast trot.  Nevertheless, I still did it!  Inspired by a gloriously sunny day, I pulled out a pair of leggings, stuffed my legs into them (although they did put up a fight!) and braved the world.

I’ve had the NHS Couch to 5k app on my phone for a long time; in fact I did actually start it about 4 years ago.  However, like many fitness things in my house, it’s been gathering dust (or taking up space on my phone) and not being used.

Now, I’d like to take a moment here to give kudos to the NHS for making this app which can be downloaded from here, or is available as podcasts from here.  my-trainer-1254319-1279x1308It’s not a scary app that demands you run for miles at your first attempt, indeed the first week (which I’m still going to keep doing until I feel comfortable moving up) only makes you run for 8 minutes out of 30.  5 minutes warm up and cool down, then 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking (briskly naturally!).  It’s doable.

Now, I will state here and now, that I haven’t managed to run for 8 minutes.  I have knee joint issues (specifically Chondromalacia Patellae, which basically means I have damage to cartilage at the back of the kneecap) and so I’m not going to push myself too hard and make things worse.  However, there are indications that being overweight makes things worse, so I’m caught between a rock and a hard place.  My decision is that I’d rather take things gently and do Week 1 of C25k over a few weeks until I’m comfortable, than do nothing at all.

Another issue for me is the time factor.  If I run in the morning before my normal waking time, then I can fit exercise into my routine and I don’t get the “can’t be bothered” feeling which I often get if I decide to do it during the day.  A lot of exercise videos are branded as “get fit in 20 minutes” – but you then need to add in preparation time and the time taken to shower and get organised after the fact.  I’ve never managed to do an exercise video in less than 45 minutes.  The same goes for swimming – it would be an ideal exercise for me; but the pool is about 20 minutes away (so 40 minutes commute) then there’s the changing, showering and drying that it entails.  So again, a half hour swim will actually take me nearer 90 minutes to do; and probably longer as I never feel properly de-chlorinated until I’ve had a shower at home!

All that being said – I’ve done four runs in a week now, and I’m feeling quite pleased with myself.  I’ve decided to post on Facebook that I’ve done these runs and I’ve had nothing but support from friends that I’m doing it.  I’ve even had useful tips about running – the most important of which is that I need to go and get a new pair of trainers!

Today is the first day – and I’ve failed already…

However, this time I’m not going to accept that as an excuse.

Last night, I decided that I’d set my alarm earlier, get up and go for a “run”.
Okay, not really a run, more of a brisk walk to get my heart rate up, blood pumping, and all the good things you need to do.  There is no way I’d ever attempt a run at this point as I’m too unfit to do anything like that without collapsing into a huge sweaty heap.

Then, when my alarm went off this morning, my son (who had had a nightmare) was wrapped round me tightly as if his sleep depended on me.  Which, to be fair, it probably did for him.  So, I elected to stay in bed and let him sleep.

So, yes, I “failed”.  Except I haven’t.  I’ve offered reassurance to one of the people who matters most to me in this world and made them happier.  That’s not a failure.  So I can’t look at it that way.  What I need to do is look at my day today and work out what I need to do and what I need to move about to make exercise happen.

Now, as I may have mentioned, I’m not working at the moment.  My son is in school from 9am until 4.30pm due to after school activities.  I therefore have (allowing for travel time) 7 hours in which to do things.  And, what do I need to do?

  • washing – and the machine does all of that
  • cut the grass – before gnomes move in and set up home
  • do random unspecified “stuff” which I won’t end up doing because it’s too much hassle, I have no motivation, and I have so much time because I’m not working so I can put it off.

You see how I might fit some exercise in there?  What I actually mean is that someone might see me and laugh, so it’s easier not to do it at all.

Remember when you were at school and had PE class?  If you’re short with little physical aptitude then it is, quite frankly, a whole new circle of hell that Dante hadn’t even thought about.  The boys laugh at the girls and then the girls pick on the weakest.  Being honest, while no one ever deserves to be picked on, I didn’t help myself much either.  Openly liking classical music, superheroes (I was a geek long before it became popular) and not knowing what Radio 1 was (NB: if non UK residents are reading this, in the early 80’s Radio 1 was THE station to listen to because it played the top 40) and wearing clothes that my mother liked.   So, I was the weakest link and got laughed at…  and that only encouraged me to try to get out of PE and not do any exercise.

Getting up early was my way of trying to avoid being laughed at.  At 5am, there are very few people awake enough to notice a short, fat and sweaty woman trying to leg it about the place.  However, it’s not going to stop me.  I can’t run today, but I can stick on an exercise DVD instead.  Therefore, once the school run is done, it’s pilates for me, and then I might even cut the grass!