Tub on the Run


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Settling in to 2018

Hello hello! Yes, I know – I’ve managed to blog twice within 10 days, which is already a vast improvement on my 2017 attempts!  Hurrah!  I’ve been thinking about what it is that I enjoy, and I remain firmly in the enjoying blogging and reading blogs camp, so clearly need to do more of it.

So looking at the last week, I think I’m building the foundations of a good year.  New Year’s Day was spent with my mum and sister, and involved a walk down the beach. It was nice – cold, but nice to blow out the cobwebs (and try and reduce the impact that my Mini Cheddar consumption may have had). After the beach, Matt and I headed home to start thinking about getting ready for work on Tuesday.  Matt wasn’t actually back at work until Thursday, but for my sins, I was back on Tuesday.

I did not sleep well on Monday night, and zombied my way through Tuesday. It wasn’t quite the start of the year I was hoping for, but I did have a good day for the most part. I even tried to sneak in my actual lunch break (I’m terrible at taking a proper lunch break). The rest of the week passed by uneventfully, and ended with me attending a yoga course on Friday.

While I’ve not made any New Year’s resolutions (I think impending job change and the required reining in of spending covers a couple of bases), I do need to look at reducing my weight. Still. I thought about doing another Whole 30, but I decided to take the pressure off the start of the year.  I have also given some thought about what I want from a weight-loss group.  I’ve been to this yoga studio a few times for their yoga nidra classes, which I love, and when I found out that there was a weight loss course being run by the same lady, I signed up. I’ll perhaps do a blog on this another day and go into a bit more detail, but safe to say, I really enjoyed it, and think the group is going to be wonderfully supportive.

Ahead of the weekend, Matt and I agreed that it would be good to have a quiet weekend, one where we could regroup and not put pressure on doing anything and everything. On Saturday, I needed to pop out to get some more yarn for my temperature blanket.  Matt came with me, and we made a walk of it, coming the scenic way home.

When we came home, I settled down and started working on my project, only to be joined by Timo. He isn’t the most helpful of “supervisors” when you’re trying to join a long line of squares.

Knowing that fresh air is good for my mental health, we went for a walk around Killerton today. A long lie in, some faffing and a couple of episodes of The West Wing later, and we made it out in time for a late lunch.  Bellies full of leek and potato soup, and a cake for good measure, and we headed out for a wander around the Acland Walk.

It was nice to get out with the camera and take some pictures as the sun set. What I hadn’t accounted for was how cold it was! I feel like my ears will fall off and my legs will never be warm again. Time for a cup of tea!

How was your first week back? What’s the weather like in your part of the world?

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It’s been a while (again)

So I am currently sat in a hospitality tent at Brands Hatch (tent isn’t really a fancy enough word. Is marquee a posher tent?), and for the first time in ages I actually have some capacity to write! I apologise if it comes out a but skew whiff as I am writing on my phone.

Yeah sure, I could be outside, walking about with Matt who is currently off photographing the Porsche 919 Hybrid which is making some sort of track debut, but I’m parked at a cafe style part of the tent/marquee with a diet coke, pick n mix and a water. And it’s quite lovely. 
These last few months have been really trying. Mostly it is work related. I’ve debated about what to post about all of this but I think it is just safest to say that it isn’t the team that I used to love working in any more. It’s changed and for me, has really taken its toll on my mental health. I have ended up in a really dark place but now feel like I am coming out the other side. 
The point of my ramblings? As much as anything, I just wanted to check in. I miss writing but my head hasn’t been in a place to write at all. I also wanted to share a couple of the things that I have been trying to practice over the last few months to get out of my funk: 

  1. Realising that my self-worth is not intrinsically linked to my job. This has been a tough one and one that I haven’t really mastered yet. Doing well in my job has always been a validation of how good I am. I don’t have the highest self-esteem at the best of times and doing well at work has always been a crutch. So what if I don’t have a social life? I am kicking ass at work. Dont feel like I’m a good person? That’s ok because work thinks I’m pretty great. Then, work isn’t going as well, I am not top of the class and suddenly I have no other validation. But that doesn’t make me a bad person. It doesn’t make me unworthy of anything. It’s tough to remember that sometimes though. 
  2. Focus on the good people. I have a wonderful family, who have supported me so much through all of this, whether it has been just letting me talk about the same old crap, time and time again, or corralling me out into the fresh air, or just giving me space when I have needed it, they have been the rocks of my world. Conversley, this time has definitely showed up a couple of false friends during this time, which has been painful and tough. 
  3. Wallow, but not for too long. I have wallowed. Good God have I wallowed. And sometimes I have really needed to do that, and not just shove things down and carry on. But at some point, I had to realise that in constantly wallowing, I am always the victim of my story. It has taken me a while to commit to a course of action, but I have. 
  4. Get outside. I feel better when I have moved from my sofa, got dressed and made it out of the house. Even if it is just walking the 10 minutes to Tesco and back. As it turns out, I have discovered a new part of Killerton with my mum, sister and Matt and had fun doing it. Matt and I had a lovely wander around Knightshayes garden. I’ve enjoyed a lovely lunch out with my parents-in-law, and Gatcombe was soggy but enjoyable. I’ve been to a few home games for Exeter Chiefs and thoroughly enjoyed myself (and they’re doing pretty well!).

I really do hope to post things that are a little more upbeat soon, and also get back into some sort of regular posting schedule. 
Enough of my blathering, what’s new with you? 


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Whole 30 Days 22 to 24: Up, up and away

Since my last post, my Whole 30 goodness has really started to come in to its own (at last!). A couple of irritating breakouts aside, the summary is – I’m feeling great! For me, ignoring the grumps and grottiness from earlier in my Whole 30, this is what it’s all about.

Day 22

Breakfast: Didn’t have any

Lunch: Prawn stir fry

Tea: Chicken in tomato sauce with sweet potato

How I’m feeling: I feel really good! I had the day off today by myself as I was owed holiday from last year. I had quite a relaxed start, made a cup of tea but didn’t really feel like having any breakfast. Despite being technically on holiday, I had some work that I needed to do so cracked on with that, interspersed with doing the washing. By lunchtime I was quite hungry so I made prawn stir fry which was really lovely. It did use the last of my cashew butter though (sad times). I definitely want to cook something with chillies in it soon as I am missing some heat in my food.

Prawn Stir Fry

As I came towards the end of my work and the laundry pile, I remembered that Matt said he needed some chopped tomatoes and passata for the sauce for tea, so I decided to go out for a walk. Instead of heading straight to Tesco, I went the long way, before deciding the go past Tesco and walk to the bottom of town to Aldi. I bloody love Aldi. I’d not really shopped there before December but I’m a convert. I don’t think you can taste the difference either!

Leat Walk

I got home and set about doing some washing up, clearing the surfaces down and also sorting out the cat litter (the joys!). All in all, it’s been a good day. I’ve had plenty of energy (so I haven’t spent the whole day sat on my bum as I probably would have done two weeks ago) and I’ve been quite productive. When Matt came home, we had tea and settled in to watch Legend.

Day 23

Breakfast: Two poached eggs and some thick cut ham

Lunch: Chicken in tomato sauce with veggie couscous

Tea: Steak with sweet potatoes, onion and carrot noodles

How I’m feeling: My lack of planning is getting the better of my breakfast. I ended up eating from the canteen this morning. It’s been another pretty good day. I’ve had a good level of energy, my skin is beginning to clear a bit after a breakout last week and I’m doing well on the concentration front. I’ve also had more ideas for blog posts than I have had for ages, which I think is a combination of Whole 30 concentration and focus courtesy of my new Life Planner from Lollipop Designs x Blogtacular which is all kinds of awesome. I’ve spent a lot of the evening filling the diary up with my life and whatnot. I am not a great blogger in that I don’t plan posts very much. I think this is why I end up going AWOL for a bit, as I struggle to think of things to blog about if I leave it too long. I’m going to give the planning thing a go, based on what I already know is going on in my life. I feel like I am winning.

Day 24

Breakfast: Pistachio nuts

Lunch: Marks and Spencer’s egg and new potato salad

Tea: Piri piri steak hache with onion and sweet potatoes

How I’m feeling: I was unprepared for breakfast or lunch today.  Big oops.  A combination of lack of sleep, unpreparedness for breakfast and lunch and a couple of dull meetings has been no fun. I don’t even know why I was so late to bed which makes it more annoying. Despite being tired, I don’t actually feel too bad (just not as good as I have done for the last couple of days). Early to bed for me tonight! On the plus side for food preparation, my HUGE Muscle Food delivery arrived today. It was almost too heavy to carry, and I could feel the bottom of the box bulging as I was carrying it, so the first thing I did when I got back to my desk was re-tape the seams.

Muscle Food

I have some batch cooking to get on with – first up is pulled pork as we haven’t had that in absolutely ages. We’ll also be having Cincinnati chilli and meatloaf (all made Whole 30 if they’re not originally paleo). I’m not entirely sure what I am going to do with the chicken. Quite possibly I think Fiona’s green chicken might feature, and I might attempt a curry. I’m not sure what sort of curry yet though.

So, after what has felt like a really slow start to my Whole 30 round 3, I’m onto a winner now.

Fancy catching up with the rest of my Whole 30 so far? Here you go:

 


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My stress management plan

Having given weight gain versus weight loss some thought lately, I am perhaps a little late to the party in realising that generally I fail to cope on a personal level with stress. Professionally, I thrive off of it. Personally though, it is a precursor or trigger to weight gain.

Stress itself has long been linked to weight gain, and in my case, it is probably a key time when my inability to cope in a healthy way shows itself. When Matt and I lived at the flat, during times of stress (my stress) we would eat takeaway most nights and over eat. Obviously this is one of those cycles where sugar highs and lows exacerbate the stress.

As I stand on the edge of a potentially stressful run up to Christmas because of a project at work, I recognise that my go-to strategy of stuffing my face with whatever junk food I can find isn’t going to stack up this time.

Managing Stress

Instead of reaching for the Dominos, I am going to try some new things in the hope of starting 2016 lighter than I currently stand.

  • Breathe

One of the things I realised when I attended the yoga workshop in early October was how shallow my normal breathing is.  During the workshop, after around half an hour of breathing deeply and fully, I was really surprised to find myself bordering on short of breath when that part of the workshop was over.  Focusing on a solid and slow 5 in, 5 out, for as long as it takes for stress masquerading as cravings to subside will helpfully ground me better.

  • Read

While I am not as avid a reader as my sister or mum, I do enjoy a good book. It is something I’ve stopped doing lately, but reading does help to distract me. I have started reading blogs again, which is nice, but some non-screen reading will also be good to help wind down.

  • Go for a walk (or run, or something, just outside)

My average step count is around 5,000 per day, which isn’t that brilliant. But more importantly, a quick walk around the block in an evening after a mentally hard day will help me to sleep better – fresh air always helps.

  • Do some colouring in or sewing

I am quite poor at leaving work at work. I always have been I think. When I’m stressed, my anxiety raises its head too, so doing something that means I need to concentrate on something else that is distinctly different should help. I have at least one cross stitch on the go, and several more to do, so running out of them shouldn’t be an issue.

  • Eat well and drink

Of course, by “eat well” I don’t mean “eat indulgently” as I have done in the past. It will be about carrying on getting my vegetables in, and making sure I am meal planning. In eating properly, I’m hoping that my sugar highs and lows won’t fuel the stress even more.

Good in plan, and hopefully better in practice!

How do you manage your stress?