Category Archives: Life

Why I Find Weight Loss Easier in the Winter đŸ„¶

I had a good chat with a friend this week about weight loss. She’s followed the Slimming World plan in the past and is now trying calorie counting. She said she finds it easier to lose weight in the Summer but I actually feel like I’m the other way round.

In Winter I tend to make lots of soups, chillies, casseroles and curries. I make them from scratch and cook them up in the slow cooker. I use them for meals and my lunches at work. These type of foods are my absolute favourite. I know some people go in to a hibernation mode in the Winter but these meals don’t have to be bad if they’re made from scratch. I usually make them chicken, quorn chicken or very lean beef based. Scrumptious, filling and easy on the calories! Perfect! However in the Summer I don’t want to cook as it’s so hot. And despite having healthy food in the house, I find myself making poor food choices.

I also find exercise a lot easier in the Winter. I don’t cope well in the heat and so I’m much more inclined to exercise when the weather is cooler. My exercise is actually pretty regimented in the Winter but in the Summer it tends to fall apart a little as I find every excuse under the sun (pardon the pun) not to exercise.

I’m just definitely a Winter person, this may come from being a January baby but I’m’ never happier than when it’s Winter!

Do you have a favourite season for food?

Do you prefer winter meals or summer meals?

My Go To Running Kit

We all have our favourite bits of running kit so I thought I’d do a post about some of the things I can not run without.

parkrun barcode band

parkrun barcode band

On every run I wear my parkrun wristband. As you can see in the picture it has your ICE (In case of emergency) details on as well as any allergy information. Whilst I don’t have any allergies, I wear my band just in case anything should happen. At least that way if someone found me, they’d be able to contact my husband.

Flipbelt

FlipBelt

I also always wear my FlipBelt which I bought at the National Running Show earlier this year. I chose the reflective design to give me that extra bit of “being seen” on dark night/morning runs. I honestly don’t even notice I’m wearing it. I put in my phone, as well as my keys on to the key loop which gives me extra security.

Goodr Sunglasses

Beer

These have been an absolute godsend! I know they seem to be a bit of a craze at the moment and everyone has a pair but they’re really that good. They have a special coating on the frames which prevents them from slipping. At first I was dubious, I sweat a lot, I thought they were bound to slip. I was pleasantly surprised to find they don’t budge.

Hoka Trainers

Hoka Trainers

I only run in Hokas. They’re my go to trainer brand. The soles are like pillows. They give amazing cushioning and support. I know some people don’t like them, but I love them!

Do you have go to running items?

Do you tend to stick to the same brand of trainers?

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Foxy Loxy

Way back in 2016 I wrote a blog post called Fantastic Mr Fox about the foxes in my garden. We still have a regular fox in our garden every day. So I thought I’d do an update of some pictures.

At the moment the fox is there when we wake up in a morning and tends to slope off around 8 or 9pm. He spends pretty much most of the day asleep. He usually sleeps on the grass but has been known to sleep in other places.

Fox sleeping on patio

It’s pretty much always the same fox in our garden at the minute. He’s distinctive by his tail. It looks like he’s been in some scrapes and this shows on his tail. He recently had a fight with a badger. I’ve honestly never seen or heard anything like it!

Fox on bench

He never really bothers chasing the many birds we have in our garden. The other day he was laying fast asleep and received a nasty peck from a Magpie! He jumped up immediately, but when the Magpie flew away, he just laid back down and went back to sleep.

Sleeping fox

We never put food out for the fox. I think living where we live, food is probably in plentiful supply. There are lots of food outlets nearby where he can probably feast if he gets in the bins, and I dare say he does.

Fox in garden

We’re really lucky that, even though he pretty much lives here, he doesn’t leave us any “packages” in the grass! I don’t know if they try to keep their area tidy perhaps? Either way, I’d like him to keep this up!

Fox laying down

He is both timid and brave. There’s times where he’ll jump up and run away if he sees us move in the house, but there’s other times where he’ll come right up to the patio door and have a look inside, which then allows me to take pictures like this!

Fox Close Up

He’s quite a character and I’m thankful he’s pretty well behaved whilst he’s here.

Do you get foxes in your garden?

What do you think? Are Foxes sweet or a pest?

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How I’m Trying To Be More Eco

It’s all over the media, everywhere we look, how our oceans are being destroyed by our use of plastic.

I saw something the other day that said it’s not about making the odd big change, it’s about making small changes consistently.

Recently I also watched the first part of a BBC series called War on Plastic with Hugh & Anita which focused on single use plastic in the home. It’s pretty shocking seeing how much we have.

I’ve been making some small changes lately so I thought I’d write about them here as it is something I’m becoming increasingly passionate about.

Bottled Water

I’m guilty of buying bottled water. I think we probably all are. We always have 2l bottles of water in the fridge. After watching War on Plastic (which spoke about bottled water) bottled water is now no more in our house. Instead we have bought a water dispenser for the fridge so we always have cold water, which I’m sorry to say is the main reason we buy bottled water.

Water Dispenser

Metal Straws

One thing that’s really been brought to our attention in the media is the use of plastic straws. I have to hold my hands up and admit, I am not a fan of paper straws. They go soggy which just feels weird in your mouth, and turn to mush when you have them in a cold drink for a while. So I’ve bought us a set of metal straws. We got 6 so can keep some in the car and some on me for when I’m out and about.

Cloth Bags

Another change I’ve made is always having cloth bags on me. I keep some in the car for when I’m out and about and have some in the house for when I walk round to the shops. This means I’m not using carrier bags. I’ve really made the conscious effort to remember to take them out with me every time I go to the shops. I’m also saving money as I’m not buying 5p and 10p bags. The advantage of cloth bags is I can also just pop them in the wash when they need a bit of a spruce up!

Trigger Spray Bottles

Before each time I ran out of something in a spray bottle I’d simply buy a new one. However, where I can I’ve now started buying the refill pouches so what was supposed to be a single use plastic is now a multiple use.

How are you making changes to be more eco friendly?

Do you like paper straws?

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Injury – One Year On

June marks a year since I got my groin injury that was to last for 6 months. I was taking part in a parkrun, simply plodding along, when I got a pain in my groin. I still to this day don’t know what I did. I didn’t land hard or twist or anything like that. It just hurt. I then went on to run a race the next week and just made it ten times worse.

I was in denial thinking a couple of days rest would see it right itself. It didn’t. It affected everything. It made my job harder, I couldn’t exercise. I really just ended up in a bit of a funk. I spent so much money on physio. She did lots of massage and some sort of infra red technology but none of it worked and in the end she told me just to completely rest it. I couldn’t even cross train. To be honest I could barely walk. So I did as she said. I completely rested for what felt like months. In reality it took until the end of August to be able to walk pain free. It was the end of September before I attempted a walking parkrun, and it was mid October before I began to walk/run. My very first walk/run was a 30 second run and a 4 and a half minute walk. This is how the physio advised me to return when I was able to. When I had done three, pain free, then I could up it by 30 seconds.

I walk/ran until the beginning of December when I ran 4.6 miles without stopping. From January 2019 I’ve just worked on upping my distances slowly slowly.

So I have no idea what caused the injury but the only thing that fixed it was completely stopping everything. It’s, thankfully, gone now. I get the occasional odd twinge from it which is absolutely terrifying. I’m so scared it could come back. However, when I get a twinge, there’s no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes I get it when I haven’t done anything all day, sometimes I get it when I’ve done a 4 mile run.

I’ve completely eased back on my running. I only run twice a week now with a Zumba class. I haven’t do intervals since the injury and I’ve only done one spin class because, although I don’t know what caused it, these are things I was doing before the injury.

I now have a much more relaxed approach to running. I never set out to run a time. I always tell myself if I want to stop or turn back early I can. I haven’t entered loads of races. I just run because I can. I run to enjoy it.

Have you ever had a long term injury?

Why do you run?

If We Were Having Coffee…

Latte

If we were sat having a coffee and a natter I’d tell you about…

Weight Watchers

My Weight Watchers class has unfortunately been closed down and moved. I used to struggle to get there for 7pm when it was close by but they’ve now moved it a 15 minute drive further away and changed the time to 6.30pm so it’s just not feasible anymore for me to go. I struggled to get there before so I have no hope now. However I’m going to change my membership to an online membership so I can still follow the programme. I’ll see how that goes. I actually haven’t lost any weight for a long time. I’ve lost 3 stone now. I haven’t put any weight on I’m just stuck at the 3 stone mark. I’m not getting too hung up on it though. I’m currently feeling fitter than I’ve ever felt. I’ve also gone from a size 24 to a size 16. Although I’m not losing weight, I’m losing size so I’m happy with how things are. I have more to lose but it’ll happen when it’s ready.

Zumba

I’m absolutely loving my Zumba class. Don’t get me wrong, I’m terrible at it! But I don’t care. I dance like no one is watching and absolutely love it. My Zumba instructor is a really lovely lady who gives great instructions and has the right balance of a little chit chat but also gets on with the class too. The first time I went to Zumba, I knew two people there. Now when I go, most weeks I don’t know anyone, but that’s ok. I’m pretty comfortable going in to that situation so it’s all good.

Work

I started at my current work two years ago. I was called in to the office the other day for a “chat” I had no idea what it was about, but much to my surprise, they offered me a promotion! It was very out of the blue but they said they really wanted me in that position so I said Yes! I’m really looking forward to it!

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A Run With A Man And A Van

I’m really making an effort to get out and run after work more. Because of work if I were to run before, I’d have to get up at 4.30am and to be honest, I’m just not that committed! I’d rather have the extra hour in bed.

So the other night, despite it being dark and windy and wet I still went out for a run. As if by magic though the rain did stop which I was pleased about. I’d decided to try and stay away from the sea front as the wind on the front is always a lot worse. As I was running I didn’t think the wind felt too bad. I was beginning to get really hot so I thought I’d pop through to the sea front to let the breeze cool me a little.

I ended up regretting it. There is parking all on the sea front and I ran past a man having a wee up the side of his van! It was pretty grim but he must have been desperate as it was actually making a bit of a gushing noise! Sorry if that’s too much information haha.

My luck took a real down turn when the weather decided to hail too. It was like lots of tiny pins stabbing me in the face! Luckily I was already on the return leg of my run but I really could have done without it!

I got back and I’d clocked up a 5K. A quick selfie, because if you don’t take a selfie, did you even go for a run? Then I had a hot bath to try and warm up after peeling off my wet clothes. I have to admit, I’m so ready for Spring. I’m tired of running in the dark, wind and rain!

Post Run Selfie

Do you ever see surprising things on your run?

parkrun And A New Café

My husband hadn’t been to parkrun for a couple of weeks due to illness. As a result, I’d not been going to the normal parkrun cafĂ©, but to one on the way home instead where I picked up a coffee for me and a bit of breakfast for us both. The coffee is incredibly good there so when my husband returned to parkrun I suggested we went there for breakfast after parkrun instead.

Before parkrun selfie

Before parkrun selfie

When we got to parkrun my husband was trying to decide if he should run with me or not. He always sets off too fast and he thought by running with me it’d give him a slower start, meaning he then wouldn’t struggle later. Eventually he decided that he would. We set off and after the first mile I asked him if he wanted to go on. He didn’t but after about a 1.5 miles he started struggling with knee pain. He walked a little whilst I trotted at the side of him. After a few stop/starts at around the 2 mile mark he told me to go on as he was going to walk the rest. Because we’d had such a stop/start run I actually felt pretty fresh so felt really good in the last part of parkrun, for probably the first time ever!

Frustratingly I finished within 8 seconds of my personal best! I gritted my teeth and tried not to blame my husband haha. When he came through the finish funnel he said his knee actually felt a bit better for walking, which was good. So we set off to the new cafĂ© I’d been popping to for the past couple of weeks.

post parkrun selfie

Oh I do love a filter

When we got to the café I ordered a latte whilst my husband had a hot chocolate which quite frankly arrived looking like a dessert! For breakfast I had a toasted teacake and a Bakewell tart afterwards whilst my husband enjoyed a cheese and ham toastie and then a fruit scone with jam and clotted cream. I have to admit, it did look very scrummy!

Latte

On the way back from the cafĂ© it was nice to see some of the trees blooming. Particularly my neighbours magnolia tree and our own blossom tree. It makes me hopeful that Spring is on it’s way!

Blossom Tree

Do you go to a café after parkrun?

 

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parkrun – Paying It Forward

Lots of people have supported me through my running journey. So many people have come forward when I’ve asked for someone to run with. They’ve sacrificed their parkrun, to run mine with me. It means a lot and I’ve always been truly grateful.

On Saturday I went to parkrun alone. My husband was in bed with a migraine and my friend Maria was in Disneyland Paris! So I went down alone but soon got chatting to people. I started my run alone. As I settled in to a comfortable pace I heard two women just behind me chatting away. I stayed just ahead of them and just zoned out and listened to their conversation. Is that weird? It provided the perfect distraction as I listened to them moan about work. I thought “This is what Maria and I must sound like when we run together”

As we reached the 1.5 mile mark they fell in to step with me and I realised I knew one of the women. I’d met Timnah through parkrun when I first started volunteering. Every time she ran past me at my marshalling point I’d cheer her on and she’d ask me “Am I last?” She never was. Anyway over time we spoke a bit more, became friends on FaceBook etc.

As we fell inline with each other I asked how she was as I knew she’d been out for a long time with an injury. As we started to chat her friend asked if it was ok for her to move forward. It turns out she was a faster runner. I offered to run with Timnah, so long as she didn’t mind me babbling away. She said it’d keep her going. This was only her 2nd parkrun back since her injury.

We settled to her pace, she was worried she was holding me back but I told her I didn’t care. I run to run, not chase times. So we settled in to a nice easy pace. Did I just say a pace was easy?! Never thought I’d say that. We talked about injuries, what motivates us, our jobs, babies, parkrun etc. We covered a lot of topics in 1.5 miles! It was so lovely though, someone to catch up with and not care about pace.

Afterwards Timnah thanked me and said I’d kept her going when she could easily have stopped. Not going to lie, it felt good! I felt like I was finally paying back some of the good deeds people had done by running with me. We finished in the not too shabby time of 40:14.

Afterwards I walked on to the High Street and went and picked myself up a coffee and bought a mini Lemon Loaf for my husband because nothing cures a migraine like cake!

And of course, no parkrun post would be complete without a post parkrun sweaty selfie!

post parkrun

Have you ever supported a friend at parkrun?

 

A Disastrous January

January has not been my friend in terms of weight loss. I’ve tracked and eaten well but the results just haven’t reflected that. I haven’t exercised as much as I could of but that’s mainly down to illness.

So, after Christmas and New Year I weighed in on 3rd January. I’d be really poorly over New Year (See the end of THIS POST) I was just about recovered ready to go back to work and WW. I’d put on half a stone. I put this down to Christmas, obviously but wondered if some had been caused by the illness as I hadn’t eaten properly.

When I weighed in on 10th January I’d lost 5.5lbs of the 7lbs I’d gained over Christmas. On 17th, I lost another 2lbs, meaning I’d now lost the 7lbs from Christmas, plus another half a pound.

However, the week of 21st January I had to take two days off work because I had a really heavy cold. I stayed in bed and didn’t eat on the Monday, then on the Tuesday I just had an evening meal. I went back to work on the Wednesday and when I weighed in on the Thursday I’d put on 3.5lbs! I was devastated to be honest. I couldn’t see how it had happened, but with hindsight, perhaps my body just doesn’t react well to illness and missing meals as a result? I’ve had 4 colds (of varying strengths) since Christmas.

On 31st January I’d lost 2 of the 3.5lbs.

Thankfully February seems to be treating me a little better, so far anyway! On 7th February I’d lost 3lbs, meaning I’m now at my lowest weight and taking my total weight loss to 2 stone 10lbs. 4lbs away from losing 3 stone. Fingers crossed I can make 3 stone by the end of February!

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