Tub on the Run


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Whole 30 Eve and Janathon Day 4

It’s T-1 for my second Whole 30 now.  That meant it was time to get the measurements – circumferences and weight.  It’s pretty miserable reading to be honest.  No good wallowing and throwing myself a pity party, things needed doing and Janathon needed completing.

For Janathon today, it was house clearing, including walking up and down three flights of stairs with heavy loads several times, and dashing, fully laden, into charity shops to declutter.  I think clutter breeds in our house.  Another sweat broke out, and that was before we went to Sainsbury’s in a mad dash to get something for lunch and top up with veggies for the week ahead.  I feel that my sitting down to blog has been well earned!

As my Whole 30 looms tomorrow, I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain why I want to go through 30 days of strict paleo style eating.  For those who aren’t sure what Whole 30 is, essentially it is stripping out all refined sugars, processed foods, legumes, grains and dairy for 30 days.  You’d think that wouldn’t leave you with much to eat, but actually it isn’t as hard as it sounds.

My reasons for doing another Whole 30 aren’t massively dissimilar to my first go at it – the control over my sugar cravings features high, and weight loss would be nice.  I just feel like my diet and spending on my food has got completely out of control and I have lost the off switch.

Anyway, my “before” photo has been taken, so let’s see what 30 days later looks like!

Whole 30 Day Minus 1  Tub on the Run

Does clutter breed in your house too, or are you good at keeping on top of it all?  I am not good at putting things away, which I don’t think helps.


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New yoga leggings see the light of day!

It has been a relatively quiet day in the Tub household today.  I slept better and woke feeling a bit more rested which is good.  Otherwise it’s been a day of general pottering.

I cracked out my new yoga leggings for an hour of yoga this evening.  They’re so comfortable, and more importantly, don’t fall down!

Fractal 9 Leggings Janathon 2

As with most things lately, I haven’t been good at keeping up any kind of regular yoga practice, so I decided to complete video #1 of the Ekhart Yoga beginner programme.  I really like Andrew Wrenn’s style of teaching/instruction – I don’t find it pushy or patronising as I think some other well know yogis can be.  The first video of the programme is free.  I’m debating whether to pay for the downloads for the other videos, but I think I’ll be doing this particular video a few more times until my wrists stop screaming at me and my hamstrings decide that flexibility is the way to go.

I’ll also be dusting off this video to help with my wrists:

Now it is tea time.

What are you having for tea?  I have a Thai green curry.


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Getting set for next week

I go back to work next week.  I have to admit, it has been really great to have the time away from work knowing that nothing else is going on at all while I am not there (the factory is on Christmas shutdown).  Today has been largely about getting myself all sorted for our Whole 30, which starts on Monday.  I am also attempting to catch up on the laundry, though that seems like a never ending task.

But first… a bed update!  Sadly I didn’t sleep brilliantly.  I don’t think my body could quite understand the whole lying flat thing instead of having a dip where my bum lived.  Despite that, I managed to oversleep and ended up running late for my Janathon activity.  Getting up on Monday in the dark is going to be a struggle I think!

Janathon Day 2 was brought to you by a beautiful winter morning by the seaside.

Janathon Day 2

Mum, my sister and I went for a walk down the beach.  My sister has been keen to get me back on the Couch to 5k plan.  Unfortunately as a result of eating whatever I want, in the quantity that I want and doing virtually no exercise, I am physically beginning to pay the price.  We compromised with following the Couch to 5k and walking faster in the running bits.  Mum’s pedometer said we had done 3,500 steps.  I’m quite pleased with that, despite coming home a bit sore in my back, hips and ankles.  My sister goes home today, so I’ll be facing Janathon Day 3 on my own.

The rest of the day has involved filling the house with amazing smells as I have batch cooked away like a trooper.  We will have 16 evening meals when everything is done.

Whole 30 Meal Prep

On that thought, I should probably go and rescue the meatloaf!

Are you back at work now, or are you back on Monday?


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My single New Year’s resolution

For a change, instead of setting several New Year’s resolutions for 2015, I have decided to set only one.  That one is to learn to cope with stress better.

I don’t know what has changed so much this year, but my ability to cope with stress has been poor at best, and destructive at worst.  I’ve ballooned to my heaviest weight, and my go-to coping mechanism has been to eat sugary foods in excess.

This is going to be a little bit of trial and error while I try to work out what works and what doesn’t, but exercise, working my contracted hours and keeping a journal will be good starting points, and are all things that have helped in the past.

My theory is that getting the stress under control and back to a healthy level will help everything else fall in to place.  Or at least won’t make it seem as daunting!

Do you set New Year’s resolutions?  What do you do to manage stress?


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Janathon anyone?

An email landed in my inbox this morning to say that Janathon is 5 years old in 2015.  Janathon being the annual event where you exercise and blog every day.  In January.  Janathon.

I did reasonably well in Janathon last year until the final push, and I actually look back on my new year of 2014 rather fondly, despite the truly atrocious weather that we had.  I got to grips with my yoga, and running was going reasonably well too.

This has got me thinking… Shall I sign up again?  I appear to have better Janathon success over Juneathons (the summer equivalent), and it would tie in nicely with my intended gym return.  Not only would the exercise help, but I haven’t been blogging too much lately.  It isn’t for a lack of things going on either (and I promise I will get to blogging about them soon).  Janathon might be the injection I need into writing AND exercising again.  There is really only one truly difficult bit, and that is keeping momentum.  I also struggle to keep up with my blog reading during this time.  Things are easier now that you can tweet or Facebook about your activities though.  Janathon is still a thought, but quite possible.

One thing I am not signing up for though is Jantastic.  I think it’s a really good idea, especially if you’re running properly (i.e. regularly) now, and I like the idea of a team, but I felt bad letting my team down when I petered out.

Are you a Janathoner or a Jantastic (or both)?


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Ultimate Coffee Date – December

Ultimate Coffee Date is hosted by Jill Conyers, Grab your kicks, and Fitness Mom Wine Country, and takes place on the first Saturday of each month.  Some of the blogs that I have added into my reader have come courtesy of link ups, and think they’re a great way to get introduced to new people.  The point of the Ultimate Coffee Date is to take 5 minutes once a month for a bit of a catch up.

I’ve been a bit slack on the blogging front this month, so I think a catch up is overdue!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that if I had to move out of the country, Belgium is still my top place to move to.  It is such a beautiful country and the people are very friendly.  Mum and I went over for the Christmas markets last weekend.  I will do a full blog post on our trip shortly.  Surprisingly, I didn’t stuff myself full of Belgian chocolate, waffles or crepes, but I did manage to knock one of my #30before30 items off the list.

SAMSUNG CSC

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am struggling with my work/life balance.  That might have been a bit obvious because of a lack of blog posts, but I am probably struggling the most that I have done in a while.  We’re going through our first major project at work since I took my new role on last year, and I won’t lie, I’m feeling an immense amount of pressure.  Looking back over the last year, I think I have been particularly poor at achieving balance and maintaining my physical and mental health.  I can see that I need to focus on this more.

(Source)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that me, Matt and my sister went ghost hunting this month.  I am the resident sceptic.  Every Thursday is “Ghosts on Really” (the TV channel) and is a regular fixture of our week.  Matt has been into supernatural type things for a very long time, and I’m open minded about it.  We headed off to Fulford House, met Francis Fulford, and then went off ghost hunting, organised by a small company called Haunted Happenings.  It was an interesting evening, and I won’t say that I am a converted believer, but there are some things that I can’t work out a logical explanation for.

On the thought of scary happenings, if we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a rather disturbing call from a researcher at Sport England.  The caller themselves weren’t scary, and most of their questions weren’t, but there was a segment that made me think hard.  It started off quite innocuously – age, gender, height, profession, education.  All things I am comfortable with.  What is my weight?  Ha! No.  I declined to answer that one (somehow tell you on the internet is not as bad as tell a complete stranger on the phone!). Next up: how many times in the last week have you walked briskly for more than 10 minutes?  I thought hard.  I was sad and slightly concerned to say “not once”.  In the previous 7 days, I hadn’t walked continuously for 10 minutes at all, let alone briskly.  How bad is that!  There was a question about whether I had cycled.  No.  I don’t really like cycling.  How many portions of fruit had I eaten in the last day?  None.  I like to think though that I redeemed myself on the next question – how many portions of veggies had I eaten in the last day?  I’d obviously had something that was veg heavy and I could answer 7.  I think it was part due to a salad at lunch.

So, because of work commitments, it hasn’t been my most interesting of months.

How about you?  What’s new with you?


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Scoring a B+ this week

Now, I’m not quite “all over it”, but I’ve done pretty well this week I think.  Headline news is that I am 4lbs down on my weigh in last week, which is really great.  It’s not been the strictest of weeks, but it’s a dramatic improvement on the weeks that have gone before.  Anyway, we have a #TransformationTuesday in the making…

Transformation Tuesday in the making

Ignore the lovely face – it was very bright out on our walk today, and I should have remembered my sunglasses.  I am hoping that in a month or so I will be able to post another picture with some noticeable progress.  Every journey starts somewhere right?!

How has this week been different?

Food wise, we haven’t really planned too much.  Luckily there have still been a couple of frozen meals from a batch cooking marathon I did a couple of weeks ago.  A quick nip to Tesco to get some fresh veggies and milk, and we were away!  One day I was incredibly late home, so we ordered takeaway, but other than that, we’ve been sensible.  Breakfast has consisted of porridge, lunch has been soup or leftovers, and teas have been mostly freezer food.  We’re actually beginning to use up some of the stuff in the cupboard that we’ve had for ages.

Favourite food thing this week: Stur squash.  Beki, who blogs over at Miss Wheezy, wrote a post about Stur this week.  They are doing free samples, so I thought I would give it a go, especially as I saw they have a peach iced tea flavour.  My sample arrived really quickly, and it tastes exactly how I expected it to!  Win!

http://instagram.com/p/uS-Hgrn1La/

Ooh.. I lied a bit.  I have two favourite things – the second is Christmas pudding Nakd bars!  They’re… well… Christmas puddingy without the calories of a Christmas pud!

http://instagram.com/p/uJQHFln1AC/

Next up – exercise!  I have a plan, and that plan has worked quite nicely this week.  Of the 7 days, I completed 5, which I think is a good start.  For the runs, I haven’t actually run as I don’t want to kill my knees off, so I’ve walked the distances.  Matt joined me for kettlebells at the start of the week, and also came out on my long “run” today.  I don’t think he’ll be joining me for kettlebells again – he doesn’t quite get that feeling of joy that I get from lobbing weights around.  It’s probably not helped by a muscle twinge that he has been having in his shoulder either.

I’ve struggled a bit with yoga too.  My wrist strength is noticeably poorer than it has been in the past, which makes any poses like downward dog, or even cat/cows intense.  I can’t hold the poses for too long.  I always thought that this was a problem only I really experienced (again, I don’t think the weight helps), but it seems I am not alone, and Ekhart Yoga have even posted a video to help build that strength.

I’m hoping that over the coming weeks and months, completing this video regularly will help me to progress more comfortably in my yoga.

Favourite exercise this week:  My walk with Matt today.  It was nice to get out in the fresh air, and he got to play with his camera too.  Win all round!

Sunday walks

Next week, I’m hoping to have eaten a little more into the cupboards and freezer, and then next weekend batch cook a few more meals and also make some soups.  Exercise wise, I plan to start some gentle (read: super slow) running.

How has your week been?

 

 


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Autumn plans

Autumn Background

I have plans!  This is a 100% improvement on my bimble through the summer months, but this time, I have something to aim for – the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k on 7th December 2014.

In honour of being ready to beat my PB that I set last year, I have made my beeline for Hal Higdon’s website, specifically the Novice 10k plan.  It’s an 8 week plan designed to get you from barely runner to 10k competent.  I’ve combined this with a yoga plan and the reintroduction of kettlebells.  Behold… the plan….

The plan!

I really like the three runs per week, the variety, and the rest.  I’m not good with plans that have more than three days of running, I get bored.  However, I’ve synced this to my diary and moved some workouts around as I need to, but I’ve decided that this is an entirely achievable plan.

Yesterday being Week 1 Day 1, I moved the coffee table out of the way in the living room, plugged my ipod into the stereo, donned my Too Fat to Run vest top and started lobbing a kettlebell about.  Matt had said that he wanted to try kettlebells with me, a decision that I think he might be quietly regretting now.  I’m not sure how long we worked out for, but it was long enough for the Med veg to roast.  Anyway, Russian twists and static lunges didn’t kill me off so…

Monday done

Gold star and a smiley face for me!  Shortly followed by tea.

Today’s activity is a two and a half mile run.  I haven’t run for ages, so it’ll be a walk interspersed with some slightly quicker lumbering.  I don’t want to take it too quickly as I have had some knee twinges lately, which I suspect are due to my weight, so I don’t want to risk injury.

Do you work out or run with a plan?

 


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The joy of Timehop

I’ve only recently got on the Timehop wagon, and I’ve found it quite amusing to see what random drivel I have posted to various social media accounts over the last few years.  Actually, some of it is quite terrifying.  I had to smile when this one popped up this morning:

Timehop Commando Challenge

About 6 months before, in roughly March/April 2010, I thought that 10k wasn’t too far.  And I thought that an obstacle course sounded fun.  Combining these, I also thought it would be a great idea to rope my manager and work friend into doing it.  After all, it was for charity.  So we entered the Commando Challenge.  This was a long, long time before I’d heard of Spartan races or Tough Mudders.  The Commando Challenge is made up of approximately 3 miles of the Royal Marine’s commando course, sandwiched between two 1.5 mile runs.

In typical Tub style, I was overenthusiastic to start off with, went hell for leather on a training plan, got bored, wandered back to the sofa and waited for the event to come around, hoping all the while that someone other than me would pull out.  My manager had the sense to do so, but with a steep entry fee and a stubborn work friend, I didn’t get the chance to drop out, and she roped her sister into making our team up to 3 (you needed a minimum number of 3 in a team, and you couldn’t enter on an individual basis).

I was up bright and early, and was welcomed by a cool and bright autumn morning.  Matt and I drove and parked up at Bicton Arena where everything started and finished.  My team mates joined us and we went to pay our sponsorship money in and retrieve our number.  After a brief warm up, we were off.

I couldn’t run very far, and found the hilly terrain hard going.  I know the area well, so I’m not sure why I was surprised at how hard it was.

Learning point: wear proper running shoes (you’ll regret it later if you don’t!).

Then came the obstacle course.  I’d always wondered why marines are so short.  Most that I had ever come across were shorter than me (at 5 ft 8).  As I crawled through the smartie tubes (corrugated metal tubes that are covered with soil), it became very clear why – I struggled getting through them, so anyone taller definitely would have had issues.

Learning point: wear knee pads.

Next up was “Peter’s Pool”.  I have no idea why the pool is named after Peter, or who Peter is, but I could only deduce that maybe he was overly fond of ice baths.  This was a wade through waist deep cold water.  While it was refreshing for a moment, coming out of the other side was just plain mean – frozen legs trying to run up a loose gravel hill.  Peters Pool was followed by the Sheep Dip.  Two marines standing in the water, one of either side of a low concrete bridge – one to push you under, one to pull you through.

Sheep Dip Collage

Learning point: wear trousers that will stay up, or have a strategically placed marine in the event of a photo opportunity. 

Slipping uphill

I remember slipping and sliding up the bog, a couple more tunnels and a mud slide before being released back on to the road for the final 3k slog back to base and over the finish line.  The last kilometre was painful for my knees and even worse in my hips and I did think at one point that I was going to have to call for someone to tow me over the line!

Learning Point: Smile at photographers – don’t bare your teeth…

Home straight

I was so glad to get to the end.  I was last back from our team, coming in at just over 2 and a half hours.  I could almost die when I remember the time it took!  This is why I rarely refer to it as my first 10k, as I don’t think that 2 and a half hours counts as a run.

Finished

I was so relieved to get home!  It took me four long showers to get all the mud and foliage out.  I then proceeded to sleep for the rest of the afternoon!  It was at this point that I decided “never again”.  I no longer get swept up in tales of Tough Mudders or Spartan challenges when I see glowing reviews on blogs or Twitter.  I’m glad I completed it, but I have no desire to do it ever again.

Obstacle races – yay or nay?


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Feeling brighter and breaking tasks down

In my last post, I talked about chunking it all up – one step at a time to achieve the bigger picture.  I’ve had to think about what my goals are again, and it really boils down to achieving a 100lbs weight loss .  That will put me at 162lbs (11 and a half stone in old money).  I don’t actually know if 162lbs is right for me, but I will decided nearer that point where I want to go with it.

One of the things I have started to add in to my little arsenal of inspiration and motivation is the Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Editions.  There is also One Year to Save My Life.  Trashy TV?  Kind of!  Realistically something I could do in those timescales?  Probably not so much.  I couldn’t give up work for 3 months for a start and I doubt that Chris Powell would come and live with me to kick my ass for free.  But, motivational?  Absolutely!  Of the things I am learning is that cardio isn’t king, but that intervals, cardio and weights seem to be a much more effective strategy.

So in honour of chunking exercise down, there is a plan.  The plan isn’t something to be terrified or overwhelmed by, which is how I have viewed it in the past, but something to help me.  There is a plan which spans a long time, and I know that constantly looking at that will result in wide rabbit-in-headlights eyes.  It’s time to crack out the Believe I Am planner that I bought last year.  I’ve got a master spreadsheet (because I am just so cool) which looks at the wider picture, which I have put reward intervals on.

However, we all know that abs aren’t made in the gym (though truth be told, I’m not too worried about seeing my abs).  Meal planning means getting back to the batch cooking and asking myself the “will this help or hinder me?” question on a regular basis.  I will also be reacquainting myself with the “am I hungry or bored” question, and looking for keep-outta-the-kitchen tactics that I can stick with.  No more beating myself up, but also, no more binges.  I must learn my triggers and new, more effective ways of coping.

Does this mean I am going 100% paleo?  Not necessarily.  I think the paleo framework fits me really well, and I have honestly never felt so good as when I completed my Whole 30, but for me it is not a sustainable way of eating in the longer term (I like to eat out every now and then!).  A little of what you like doesn’t do you harm (well… unless you like dangerous things or are allergic!).

Measuring success isn’t just about the scales, but going in 10lb blocks will be helpful to me.  Losing 10lb chunks instead of the overall 100lbs, I think we can all agree, is much less daunting.  Rewards?  Why not!  No idea about what the rewards will be, but we’ll get to that point later.

I feel so much more positive after getting my previous thoughts down and feel genuinely ready to start tackling this all again.