Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 - Keep on surviving

So as I type this opening sentence we have approximately 26 hours left of 2013. Why not jump on the blogging bandwagon and review it?

One thing I can say for the year of 2013 is that I am sure I will always remember it. It's not going to be a 1997 or 2004, forever lost in the wilds of my memories being unable to identify any specific event that may have have occurred. I've had some brilliant highs and some terrible, core-of-the-earth scraping lows.

I remember clearly at the end of September sitting on the floor of my old bedroom in my parents' house, surrounded by empty mugs of tea and hyperventilating, with no idea where I was going to live and what I was going to do, and thinking to myself "This is rock bottom. I am always going to look back at this and think, that was rock bottom." And you know what? I was wrong. I have never been as scared as I was for those few weeks of sofa-hopping around South London. I have never felt so lost or afraid and I have never listened to so much Kelly Clarkson. However, I have never felt so 'the opposite of alone'. The amount of genuine support, both practical and emotional, I had from so many people - family, friends, colleagues, even people from the internet I'd never met-  was INSANE and you know what? I bounced back sooner and higher than I could have ever imagined.

November & December of 2013 have been two of the best months of my life. I feel like over the past few years I had, so slowly I hadn't even really noticed, lost my control over who I was and what I wanted. Finally, I feel like I'M BACK AND I'M AMAZING. Because you know what? I am amazing. I may be slightly chubby and have minging feet, but at the same time I'm hilarious and have great hair. I don't know if I'll ever look in the mirror and totally like what I see (spending three years as a teenager being called ugly and annoying every day of your life will do that for you) BUT I look in the mirror now and I don't hate myself. I think, particularly if I've already done my make-up "You look okay. Perhaps even above average!"

I write this blog weighing about half a stone less than when I wrote my end of year blog in 2012. Most of that weight loss to be honest I can't really chalk up to anything more than a bout of extreme stress followed by a change of lifestyle meaning there's less junk food around the kitchen. However, weight loss really isn't my priority anymore. My priority is to be happy and (somewhat) healthy, both physically and emotionally. And more importantly, to continue to have a positive relationship with my own self-image.

Most importantly of all perhaps, when I wrote my end of year blog in 2012 I'd have struggled to run to the end of the road and back. I write this blog in 2013 being able to run 5k 3 times a week and having signed up for a 10k in March. Despite my chronic unfitness throughout my life and my utter aversion to physical exercise, I have accidentally discovered a love for running through nothing but my own amazingness (i.e. actually sticking to the plan and CARRYING ON TRYING.) If that's not something to love myself for I don't know what is.

My only New Year's Resolution is - Keep on surviving.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

My favourite workout songs of 2013

Something you should probably know about me is that I am a MASSIVE pop music fan. I've only ever once ran without music which was when I did my 5k race as headphones weren't allowed. I just about managed to cope because of the sheer adrenaline and excitement of being in a race, but otherwise I literally could not imagine how horrific it might be to run without Eye of the Tiger and Survivor egging me on. Running's a really good way to listen to a new album and sometimes a proper TUNE coming on can really inspire me to go faster.

Anyway, I thought I would make a playlist of my favourite running songs that were released in 2013 (these aren't my favourite of all time of course - but I will save that for some sort of massive 100-song mega playlist at some point.) (My usual running playlist has 450 songs on it and counting). This playlist is 40 minutes long so is perfect if you are training for a 5k and feeling like being reflective over the year. 

Be warned: This playlist, much like me, is NOT 'credible' 

$$$ex - Vanessa Hudgens vs YLA
Work Bitch - Britney Spears
Roar - Katy Perry 
Heart Attack - Demi Lovato
I Need Your Love - Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding
#thatPOWER - ft. Justin Bieber
Pompeii - Bastille
I Love It - Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX
Summertime Sadness Remix - Lana Del Rey vs Cedric Gervais
Do What U Want - Lady GaGa ft R.Kelly
Can We Dance - The Vamps

PS - My favourite workout song of all time is Miami 2 Ibiza - Tinie Tempah & Swedish House Mafia. I seriously do not like it at any other time except if I am exercising but when it comes on during a run I am ON IT. Give it a go. 

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Motivated by new clothes?

Christmas came early for me this year when SportsShoes got in touch and asked if I wanted to try out some new running gear as part of the Fashionably Fit campaign to get me motivated to get out running in the winter months. This could not have come at a better time for me because as you know I massively got out of the habit of running for three whole months and I was absolutely thrilled. I chose some new running gear and I cannot believe I am about to put a full length photo of myself in exercise clothes on the internet but here you go - remember the camera, and the fact this was taken on CHRISTMAS DAY, adds 30 pounds.

Nike Running Jacket* - was £35.00 when I picked it, but reduced to £29.99 now!, c/o
(Barely visible) White vest top - I think this was from Marks & Spencers?! 
Karrimor Running Tights - £10.99, Sports Direct
Nike Flex 2 Women's Trail Running Shoes* - was £55.00 when I picked them, but reduced to £39.99 now! c/o

Now I'm not going to beat around the bush here. This is seriously high quality stuff at pretty amazing prices and I genuinely do thoroughly recommend this website.

I'm used to basically getting the cheapest of everything for sportswear - I ran in Tesco and/or Asda leggings for months. My old trainers were £15 from Sports Direct and unbranded. I always thought they were okay, but that was until I tried these trainers. As well as looking SERIOUSLY COOL (neon much?!) they feel like walking on air. I'm used to my feet feeling like I've been dancing all night in massive heels after a casual 5k, but these are so light and speedy it's unbelievable. I would be lying if I said I chose these trainers because they were trail running shoes as opposed to because I liked the blue/pink colour combo, but they are perfect for running on the beach and I'm sure they'll fit in well with all the running in parks I'm hoping to do once I get back up to London.

I am utterly in love with these trainers. Shoes come and go, but every now and then a pair will come which you will love like they are your own children. The last pair like that for me were my amazing Topshop Athena boots, and I never thought that I'd feel the same about a pair of TRAINERS, but there you go, I do. Let's have a look at another shot of these absolute beauties:

They are actually so pretty I might cry sitting here looking at them.

I don't feel the same kind of passionate, all-consuming love for my running jacket as I do for these beautiful trainers, but it is a pretty ace piece of equipment. It's the first time I've ever had a running jacket, but I thought it would be really useful for the winter months, and I was right. The annoying thing about running in the winter that I have found is that it's freezing but at the same time running makes you hot so you don't want to be trudging around in your eskimo gear. This jacket strikes a lovely balance between the two whilst also blocking out the dreaded 'rain'. It's also good to be a little more high-vis in these darker months. Plus, perhaps most importantly of all - it co-ordinates with the soles of my trainers.

Back to the question originally posed to me by - does having nice running gear motivate me to run in the winter months? Well in the same way as my Topshop Athena boots motivated me to learn how to spend a whole working day in heels, these beautiful trainers are TOTALLY inspiring me to run in the winter months. I keep them in display on my room, partly so on occasion I can look at them and sigh, and also because every time I see them I just want to get laced up and off out for a run, with my jacket to keep me suitably warm and dry. To the extent that yesterday I went out for an elusive Christmas Day run, and not only that, it was my longest run of all time ever (only 3.5 miles, don't get too excited - but still - slaying those records!)

Goodbye all, I hope this review has not been too useless given my lack of technical knowledge as a beginner, but I just wanted to give my perspective on what I genuinely thought rather than using random jargon! (in case you didn't grasp, my genuine thought was that THESE TRAINERS ARE MY NEW GOD!) I will be browsing with an intent to spend some of my Christmas money on productive equipment rather than merely make up giftsets.


PS - 2 days ago I started a Twitter page for my blog. If you're reading this and have Twitter I'd love it if you could give me a cheeky follow as I'm feeling a little lonely - I'll be tweeting all about my adventures with beginner running and some of my friends have told me that from time to time I can be 'quite amusing' so GIVE IT A GO.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

My first run in 3 months

As I mentioned before, I have had a BIG lifestyle change in the fourth quarter of 2013 and it has been difficult to make eating healthily and exercise a priority. I've found I've lost a bit of weight - not heaps but enough, 7-10lb - without any effort. This has made it pretty difficult to be motivated to work out and/or eat nothing but chia seeds. I have been so busy, so busy in such a really great way, that I haven't even had time to THINK about what might be a better dinner to have than "a jar of salsa" or what might be a better form of exercise than "thigh-toning slut drops". 

However, my busy life has come to an abrupt halt as it is now "Christmas holidays" and I have come back to the abyss of joy that is East Kent to celebrate our saviour's birth (I do actually LOVE my hometown but in a bit of an ironic way to be honest). I suddenly find myself with yawning gaps of time ahead of me. It's weird as when I'm busy I often crave time to myself to get on with things but at the same time when it actually happens I feel a bit weird and twitchy (I'm typing this at about 120 words per minute). So this afternoon I thought - WHAT BETTER TIME to get back into the 'fitness' swing of things? I caught sight of my amazing new trainers in the corner (more on that in my next post) and before I knew it I was rocking a ridiculously high ponytail, pulling on my mum's Tesco Cherokee joggers and heading out of the door towards the beach.

I only planned to run to the next bay and back as, well, it was my first run in three months and as mentioned, I have literally done no other exercise in this whole time, and I'd assumed I'd be dying at this point. I listened to the following playlist on repeat, and therefore felt like I was flying:

1.8 miles rolled around and I was approaching my parents' house again, and I just thought, "GOD, I FEEL AMAZING. THE COLD NEVER BOTHERED ME ANYWAY" [bonus points for getting the reference] so I thought I would just keep going, so basically ran around in circles for another 20 minutes, but the point is, I ran 5k!! Here is my proof:

So I did it, I might have run 5k slower than a literal snail on Valium, but I did it, I completed 5k without a single walk break when I hadn't ran at all in THREE MONTHS. I just felt SO HIGH, which I still feel now a couple of hours later, which might be why I KEEP USING CAPS. But what an ACTUALLY BRILLIANT FEELING.

Back before my life imploded and then brilliantly pieced itself back together again, I signed up to run a six mile race on the 23rd March 2014. I really feel with enough effort I might be able to complete that and in a decent time and all. I'm going to go for a few more casual runs over the Christmas break and then in January get on hard with training for that, WHY WOULDN'T I WHEN I COULD FEEL LIKE THIS THREE OR FOUR TIMES A WEEK OR WHATEVER. 

I am just so proud of myself right now, I began 2013 overweight and a bit unhappy and unable to run to the end of the road and back. And look at me now - just under three months ago I had nowhere to live and I thought my life was over. But now, my life is better than it has been for a very, very long time and I have the base level of fitness that I'm able to run 5k without even having any kind of coronary failure. This is why I started running, this is why I got addicted before, and this is why I should never have stopped - I love feeling good about myself, and I never feel better about myself than just after finishing a good run. If anyone reading this has thought about starting running but not sure if they can be bothered or if they would be any good or whatever - I urge you, please, just try. It will change your life and your outlook on it. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Low calorie and cheap tuna and tomato pasta

Like many in their early twenties I wonder how old I will get before I feel like I belong here in the adult world and I'm not just pretending. There are many things I don't fully understand and that terrify me about being a grown up and one of those things is 'money' and/or lack of it. I am now a totally self sufficient person - I left home five years ago but I always had a student loan/ financially secure ex as a safety net. Now it's just me, I earn the money that puts the food on my table and pays the rent for my own room. It's terrifying, but at the same time I kind of love it. Everything here is all mine and paid for with my own money and no one else's. The house I live in? I pay rent for it! The car I'm driving? I bought the driving lesson for it! The clothes I'm wearing? I bought them from Primark! I could go on.

Anyhow, my financial situation has changed quite a lot over the past month or two as I'm sure you can imagine and now I am really trying to cut back on everything. So I thought I would be "creative" and create a recipe that is not only healthy(ish) but cheap! I know that this could definitely be more healthy, I know it could be cheaper, but cut me some slack, I'm just trying to get into the routine of not every dinner being a ready meal and/or takeaway.

A little background info: All food bought from Sainsbury's today (12th Nov 2013). I was cooking two portions, one for myself to have today and one to have tomorrow. I then won't be eating at home for three nights so wanted to minimise food wastage.

Tuna and Tomato Pasta
312 calories, 7 points and £1.25 per portion.

Ingredients - for 2 portions

70g dry pasta (7 PP, 240 calories). = 4p! Based on the fact you can get 500g Sainsbury's pasta for 30p. Amazing.
4 mushrooms (0PP, approx 40 calories) = 27p, bought loose.
1 red onion (0PP, approx 40 calories) = 14p, bought loose.
1 pepper (0PP, approx 40 calories) = 80p, bought loose. It would have been cheaper per pepper to buy a pack of 3, but I knew I couldn't use the other 2 before they went off so didn't bother.
1 carton of chopped tomatoes (0PP, 74 calories) = 34p.
1 can of tuna in water (2PP, 82 calories) = £1.30.
40g of low fat cheese (4PP, 107 calories) = 32p.

TOTAL for 2 portions - 13PP, 623 calories, £2.49.
Total for 1 portion: 7PP, 312 calories, £1.25

Well you can probably work this out but....

1) Put the pasta on to boil. In the meantime, chop your vegetables. BEFORE AND AFTER SHOT:

2. Heat some Frylight in a pan and then cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes.

3. Add your chopped tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes.

4. Then add your tuna. NOTE: I am living with cats for the first time in my life. Heed my warning: if there are cats in the kitchen, there is no such thing as being too vigilant when opening a can of tuna.

5. Then add your cheese. This step is optional yet DELICIOUS.

6. Then mix up with your pasta.

7. Divide into two portions and serve! Yum yum.

This meal is pretty delicious if you like tuna and any meal for only just over 300 calories is pretty useful once you are on a diet. It is also actually pretty filling. You might feel that 35g pasta per portion is crazy small, but the veg doesn't make it feel like it's any less pasta than normal, really.

Perhaps more importantly this is two days' dinners for £2.50. If I ate this every day for a week imagine how much money I could save! (But I won't.) It didn't taste like it was cheap and it actually tasted much better than the ready meals I have been living off that are more expensive. From now on when I post recipes I will also calculate the costs.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Blogging strikes back

Well I have been off for so long. Basically I might as well just jump into it: I am now single and my living situation and circumstances are so different from my last blog post I wonder if anything I've ever written on this blog even means anything anymore. Now I just food shop for myself, cook for myself, live in a house rather than a flat so am not on the same level as the kitchen when chilling out of an evening (this has changed my snacking life = win for laziness), and I could go on.

I have lost about 10lb since I last wrote. Most of this is not exactly for the right reasons. I didn't really eat anything at all for a week. For the next 3 weeks I had nowhere to live - I ate a million calories in takeaways during this time but still lost the weight anyway which I assume is 'stress'. I now have a routine again. I have been pretty good at eating to be honest. Basically, I don't really buy any unhealthy food for my fridge and cupboards at all, so the only time I eat badly is when I go out to eat/get a takeaway or whatever, but 5 days out of 7 at least my diet is pretty squeaky clean. I don't eat for enjoyment but for necessity and only eat when I'm hungry.

However, I haven't done any exercise. I haven't done any running for seven weeks which actually makes me feel quite upset as at the time I felt as though I was getting somewhere with my running - I'd even signed up for a 10k in March. However I just don't know where I am supposed to fit it into my life - I don't want to run in the dark, especially in an area I don't know that well and I can't afford to join a gym. I really want to get cracking with it but I don't really know what to do - any advice would be much appreciated.

I have had a lot of time to think recently about myself and the person I would like to be. I want to keep writing this blog - I want to be a runner, I want to get myself back into the blogging 'fitness' community. But at the same time I would like to make this blog a little bit more 'me'. I don't want to dwell too much on my relationship break up but in a way I do feel a little bit like I have found some parts of myself that I had forgotten I had lost. I want to try and share those parts of me with the people that read my blog a bit more; I feel I do have the capability as a writer to make this blog actually interesting to read but it was becoming so, so vacuous. I have no idea how exactly I am going to do that but watch this space.

Anyhow, my next goal is to get back into running and find some sort of way to make it work. Send any advice you have my way!


PS: "How are you?" you might ask. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have bad days, but people I know are always commenting that I've dealt with this all very well. The future scares me, but at the same time I feel a bit excited by it. Albus Dumbledore once said we must choose between what is right and what is easy. When everything I had known for three years all fell apart, it would have been very easy for me to hand in my notice at my job and go back to move with my parents, rather than starting somewhere new in a new area and being the only person responsible for my own survival for the first time in my life, but it wouldn't have been right. I feel I have done the right thing and I already feel as though I am becoming a better person for it.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Winter is coming

I can't believe how nearly I just started this blog post "Dear all" - clearly I write too many emails for my own good. Anyway, back on to business. It has been a poor week for weight loss as I have somehow managed to put on 2.7lb(!) which has literally put me straight back to square one with 21lbs still to lose. At first I was all, how have I managed that?! I've been surviving on bananas and cous cous! But then I remembered last week:

  • I went to TGI Fridays
  • I had a 'small night out' involving a cocktail or four
  • I went out for a curry
  • I went to McDonald's for a 'team lunch' 
  • My mum and I may have had a bottle of wine
  • I may have had a massive brownie for dessert on Saturday
  • I had a massive carby bolognese on Sunday night
So I guess when you have that many 'slip ups' the fact you are eating a half decent breakfast and lunch on most days doesn't really cut it. Oh well, I have learnt my lesson... kind of. 

As time goes by this blog is becoming less and less about weight loss and more about running. I must admit I am going through a phase where the fact I am a few pounds overweight is not actually bothering me that much. I don't think I look that terrible and I can say, quite confidently, for the first time ever, I am pretty fit. However, I really don't want the pounds to creep on so I am going to keep on going, but take a fairly low key approach to eating and food. However last week was no excuse so I have to do my best to keep mainly on the straight and narrow this week... 80:20 is the aim (whereas last week was more like 20:80).

So as for running....

I am still following my training program (more on that on another post) and it's going fairly well. Monday and Wednesdays are endurance/stamina and the goal is time-based, and Saturdays are fast runs at the moment with the goal distance-based. When I have a distance goal as opposed to "run for 40 minutes" I find myself automatically going faster anyway without even trying hence the fact my Saturday mile time beat by Wednesday mile time by nearly two minutes(!). This week I only have to run for 30 minutes on my Monday and Wednesday runs, but last week I was allowed to take walk breaks if I really wanted and have them count towards my time. This time I can't! I did manage to run 30 minutes today with literally no stopping and it wasn't even too tragic a speed, but towards the end I was feeling pretty exhausted/rough. Oh well onwards and upwards.

I still LOVE running!!! Even when I feel rough at the time, such as earlier, by the time I'm recovered I'm feeling buzzy buzzy buzzy for the whole rest of the evening. I just wish I had the time to run in the early mornings because I would love to have this feeling all day but sadly I get up at 5.45am as it is and I don't think anyone is THAT motivated. 

Sorry that all I am doing at the moment is Monday summary posts, I do have loads of ideas for actual 'content' so bear with me. It's coming. Like winter. Which is definitely coming. It's now dark when I leave the house :'(

PS this is my workout song of the week.

PPS If you want 'fitspiration', watch Spring Breakers.

Monday, 16 September 2013

You better work bitch.

So I've lost 2.2lbs, which is AMAZING as it was a dodgy week for food and I was fully expecting a gain. I have 18.1lbs to lose until my goal, so I am kind of getting there, sort of. Basically I feel I have won due to my return to running which has gone ace!

As you can see I am still running crazy slowly - it feels almost unbelievable that I managed a 5k in under 33 minutes only a couple of months ago - but I'd rather run slowly and finish than run too fast then give up. Managing a 40 minute run felt good, towards the end I just felt better and better. Karen Gouger (Sp?!) let me know my goal was in sight and I was sprinting an 8 minute mile and I swear for a second time just stopped and I felt like I could have kept on going forever. (I didn't.) The high is just indescribable, this is why I do it, and I am loving it more than ever.

The week for food, as mentioned, was a little hit and miss, mainly due to spontaneous plans to be honest (forever my downfall) and getting a huge Nando's takeaway without actually checking how much points it all was. I even gave up tracking points around Thursday which is NOT good.

My plan this week is to stick to my 28 points daily except for the social occasions I have already planned in which I will just eat/drink whatever I want. I haven't got too mental a week so I hope that should be okay. I think my main downfall is borrowing from my weekly 'overdraft' when it's just a normal day rather than occasions so I should be alright. I will also not be pointing my pre-run snacks, which are mainly some kind of nut mix as I know it's good for me even though it's super high in calories/points but whatever.

I will leave you with the best workout song ever

and a picture of my new boots, which you can get here, which I am just posting as they have exponentially improved my life in the 3 days in which I have owned them.

Until next week my dears. x

Monday, 9 September 2013

Already brushing off that dust

So I followed Weight Watchers for a week and...

gained 0.2lb. Hmph. I still have 20.3lbs to lose until goal.

But it could have been worse as

  • I went over by 17 points
  • I didn't really take a very fascist approach to Weight Watchers and guesstimated points of loads of things
  • I did absolutely NO exercise WHATSOEVER
so I don't think really what is essentially a 'stay the same' is that tragic. CONSIDERING.

However, at least I achieved the goal of tracking Weight Watchers for the whole week, and it had been the first time I'd done that in about 3/4 months, so every victory. This week I am feeling a bit more confident I can do well as

  • I've sorted my life out in advance a bit better e.g. bought things to make lunch with/planned dinners/allowed for social events etc
  • I am back in the running game!

Today I ran about as fast as if I was trudging through lard but managed to knock back 2.28 miles in half an hour with only like one 30 second walk break, which I don't think is too bad seeing as I literally have done no running whatsoever for weeks. I am back on a running plan which involves tick boxes and achievements and so on which I feel is a good thing for me as when I just run aimlessly when I feel like it, it is so so easy to not bother to go. But now, you know, I have a PLAN. I must stick to it. 

Right now I feel really great and buzzing which is why I know it is really good for me to go running and I definitely need to carry on and not let myself lapse out of it again! 

A bit busy at the moment as I'm still preparing to move flats and work is pretty hectic, plus a few of my good friends all seem to have moved to London all at once which is so great but does mean weeknights are getting pretty jammed! But I do want to start getting some recipes all up online soon!

x x 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Hello September!

Hello all! I have returned from a great holiday in Tunisia and feel super well rested. I also have shocking news, for the first time in my life I literally LOST weight on holiday. I only lost half a pound, but to put it in perspective, when I returned from holiday last October I had gained six pounds, so I am in utter disbelief.

I am still feeling really motivated and have started my return to Weight Watchers today with a bang. I work in education so have a total "new term, new start" approach to everything right now and I really feel like this is going to be a good moth!

On to continuing on with at least one blog project I start - monthly goals! I will review August's.

August Goals 

General weight loss: to start September weighing no more than 3lbs more than I started AugustI am in fact starting September merely 1.8lbs heavier than I started August, so goal achieved.

Food: Give up morning snackingI did actually follow this for pretty much all of August (with one or two slip-ups) but I have come to the overall conclusion that this was not in fact a particularly positive goal for me as it is never good for me to be particularly hungry, as then I just end up overeating. Throughout September I will be snacking once in the morning and twice in the afternoons as a general rule.

General fitness:  Do at least 3 workouts every week for the duration of August (apart from when on holiday)I did really well at the beginning of August but tailed off towards the middle when it was around my birthday and there was loads going on and I couldn't really be bothered. So I pretty much failed here...

Running: Complete a full 5k with no walk breaks.
Total fail, the furthest I ran in August was just over 4k and I have just realised with a terrifying jolt it's been nearly 3 weeks since my last run...

General health/well being: Drink two litres of water every day.I have improved on this front but I don't think I have achieved the goal really as I'm still hooked on Diet Coke and barely drank any water on holiday.

Blogging: Write at least one blog every week, apart from when on holiday.Achieved!

So a bit of a mixed bag really, but oh well. On for September...

September GoalsGeneral Weight Loss: To lose 3lbs before the beginning of October.3lbs sounds a little low for a month but my ultimate yearly goal of 21lbs by the time I am 24 needs to be attacked very, very slowly I feel otherwise I am setting myself up for fail. I think it's a fair and reasonable target. I have no major reasons to go off plan this month and I am in a good place right now so I do not see any reason why I should not meet it.

Food: Give up eating bread.This might seem a little bizarre but I randomly didn't eat wheat for like a week in mid-August and found myself feeling so much better about everything. I also have not eaten wheat for the past 2 days and also feel so great right now. Maybe I'm kidding myself but I possibly do have a mild wheat allergy I believe. I'm not a mentalist, I'm not going to go totally gluten free and give up pasta (my ultimate fave), or even pizza, but I'm not going to eat bread on it's own, or sandwiches, or as part of a burger bun or something, for a whole month. I'll see how it goes. I don't think it will be particularly hard as I don't eat a lot of bread anyway, and it might make a lot of difference.

General fitness: Work out 3 times a week (Pass on this given if GENUINELY ill)I have a cold at the moment hence the conditional factor...but I really need to get back on this as my exercise has slipped dramatically recently.

Running: Run a full 5k with no walk breaks.Same as last month. I imagine my 3 weeks off running have dented my ability quite a bit so I don't have too lofty dreams for my September running.

General health/well being: Go to bed early enough to get a MINIMUM of 7 hours sleep every night. Aim for 8 hours.I feel so much better when well rested and I actually haven't even drank coffee in weeks so I am going to try and carry on with this.

Blogging: Blog a recipe. I've wanted to do this for ages but find it difficult to find the motivation to take photos etc, but I need to share one particular amazing dish with the world so I am going to get on it.


Friday, 23 August 2013

Renewed motivation.

So as you may or may not have noticed I have not blogged in over a week. I haven't really dieted or exercised in the past week either. I have put on weight and it's a bit crap. But... I turned 23!

22 wasn't the greatest year of my life, and I'm sure there's lots of things about it I could have done better. But overall I feel it was pretty much a success. I started running and ran a 5k which is pretty impressive. I think I did pretty well at spending a lot of time with the people that are important. Overall though I think I did grow up quite a lot over the past year. I think I've become more confident and a more easily social person, I think I've achieved a lot, and I feel like I'm finding my feet. 

I am feeling so good about being 23. I am going to achieve a lot and it's going to be a great year.

I have decided, I am going to lose a stone and a half before I turn 24. Note the "I am going to" not the "I want to". 

I could lose more weight than that, I could lose less weight than that. But I think that will be my happy weight. It's about the weight I was when I met my boyfriend, and it's about half a stone less than my lowest weight since I started my blog. 

It's an achievable goal in a year. I could lose half a pound a week and stay the same for a few of those and still do it, even have a few gains over e.g. Christmas. It's not a speedy weight loss, it's not a rush, it's not a race.

And I am going to stick with my blog title and do this "the lazy way". There's no point trying to work out every day for 3 weeks consecutively, there's no point going four days eating nothing but apples and chia seeds, as I swear every time I do something like this I just end up weighing more two weeks later than when I started.

I am going crawling back to Weight Watchers. I have a long and complex relationship with Weight Watchers as we know - I actually haven't stopped paying for it THIS WHOLE TIME but I haven't followed it for more than a week at once since at least February, probably longer to be honest. Weight Watchers is a good choice for me because the weekly points give me that flexibility; essentially it gives me the following options:
  • Have a totally saintly week and then be allowed to basically LITERALLY EAT WHATEVER I WANT on one day
  • Be saintly all week... and then have a weekend where I pretty much can have what I fancy, as long as I track it and don't go too insane
  • Be saintly some days and be a bit crap on others but don't have any major blowouts
  • Just be average all week

Over the course of a year I will of course come off plan at certain points - life's too short to be on a diet at Christmas or when you've spent a huge chunk of money to go on holiday, but equally, life's too short to spend your life tunnelling fat into your arteries as well isn't it?

Across September I firmly have NO reason to go off plan whatsoever as this is going to be a very typical and 'routine' month for me with no special occasions or time off (again, except for the fact I'm casually moving house - but I can't see why this would affect what I eat.) So throughout the whole of September I am going to track everything and follow Weight Watchers. That doesn't mean I can't have fun on the weekend or go to Nando's - I just need to use my weekly points! Last year I went through pretty much all of the autumn religiously on Weight Watchers and had no problems, so I don't see why this year should be any different. We are talking FASCIST approach to Weight Watchers hear - weigh everything, if you can't track it don't eat it, etc. I feel like Weight Watchers is good for me as it helps me develop a positive relationship with food - the only time I have ever got anywhere near approaching 5 a day is when I have followed Weight Watchers. 

So on Sunday I'm going on holiday for a week, and I'm not going to track when I'm on holiday. But I return on a Sunday afternoon with just enough time to plan obsessively for a full week on Weight Watchers starting Monday 2nd September. No excuses. Let's do this.

And as for exercise - I am going to carry on with my love of running. I want to run a 10k at some point when I am 23 - I am eyeing up the BUPA 10,000 (and not just because it's in May so is ages away, honest). However, I am not going to track activity points on Weight Watchers. In fact, I am going to try my best to think of running as an entirely separate thing, and not even related to losing weight, as I am a bit guilty of "I've been for a run so can eat WHATEVER I WANT" syndrome. Running isn't about weight loss for me, it's about achievement of goals and about freedom, so I'm going to think of it separately. However no worries, I will continue to blog about running! 

It sounds mental but I am really feeling good about this as I feel like I am finding myself, knowing who I am and knowing where I am going. And now I KNOW this is what I want. I feel like this time I could work. I feel like I am doing this for new reasons and with a new approach.

So thanks for reading and I will be back in touch in September. And hopefully this time in a year I'll be writing a success story. x 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


Well I am on holiday from work this week and I am loving it. I love being a bit more chilled and having more time to get on with things. However, today is a far from exemplary day for food but I said I would be honest so I am going to.

I didn't exercise today but I don't feel guilty about it. I have worked out the past five consecutive days and my calves were beginning to scream for a break, and I don't want to do myself an injury after all. But it's back on that wagon tomorrow!

8.45am - breakfast

Special K red berries with semi skimmed milk

I actually had a super healthy breakfast planned to share with you guys today - all week I've been having yogurt with fruit and nuts. But the strawberries had gone all mouldy so I improvised with the contents of my parents' kitchen...

9.30am - cup of caramel coffee with semi skimmed milk

I stole the coffee from my sister (if you're reading this - apols). Had quite a productive morning, helped my mum with lots of bits on the computer and then tuned up my grandad's laptop for him (can you tell who the IT wizard is in the family?) Amazingly though I didn't get dressed until right before lunch, which is of course compulsory during annual leave.

1.15 - Lunch
2/3 of a portion of Weight Watchers one-pot carbonara
French bread

The other day I made this carbonara from a recipe in Weight Watchers magazine. It was amazing at the time. We had 2 portions left over and mum, me and sister split it between the 3 of us with some nice French bread.

Olives (some in spicy sauce, some with garlic and mushroom, some with feta)

Mum and I LOVE olives so I picked these up yesterday when I went to visit stalls at our local folk festival, Folk Week. These were delicious, we shared about half of the punnet and are saving the rest for now. I could eat nothing but olives for a week and be so happy (the olive detox?!)

Coconut ice

This is a tiny piece, seriously! Badly scaled photo! Also picked up some of this from the fudge stall in Folk Week. I seriously love coconut.

Viennese whirl 

And to top off that veritable feast of a lunch, another sugary baked good.

During the afternoon Mum and I went out to run some errands around town. We saw a dress and shoes I fell in love with for my holiday and Mum treated me to them as it's my birthday next week so already lovely. I also bought two more Barry M Gelly nail varnishes for my ever expanding collection and some sea salt spray to at least vaguely attempt to get some kind of nice beach hair on holiday. I am not a beauty blogger but regardless check out Barry M Gelly in 'Lychee'. I love it!

Barry M Gelly nail varnish in 'Lychee' - £3.99 (NOTE- did not consume)

8.45pm - Dinner

BBQ chicken and bacon pizza 

I know, I know, this doesn't really scream FITBLOG but oh well. I ate with my sister when she got home from work. We each had 3 slices of this and the other 2 are earmarked for yet another leftover lunch.


Sugar ring donut

I know, I know - could I be any more of an unhealthyness cliche? My sister brought them home from work. In her own words "My colleagues were surprised I chose the ring donuts as they are not filled with anything, but all I could say was that they are filled with happiness". Fair enough.

I can't really say anything good about today's eats, but one day you will read a WIAW from me and it will be full of chia seeds and quinoa, and that day is unlikely to be during August as let's face it my birthday month containing 2 separate holidays was always a bit of a write off. I have NOTHING going on in September - no birthdays, no time off, no special events, nothing (apart from the fact I'm casually moving house and all but...) so during September I will be on the wagon big time, just in time for the new academic year!

See you on Friday for weekly summary goodness....


Friday, 9 August 2013

Weekly Summary #1

As I weigh in on Fridays I thought it might be a good day to do a summary of the last week and my progress on this day.

Well the past week has been a bad week for food - two takeaways and two meals out, none of which were particularly health conscious. I've found myself reaching for unhealthy snacks right left and centre and have pretty much eaten my weight in cheese. 

On the contrary, I have had a GREAT week for exercise, as Ellie Goulding likes to cheerfully remind me on the Nike app. I have literally stuck to running every other day and have MADE the time to do so, even when things have spontaneously come up:

As you can see, I have not ran far, or fast. But I don't mind, as I feel I am finally getting somewhere again, and next time I am ready to move on to 2.5 miles.

So the good week of exercise has been quite good damage control for the horrific week of food and when all was said and done I only gained 0.3lb.  I wouldn't say I'm happy with that figure but I'm certainly not disappointed given the burgers, ice cream, pizza, roast dinners, etc - I've been lucky.

This week is my holiday from work. I am spending the whole week at my parents' house but I am going to be out a LOT - there is a local folk festival which is a HUGE thing down here. So my challenge will be to try and eat healthily and keep up the running amongst all of the upheaval and shaking of routine. Not easy.

Next week I'd really love to see a loss as the week after is my birthday week! I don't want August to be a TOTAL write off.

To end this summary here is my favourite Pinterest pin of the week:

I don't know if that quote is at all genuine but it is so true. When I ran a 5k race I was doing something I previously thought impossible. And that is what will happen to me again when one day I run a 10k.

Much love and hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


Well all I've posted about recently is exercise so I thought I'd jump in and join in on What I Ate Wednesday so I could comment a little on food.
I've known subconsciously for a while my diet has not been great and has been a bit unbalanced. Writing this post has helped me to realise how bad this has gotten and how badly I need a shake-up... But anyhow here we go.

7.45am - breakfast
Golden Syrup Oat So Simple sachet, quarter pint of skimmed milk, topped up with boiling water

Cup of coffee with skimmed milk 

I am doing shorter hours at work at the moment so don't have to get up quite so early. Even so I don't think I've been getting enough sleep as I'm so tired in the mornings. 
This is the first day I've had porridge in ages as usually I've had yogurts for a few weeks.


Small skinny latte with sugar free caramel 

I was still so tired so grabbed more caffeine and sugar to fuel me as I started work.


Warburton sandwich thin

Weight Watchers Jaffa cake bar

I was STARVING by this point which was great as I'd made myself the world's smallest sandwich. After I ate this I was already hungry an hour later.

4.15pm - pre run snack 

130g Natural yogurt
30g Trail mix
Teaspoon of honey

I wanted a decent snack before my run as I was starving and it's not a good idea for me to run on an empty stomach (as I have learnt time and time again). This was nice (and actually healthy!). I might start having it for breakfast.

4.30pm- run
2.25 miles today. It didn't go terribly but I'd be lying if I said it was easy so I'm going to repeat this distance next time.

6.30pm - dinner

1/4 chicken
Chips with peri peri salt
Side salad
Halloumi cheese

Toffee ice cream

As you can see dinner was a veritable feast at Nando's. My second Nando's in as many days. God.


So what have I learnt from today?

1. I don't eat anywhere NEAR as much fruit and veg as I should be. Back when I was on Weight Watchers I'd always get my 5 a day but now I've barely had 1.
2. I am not managing my food well enough and am hungry at all the wrong times leading to over-eating at other times.
3. Running makes me hungry.
4. Ridiculously small sandwiches with unhealthy fillings do not a good lunch make.

Food for thought eh? Let's hope for a better WIAW next week!


Monday, 5 August 2013

5 new things about today's run

1. Dinosaur socks

I'm not a big 'socks' person due to my lifelong fear of wearing trousers (I really hate the way I look in trousers and nearly always wear a dress. Fact). (In my day to day life that is. Obviously I don't run in dresses). But I saw loads of cute socks £1.99 for 3 in Primark and I thought it might cheer me up when getting ready to exercise. It did!

2. Water bottle
Ever since my Grandad had to pick me up from running last week when I thought I was going to faint my family have been insistent that I always take water when running. I thought I would buy a bottle just for the purpose. Hot pink and easy to carry, it does the job it says on the tin.

3. Running in the pouring rain
To say my run today was during a heavy shower is an understatement; this rain was truly BIBLICAL, I was totally drenched, people with umbrellas were looking at me like I was mad. But you know, it wasn't all bad, it kept me cool and incentivised me to run a bit faster... I think I do need to get myself some wet weather running gear ready for autumn though!

4. Using an armband
I have an iPhone 4 and I use it for both GPS and music when I run (and emergency phone calls to grandparent to save me but there you go). Today as it was extremely heavy rain I didn't want to break my phone so whipped out a running armband to keep it dry. This worked fine but the only problem was it messed with my speed stats a bit as I couldn't easily pause the run when at traffic lights, but we live and learn.

5. Color run!

I've not been using the Nike app for that long so was thrilled to get to the 'orange' level today! I only ran 2 miles as I'm only taking it slow but now I'm at a higher level I feel more like a proper runner! I love the Nike app and will write about it at length soon.

After my worries that the pox had destroyed my running forever, I'm feeling back on track again and I'm within the routine of running every other day. I'm still going crazy short distances but my new philosophy is that every time it feels easy, the next run I increase 0.25 miles. It's going well so far. I just want to get back up to being easily able to knock out a 5k before my holiday so in September I can really get started on training for a 10k. 

The best thing is I'm loving it again, look forward to my runs and feel great about them afterwards. I never knew exercise could be something I enjoyed until I started running.

I know it feels like all I chat is running recently but I'm planning on starting joining in on #WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) so keep your eyes peeled for some food-type posts!