Tub on the Run


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Time out

I’ve taken some unintended time out recently.  I haven’t had much in the way of positive things to write about and I have wondered whether September just needs writing off altogether.  Better things are planned for October, that is for sure!

I’ve done a reasonable amount of wallowing, and true to form, my old habits and coping mechanisms have crept back in, stealth-like.  My diet in September has been pretty poor, but I have managed to get a little bit of exercise in.  It hasn’t been consistent, but it was there and I’ll take that little bit of good.  Kettlebells are actually quite therapeutic even though I walk like I’ve lost my horse for the following three days!  I’ve snuck a bit of yoga in too.

What I have spent more time doing recently is rebuilding my bank of inspiring people, including following new people on Twitter and Instagram, reading more and trying to consolidate where I am and where I need to go, and how I get there.  Having stalked followed many of these people over the last couple of weeks, I’ve realised that I’ve become so overwhelmed by the enormity of losing the weight or getting back in to exercise that I’ve lost sight of how to get there, and stopped taking it one step at a time.  Will doing or not doing something make my situation better in the longer term?  This is the question I have allowed to get lost in the fluff of overthought.  I’ve focused on the all-consuming goal rather than breaking stuff down in to manageable chunks.

So now it is time to chunk it up!

P.S – in other news, I have written my first ever guest post over on Paleo Demystified.  I was all silly excited when they asked me if I would like to put something together, and it’s even more exciting to see it up!


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Excuses, excuses.

This is a post I haven’t really wanted to write, and I will warn you now, this is not exactly my cheeriest of posts.

I have pulled out of Silverstone.  I tried to see if I could get a deferral, but unfortunately they don’t allow you to.

Why have I pulled out?

I could definitely blame the weather.  I’d love to blame the weather!  As I type, the winds are swirling around and the rain is beating against the windows, as we brace for the next storm.  No.  The weather hasn’t helped, but that isn’t the reason for my failure.  If only it was just the weather!  I’ve made a silly error with a couple of things really.

Firstly, I completely underestimated how far 13.1 miles is.  I know that sounds a bit daft, but I am used to driving that, not running it, and my concepts of time and distance are shocking.  I haven’t stuck closely enough to the plan to do the distance the justice that it deserves.  I’ve had a bad couple of runs since I twisted my ankle a few weeks back which hasn’t helped my confidence at all.  I get so frustrated that I cannot run solidly for longer than about 8 minutes at a time, and it all turns inwards and becomes a big negative poop storm.

Kind of linked in with that is my second point.  I am my own worst critic and I feel like I have failed at some things, and I am failing at others.  I have overfilled my plate and I desperately need to scale back some of this pressure I have (admittedly, by my own doing) dumped on my plate.  Wah wah… I know “people busier than you are running right now”.  Good for them I say!  I do feel a bit stupid saying this when I have it easy compared to others.  I don’t have children, physical health issues, family problems or anything else like that.  I work a full time job, have two cats, and a loving family.  What I also have is my black dog…

beans and buggle

Though I am not referring to Beany (she is the attempt at an anti-black dog).  When I am doing well, I take on longer term projects thinking that I won’t feel as low as I currently do again.  Inevitably, it always comes as a surprise when I get a bit of a bottle neck of projects all coming together at once and my depression and/or anxiety reappears with gusto, and my little world disintegrates somewhat.

What does this actually mean?

I am not giving up running.  Far from it.  For the most part I am proud of how far I have come, but I haven’t respected the distance I wanted to achieve, or in all honesty, myself.  I am going right back to basics for food and exercise.  All the way back to Couch to 5k.  Three runs a week, increasing in running each week until I can get back to 30 minutes solid running again.  A focus on time over mileage might be a helpful mental aid.  I am travelling in the middle of the week next week, so I will be starting that in week following.  I desperately want to enjoy running again without pressuring myself so hard.  Running helps (when I don’t feel pressured), as does yoga, so I do need to keep it up for my mental health as much as anything.

For food, I am not entirely sure what I want to do with that yet.  I have read a lot of good things about Whole 30 and 21 Day Sugar Detox recently, but I am not sure if my brain can handle getting the hang of the rules of paleo-esque diets right now.  While I am figuring all of this side out, I will just resolve to eat better food and try to get back into a proper routine of eating, which includes reintroducing breakfast into my life.  And sweet potatoes.  I have a real hankering for sweet potatoes.

Sorry it’ s been a bit of a doom and gloomer.  Normal service will resume at some point!


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My line in the sand

This week is flying by!  I had a reasonable weigh in – it was a line in the sand for me.  I weighed in at 16st 3lbs.  It was a 3lb gain.

Today, I weigh exactly the same as I did in the summer of 2008.  A real turning point for me was my little sister’s 21st birthday party.

tubontherun.wordpress.com 2008 16.3

I don’t remember now what exactly made me feel that I had to change, but there had been a few photos that I really began to notice how much weight I’d piled on.  The top that I was wearing in the picture didn’t fit nicely when it once had, but I couldn’t face going to buy a new top.  I probably knew I wouldn’t be able to find many nice clothes in a size it fit me.

It was at a time when I wasn’t too happy either.  I’d split up from my first proper boyfriend the year before, and had piled the weight on throughout 2007 – comfort food fed the emotion and did its best to mask how empty, worthless and lonely I felt.  I was living up north, with hardly any friends (most of my uni friends moved back home or went travelling), and I had cripplingly poor, exceptionally low self esteem.  I did have a job I loved though.  So, in June 2008, I vowed to make a concerted effort to blitz the blub.

The thought of going to a weight loss group did not inspire me (though ironically, it probably would have done me the world of good).  Instead, I researched Tesco Diets – their GI plan specifically.  I loved it – the food was great, I felt like I was always eating, I didn’t have the spikes and troughs in my energy levels, and my mood improved a lot.  The pounds also started to melt away.  To start off with, it was really easy.  I lived on my own, Tesco Diets provided a shopping list, I had no social life so I could spend my evenings cooking a huge variety of food.  When the company I worked for sadly went into administration, my job sank with it and I made the move back to my home – Devon.  Back in with my parents I moved, and within the month I had a new job to go to.  I got more active and started horse riding again.  I kept up with the diet and hit Christmas 2008 at 13 stone dead.  I’d lost 3 stone 3lbs.  I really began to feel attractive again.

Bruges 13 stone

I hated my job, but everything else was going really well.  I was enjoying being back home – somewhere where I was loved.  However, over the next 4 years, I added over a stone on to each year.  In those years, M and I got together (and I was welcomed into an additional family of perpetual fat fighters), I changed my role, I hit rock bottom in my job and mental state, I moved out of my parent’s house into our first flat (which was, and still is horrid), I lost my confidence with horse riding following a couple of bad incidents, and all manner of other things changed and I reverted back to being a binging comfort eater.

Two weeks before M proposed in March last year, I joined Slimming World.  I joined at 19st 1.5lbs.  My size 22 trousers were getting too tight, and I didn’t feel right in my own skin.  I felt and looked hideous, and my weight had started to affect all that I tried to do.  When my weight blinked on the screen,  I could have fallen off the scales (but for the fear of damaging myself and/or someone or something else).  My journey with Slimming World started off ok.  Then spent the next 9 months bimbling around and not really losing the weight.  I started 2013 on a high, with 10 consecutive weeks of losses.  Then I started bimbling again.

This is my line in the sand.  I can do the next three stone.  I did it before, and I can do it again.

From fatter to thinner

I’m in a much better place than I was then, so… Where did I put my running plan and food diary?!

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Some weight loss naval gazing

This is a fairly long post, and isn’t me really moaning so much as thinking out loud.  Writing it down helps me.  I am not seeking affirmation or words of sympathy at all.  This is a completely self-indulgent post.

I didn’t post a weigh in result yesterday.  I didn’t post because I don’t have one to report.  On Monday night, I decided to take holiday from Slimming World.  My consultant text me back in the morning to ask if everything was ok, was there anything she could do, will I be back?  All fairly pertinent questions.

To give some context, I took my measurements at the weekend, and saw 1 measly inch off my whole body.  I don’t know what the final weigh in result was, but I suspect it would have remained the same – no loss over the course of the month.

To say I am frustrated would be an understatement.

As I was surfing the blogosphere at the weekend, randomly clicking on other peoples’ blog rolls and twitter feeds, I happened across The Biggest London Loser.  She’d recently written this post, and I thought that perhaps I could look at that as part of some naval gazing and weight loss contemplation.

It was a great starting point.  Before I began writing everything down, I made the decision not to go to Slimming World this week, not to pressure myself into eating certain foods, and not to beat myself up if I didn’t eat something “Slimming World sanctioned” (my words, not theirs), or didn’t get out for a run.  I need a week out to look at the bigger things than just a number on a scale.

I’ve highlighted what I consider to be the pertinent issues of the whole thing – my two areas are food and my perception of myself (part of me is shouting “quelle surprise…”).  Exercise and my relationships with others stand roughly on par with each other and there are a couple of issues in there that I need to work on.  In respect of exercise, I think it’s fair to say that my expectations of myself are just too high sometimes and this breeds a level of frustration.  In turn, this feeds into one of the two biggies – “Me and Me”.  I have very negative self-talk, and feel like a failure much of the time.  What do I fail in?  Sometimes I feel the shorter list would be to ask in what I’ve succeeded in (and even then, I am inclined to post the success at someone else’s door).  My Couch to 5k success seems a long time ago, and I failed at my first 10k plan (I am being deliberately emotive in my language choice – it reflects how I feel).  I did decide though, that I feel happier when I am in control, and I think a key area for improvement has got to be limiting this negativity and adjusting my expectations (ultimately, I am 5.5 stone overweight right now, and there is no way I will be running 10 minute miles at Week 2 of a 10k plan; also, losing the weight won’t make me a better person, and there may be some things I don’t like about a slimmer me – loose skin being one point).

The other big issue surrounds food.  For me, food isn’t just fuel, but I need to shift my mindset to make it more so.  I fuel various emotions with food, and I do like eating out, despite being a good cook (and a good cooking team with M).  I have an “all or nothing” approach to my diet, and I need to move it more to a healthy balance.  I’m poor at mindful eating, and I have reservations over some things that Slimming World says (having found success following a low GI plan in the past with the science making a lot of sense to me, I am not sure that, for example, classing fruit as a superfree food sits quite right with me given the high sugar content, even if it is a natural sugar – I need to look into this more).

It’s a lot to get my head around, and I need to work on it.  There are a few things that I need to put in place to help me, like:

  1. Sorting our dining table out.  I prefer to eat at a table, rather than in front of the TV.
  2. Planning the week’s food and exercise.  What have I got on – what barriers am I facing this week?
  3. Having some low-syn snacks to hand.
  4. Set a “date night” with M – one where we cook for the other person and make a proper meal for two out of it.  Recipes could be anything!  They may or may not include dessert.  Frequency of “date night” to be confirmed with M.

And so, Tub, this concludes today’s missive.


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The cost of not dodging the doughnuts

The cost of failing to dodge doughnuts is a 2.5lb gain on the scales.  I keep thinking “yeah, well last week was an unusual week, I mean, I drank and everything” (I’m not tee total, but I don’t drink a lot).  So yeah, I’m licking my wounds a little bit and trying to stop feeling so annoyed with myself.

I know what I need to do.  Hell, you know what I need to do too, and rather than write about it (again) I’d just better get on and do it.

I opted for a self pitying day, which I shall call my rest day for this week.  Tomorrow is a run.  The weather is promising to be hideous tomorrow, so I’m quite looking forward to a run in the rain.  It means the pavements will be clear and free, and I can huff and wheeze and turn a lesser shade of beetroot all to myself.

I can’t think of anything that’s going to get too much in the way of me blasting that gain off, with the exception of a meal out on Friday.  It’s tapas, I’m poor, so it will be cheap on both the pocket and waistline (thankfully).  There will also be no alcohol as I am driving.  One thing I really do need to get back on top of is drinking enough.  I’ve had two cups of tea and half a glass of squash all day.  I don’t think that comes to a litre.


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Spray tan is catnip – who knew?!

I pushed the boundaries again today (I know… I’m such a rebel).  I deviated from my Hal Higdon plan (on Week 1 – rubbish!) and allocated today as a rest day so that I could do something bordering on girly.  I got a spray tan.  Now, what you may not know is that I am in fact nigh on albino, with a scary ability to reflect sunlight.  My legs require sunglasses to look at them.  In fact, much like the sun, you should never look directly at them.  We have a wedding to go to this weekend (M’s cousin’s), and I am getting the legs out in honour of the occasion.  I very rarely wear dresses, and thought that, in the interests of the health and safety of the wedding party, I really should do something with the colour of them (my legs, that is, not the wedding party).  My beauty therapist (and I use beauty in reference to me very very loosely, but therapist sounds… too… well… therapisty) has recently started doing Sienna spray tans.  I signed myself up for one, warning her that I did not want to:

  • Go Umpa Lumpa orange
  • Be a colour resembling mahogany
  • Impersonate someone off of The Only Way is Essex/Made In Chelsea/The Valleys (the UK equivalent of Jersey Shore) or something on Snog Marry Avoid

She said she wouldn’t let that happen.  Now, I cannot tell you how much I trust this woman – she has seen (and waxed) the unthinkable, and that’s just on me.  She has helped me get over my problem of letting other people see my skin (I suffer badly with acne, have had for a long time, and have far too many scars).  So when she said she wouldn’t let that happen, I went along with it.

umpa lumpa photo: umpa lumpa umpa-lumpa.jpg

The spraying experience was interesting, and I’m pretty sure some of the poses are there mainly to provide entertainment to the sprayer.  Anyway, job done, she warned me that the colour would need to stay on overnight, and was likely to get very dark (oh, and could I let her know in the morning if my armpits were still green, as it would appear the spray may have reacted with my deodorant…).  At least my nails are very pretty (she painted them before the tan).

The straw panel’s reaction:

  • Plenty of stares on the way back to the car (though that could be a chest bouncing thing, as I have been told I cannot have my straps up on my bra, lest I get the dreaded strap mark);
  • M looked, and then said “Oh, is that the lightest they do?  You’re a lot darker than I thought you’d be” (cue my whines of “I’m an Umpa Lumpa”)
  • The cat thinks I’m marvellous.  I must smell fantastic.  He’s sniffed all exposed skin, and I’m pretty sure he’d roll on me if I let him, just to coat himself in it all (good job he’s black).

My reaction?  It’s not good when the whites of your eyes stand out so starkly.  I am hoping praying that the colour will lessen after my morning shower.  If not, I shall be forced to exfoliate to within an inch of my life.  Oh, and I must remember to text Sarah whether my armpits are still green.

Back in normal coloured person’s land, my run yesterday went well, the strength session (read: yoga) not so much.  Midges are an issue I had not legislated for.  I have to admit I’m not much enjoying either a) holding my breath as I run through them, or b) swallowing them.  Sadly, I cannot see a way around it other than waving a citronella candle in front of me when I run.  That could be possible, as it isn’t like I run fast, so the candle could probably stay alight for the duration.  Anyway, I’m pleased with my effort.  Friday is meant to be a rest day, with Thursday having been a cross day, but I’m going to have to roll the Thursday session to Saturday, as I’m out tomorrow night with friends.

I’m off to bed now, to sleep through the trauma of my colour developing even more.  Le sigh.


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Abandoning “Laura”

I made the bold decision to leave Laura behind today.  Don’t worry, Laura isn’t my child or anything – she is the lady that speaks to you on the NHS Couch to 5k podcast.  I rebelled against the system, pushed the boundaries, and took my friends – Metallica, Fleetwood Mac, 3 Doors Down, Staind and Seether out for a 25 minute run.

I may have looked a little more strange than usual, lip syncing my way through my run, and I may also have experienced a small pang of guilt at abandoning Laura.  She has smugly stood by me while I dragged myself wheezing through the early stages – encouraged me, made sure I kept going.  Don’t worry though, all is not lost Laura, you’ll be back with me on Friday for Week 8, but I can’t promise that I won’t leave you at home on run 3 next week.

It was definitely an odd feeling, running on my own (but Tub, you run on your own all the time… I know!  But my imaginary friend always comes too!).  It was almost like when I drove the car for the first time without anyone with me, just after I passed my test, and then eventually tried driving with the radio on…

Post run, I was looking forward to my pasta bake.  Unfortunately it went a bit, well, charred black.  To add insult to injury, our oven now seems to be on the blink.  The thermostat light is still on, even when I’ve turned the oven off, and the stupid thing is still alight.  I’ve resorted to switching it off at the fuse box.  I needed a dead oven like I need a hole in the head right now, but off to internet shop for electric ovens I go.  Bummer.  Meanwhile… I may have to learn how to cook things (real food) in the microwave, and find some more slow cooker recipes while I’m at it.  Oooof.


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Mood Swing Saturday

I have been all over the place today.  Mentally that is, not physically.  I have spent a large proportion of the day feeling low and sorry for myself.  Annoyed at my complete lack of willpower exercised over my diet (far too much junk and/or chocolate), frustration and a little bit of despair at the wedding (from bridesmaid dress issues to wondering how the hell it’s all going to go together), to just feeling sorry for myself.  I suspect it is close to that time of the month.

I didn’t go out for a run last night, instead, going to one of my bridesmaid’s house for a chin wag and dress hunt on the internet (I have already bought my sister’s dress, but didn’t have the foresight to buy two dresses).  After half a bottle of wine and about 6 Maltesers, I left feeling quite deflated (not at all my friend’s fault, just my silly self-imposed expectations – I haven’t much been enjoying wedding planning.  A lot of things I thought I wanted to start off with, I now don’t, and it’s frustrating).   I thought I’d get out for my run this morning instead, but didn’t.  Even breakfast failed to rouse me from my self-pitying state.

I’d said I’d dog sit for my mum this afternoon.  In preparation, I nipped to Tesco to get some raspberries and grapes to munch on instead of chocolate.  As soon as I exited Tesco, the heavens opened and I got soaked on the walk to my car.  Grr.  As I hurrumphed down into the sofa at mum’s house, I gave thought to what might cheer me up.  I decided that there is nothing like Spartacus to lift the spirits, and opted for Gods of the Arena.  It worked for a bit.  Dog was no trouble, and I left shortly after mum came home.

What’s not to love?! Source – spartacus.wikia.com

Tea was pretty tasty – we attempted a Lancashire hotpot (bung some cubed lamb with a whole packet of root veg and baby potatoes in with a stock cube, passata, a splash of Worcestershire sauce and a little bit of water into a slow cooker and cook for 8 hours).  When I’d let my tea go down, I got ready to head out.

I started my Week 7 of couch to 5k, a 25 minute run.  I’d somehow managed to lace my right shoe too tight, and had to stop to loosen it.  I paused my Garmin while I retied my shoe, then set off again.  25 minutes later, I looked down at my wrist and confused myself – I’d run 0km in 5:49mins.  D’oh!  I forgot to press start again.  Humph.  Anyway, according to Mapometer, I ran for just over 3k, which gives me a rough 5k time of 41 minutes (according to my sketchy maths).  I felt pretty good when I got back, and was looking forward to my porridge, following the recipe (kind of) from Peanut Butter Fingers.

Tasty porridge, peanut butter and raspberries

Tasty porridge, peanut butter and raspberries

How could peanut butter taste right in porridge?  They don’t naturally go hand in hand.  Well, I can confirm that it works!  The texture is a little strange, but not bad strange, just unusual (but then putting peanut butter in porridge and eating it cold is a bit strange n’est pas?).  Anyway, I’m sold on it so I shall be adding that in to my food repetoire going forward.  I probably won’t make so much though, as it was very filling.

Finally, to bring my mood back down, one of my stupid cats started playing up, which involved some regurgitation (him, not me) – his alleycat winnings from our bin.  I may change his name to Stig (of the Dump).

Here’s hoping for an improvement tomorrow.


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My name is Tub, and I’m an addict…

The bloody chocolate biscuits!!  They snuck out of the cupboard, scaled my desk, unwrapped themselves, and stuffed themselves in my mouth.  It was completely mindless.  I couldn’t even tell you how many I ate.  Ridiculous.

English: Peanut butter cookie with a chocolate...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That means that I worked extra hard at spinning tonight.  I really pushed myself, and I felt good for it.  Next week, for Comic Relief, we are meant to turn up in “tight and bright”.  I’m not sure if I want to wear any tighter than I already do, and I have to admit, the thought of crotch or butt crack sweat puts me off wearing anything but my normal black leggings.  I shall see if I can source a bright headband, t-shirt and other stuff so that I am at least bright (ish).

During my lunch break, I like to read other people’s blogs, and I have stumbled upon two recipes that I really want to try at some point soon.  The first is from Hayley at howtomakelifebetter (recipe is here).  I can’t express my love of cheese scones enough.  My gran is an excellent baker, and makes the most divine cheese scones – just the right amount of pepper, cheese and stodge.  If I can make a syn free version, I will definitely be a happy loser.

I also have a strong fondness for porridge, peanut butter, and grated apple.  My second discovery was in the form of Peanut Butter Oatmeal from Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers.  Rather than having this as breakfast though, I’m thinking it could be a pretty good post-exercise food – slow release carbs, calcium and protein.  I’m not entirely sure what chia seeds are, but I’m guessing that as long as the oats have long enough to soak, they should be fine.

Anyway, I have a long day tomorrow and my first run of Week 7, so I’m off to dream of cheese scones and peanut butter porridge… night all!


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Tub doesn’t do mornings

I missed my usual run last night.  Every month, a bunch of us from work try to go out for a meal.  Sadly, the ringleader had a fairly shocking time following an operation last summer, so we hadn’t actually been out for a long time (opening ceremony of the Olympics, thinking about it).  Anyway, we managed to go out, but this annoyingly interfered with my run.  I had planned to go out when I got home (we weren’t out for long), but then my tummy started doing weird things, so I thought better of the run.  No one likes a Windy Tub moment.

Instead, I vowed to go out this morning.  The alarm went off at 8am, I hit snooze a couple of times, then dragged my ass out of bed and into my running stuff.

It didn’t go quite as well as I expected.  I had expected, having run for 20 minutes, to find this much easier.  Wrong Tub.  Wrong.  It was REALLY hard work – my legs felt like lead, running through treacle.  Top that off with daylight in which people saw my beetroot-ness.  This was not a Tub High Point.  I didn’t even feel good when I came back for my breakfast (which was a “healthy” fry up – all syn free).

Consequently, that has put me in a bit of a low mood, as it is measure day and photo day this week, and I really don’t feel thinner, and I’m definitely not much lighter than when I entered February.  Bah!

In good news though, it seems that M and I are doing quite well on the budget for the wedding, despite me adding another bridesmaid into the mix.