12 days later….

Well, my biggest achievement this week is that I got through my first 5-day work week in a month!

I really thought I’d struggle more, but got through a very long, very busy week in one piece. Mainly, I think it’s due to getting loads of sleep and being a little healthier.

On January 1st, I published a post ‘2014 – The Blank Page’ in which I laid out 5 objectives for the new year and 12 days in, I can honestly say that I’ve stuck to them.

I’ve discovered a farmers market not far from home, which has some amazing produce. I bought Jerusalem artichoke, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, delicata squash, butternut and more which has given me an amazing opportunity to experiment with recipes. Some have been a success and others still need a little work!

Having really concentrated on eating well, I had a little slip-up on Friday with surprising effects. Well, I’d had a really long day, the boyfriend was out with friends and I didn’t have the energy to cook anything so popped into the shops and bought a microwave pasta meal. Bad, I know! About an hour after having eaten it, I started feeling really unwell to the point where I was physically ill. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but in a way my body was rejecting this food because it wasn’t healthy. So, I’m keeping to fresh produce and will keep you all posted on progress!

The most surprising development has been the fact that I haven’t had any alcohol at all in 2014. I know this probably makes me sound like a borderline alcoholic, but if you know me, you know I love a glass of vino in the evening, so this really is a major feat for me. I’ve also come across this article stating the benefits of cutting out booze for – makes for interesting reading. I even went for drinks after work the other day and only had a few soda and limes. Can you believe it?! ‘Dry January’ is something really important to me, because I guess I’m trying to prove to myself that I have the willpower to stick with something so watch this space!

The one thing I’ve struggled with is the fact that I’m still unable to get to gym after a chest infection over Christmas and New Year which I’m still trying to get rid of. This is really frustrating because through simply eating better, I’ve lost 2kg over the last few weeks, and this number could possibly have been more had I been able to go to gym. Hopefully next week will see things take a bit of a turn so that I can get back in shape.

Lastly, I’ve had a few television-free evenings this week and have slept a little better as a result (also due to no booze in the evenings!), so it’s something I really want to keep up with.

Well, that’s that for now. I’d love to hear about anyone doing something similar, so do send me a message!

xx

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2013 So Far….

Well, as per my last post, I’ve joined Slimkicker, which has actually been pretty good so far! I’ve been sticking to my challenge of not eating any junk food at all, and surprisingly I haven’t. I’ve been trying to cut back (not cut out!) carbs and concentrate on more protein and nutrient rich foods. 

The only down side is….I’m bloody hungry all the time! Now, I know this is not because I’m starving myself at all, it’s because I’ve been stuffing my face so much with carbs and sugars over the last month or two, that my belly is probably just used to eating more and “heavier” foods. I think I’ve eaten more salads and vegs over the last week than I have in the past month. Shameful, I know!

It feels like my body is going into shock! Hahhaaa! It may sound strange, but I think there’s some truth to it….I’m waiting for my stomach to shrink down to a normal size again, but in the mean time I just feel constantly hungry, but I’ve felt a lot less bloated (Gross!). I know this may be a bit of over-share, but I’ve been having terrible breakouts on my skin. My face looks like the ground surface of Hawaii…..constant erupting volcanoes! Apologies again, but maybe it’s my body getting used to the change in diet, who knows?! Has anyone else ever experienced this?

Also, I’ve been going back to gym. I’m trying to keep variety in my workouts, so am doing a bit of strength training combined with cardio, although I should be concentrating on doing more interval training. I don’t want to spend my life in the gym, so I want my sessions there to be more quality than quantity. 

I can tell that I’m super unfit though….well, at least I’m trying to change that. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in my skin (and clothes!) at the moment, and things can only get better.

I’d love to hear how you guys are all doing in 2013 so far….get in touch! 

🙂

Slimkicking it in 2013!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!

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I hope you all had a fantastic New Year and celebrated accordingly. I sure did! The boyfriend and I ended up at our local pub for some excellent food, drink and dance……except I’m still working on Greg actually getting up and doing a boogie! 😉 Apart for losing weight in 2013, I think I should try to teach the man a little dance or two. However, that might actually prove harder to do than losing weight! Hahahaa!

Well, what I wanted to share with you all today is that I’ve joined a new website called Slimkicker, and you can all check out the website here:

www.slimkicker.com/about

I’m pretty impressed so far, although I’ve only been using it for a day or two. It’s very much like your standard diet tracking website, where you can log your food, exercise and chat with other members, etc. But I think what I like about it most so far, is that it’s almost like a game, where you get points for healthy eating and can take part in challenges that change as you get fitter. 

The first challenge I’ve accepted is “Skip Your Favourite Junk Food” and I’m really excited about it. It’s a challenge for 7 days, and you can do one or more challenges at a time if you so choose, but I want to ease my way in during the first week of doing this. There are other members also completing the challenge and you can encourage each other as you go which is quite nice. I’ll keep you all posted on how I go! 

Also, I’m going back to gym, which is something I really should’ve done a while ago! But I’m doing it now, and better late than never. I just know I’m going to be hurting tomorrow night after a pretty sedentary Christmas stuffing my face. Well, you’ve got to get back on the horse at some point, right?

Well, that’s all the news I have for now. I’ll keep you all posted on my Slimkicker challenges and the gym tomorrow…..

I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be kind to me……or let’s hope so anyway! 🙂

xxx

Tomorrow, Tomorrow…

Well, one year on, and once again I’m doing the British 10K.

This year I’m running in aid of the Wildlife Aid Foundation and you can check out my Just Giving page here. It’ll tell you all about my run and why I’ve chosen to support this charity.

Last year I was extremely nervous about running this race, as I’d never done a 10K before and I wasn’t too sure if I’d make it. You can read the post I wrote about my first 10K here, and the post I wrote after completing it here.

I’m not kidding myself, I know I’m not the best athlete in the world. I’m realistic about how fast I can run and what my abilities are. In hindsight, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. About 1½ years ago I could hardly run for 3 minutes without having to walk. Now I can comfortably run 4 or 5 miles without having to walk. So, logically, I know I’ll have no problem with the race tomorrow.

What am I nervous about? Running in a fox suit. I’ve never run in any type of suit before, so I have no idea how tomorrow’s going to go. My strategy is that I’ll just take it as it comes. I’m just hoping it’s not going to be too hot, otherwise I’ll really suffer. Also, if it gets a bit much, I’ll just walk. I know this sounds like a bit of a “cop-out”, but I’m doing this for charity and at the end of the day, it’s just about finishing. I’m hoping to complete the run in about 1½ hours, but if it takes me a little longer, I’m not going to worry about it too much.

Well, when you’re still cosy and in bed at 9:35am tomorrow morning, please spare a thought for little ole me pounding the streets of London in a fox suit! 🙂

Fight The Cancer Blues with Exercise

Cancer treatments can leave you feeling fatigued, anxious, and weak. It may seem like there’s nothing you can do to improve these symptoms, but there is – exercise. Exercising isn’t just for healthy people; exercising is an important element of cancer treatment, which works to prevent and reduce symptoms like fatigue, depression and anxiety.

Improved Heart Strength

Even after being diagnosed with cancer, take good care of your heart. It’s easy to shift focus from other parts of your body to the area affected by cancer, but your heart needs to stay strong in order to give you the best chance at a healthy life. One of the biggest causes of heart disease is being non-active, so exercise dramatically reduces this risk. Regular exercise also reduces the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and high-cholesterol. Exercises that get your heart pumping the most are the best. These are vigorous exercises including running, cycling, and swimming. Most experts agree that 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous exercising for at least 5 days a week will yield the best results.

Decreased Anxiety

Being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer or any other form of cancer is hard to take. The news alone causes some cancer patients to experience anxiety on a regular basis; this can lead to depression and in some cases or even panic attacks. Reduce your anxiety levels by taking part in a daily exercise routine. Regular exercise is shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in cancer patients. Certain medications used to treat cancer may trigger anxiety as a side effect. If you are taking any medication and experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, consult with your physician.  Exercise may not be beneficial in reducing medication-induced anxiety.

Fatigue Reduction

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of cancer, anemia, and depression. It can also be brought on by treatments such as chemotherapy or from cancer-fighting medications. Fatigue makes it hard for people to move around and it causes insomnia at night due to a poor sleep schedule.  Although being active is extremely hard to do when suffering from fatigue, increasing your level of physical activity can eradicate this feeling. According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, studies prove that cancer patients that exercised were less tired and slept better than the patients that didn’t.

Increased Flexibility

Tight muscles are more likely to be injured during exercise. If you haven’t worked out in a while due to cancer treatments or you weren’t physically fit to begin with, stretch before attempting any workout regimen. Simple leg and arm stretches or yoga moves can improve your muscle’s pliability and your joint’s flexibility.

 

A Golden Opportunity

I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend, Greg, for over 10 years now and I’ll go as far as to say that things are going well. The only problem (if I can even call it that!) is we sometimes get into bad habits. If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, I’m sure you can appreciate where I’m coming from here…..Things like, you get home and slob around in your PJ’s, I’ve long since stopped shaving my legs every day to impress the man, and God knows, if I own 3 pairs of matching underwear, it’s a lot…no biggies, but these are bad habits that could be avoided. We all do it, and they’re sometimes hard to break!

Us.

My & Greg’s main problem is that we’re both as weak as one another when it comes to food. I’ve actually mastered the art of “Nandos Inception” as I like to call it. This is where I know I shouldn’t really have it because there are healthier options for dinner, but I love my Nandinos and will do whatever it takes to get my grubby hands on a plateful. I begin by planting a seed into Greg’s brain and developing the idea throughout the day so that come dinner time, he’s the one that suggests Nandos and I conveniently “give in” to this for his sake, when in actual fact it was all me. I can then enjoy my Nandos guilt free! Sneaky, I know…..

What Greg does in return is to sneak desserts into the house. I cheeky cheesecake here, or a block of chocolate there……and I don’t have the will power to say no. It usually starts because I’ll have a bad day and he just wants to cheer me up and it’s done out of love, but in the long run, it won’t get either of us anywhere. If it’s in my house, I will eat it.

Another problem is that when I finish work, the last thing I want to do is go to gym. I’d much rather head straight home to spend some time with Greg. I then trick my brain into thinking that I’ve made the right decision while sitting on the couch, watching a 30 Rock and stuffing my face with a mini Key Lime Pie….all in the name of love!

Looking smart! 🙂

Well, this is where the next two weeks are so important. Greg is flying home to South Africa for 2 weeks tonight, leaving me at home with a golden opportunity. If he’s not at home, I won’t feel the need to skip gym to go home and spend time with him. If he’s not around I can’t indoctrinate him with my Nandos ideas and he can’t provide me with an endless supply of desserts….Do you see where I’m going with this?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll miss him when he’s away, and I’ve already had my little cry when I had to say goodbye this morning, but if I can use the next 2 weeks to really work hard at the gym and try to get into a few better habits….hopefully I’ll be able to hold on to them by the time he gets back from his holiday. Hopefully…….

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and hopefully the waistline slimmer! 🙂

xxx

Sweet, sweet relief…..

Just a quick note to update you all after my cryptic message earlier this week….

My appointment today was an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. It’s been a source of immense stress and anxiety for me these last couple of weeks, so I’m incredibly relieved to have been successful with my application. One more year and I can apply to become a British citizen. 

I can’t even begin to describe the relief I felt when they handed me back my passport and told me I was successful. It’s one less thing I have to worry about, which means I can start tackling my other resolutions and aims in earnest without this constantly at the back of my mind. 

So, that’s my good news. Greg’s taking me out tonight to celebrate and I really won’t be calorie counting tonight! I’ll start with that again tomorrow morning… 😉