Tub on the Run


15 Comments

Ultimate Coffee Date: June 2017 – the big catch up

Well hi! Long time, no speak! How are you?

I have been trying to think of the best way to actually get back into blogging again – talk about losing your stride! I figured that an Ultimate Coffee Date would probably be a good opportunity to just have a bit of a brief catch up. So settle in, grab a coffee, maybe a biscuit, and let’s get to it!

If we were having coffee, first off, I would probably try explaining my absence from my blog and make a bit of a hash of excuses. Work, mental blargh, lack of ability to form coherent sentences, life. You know, the usual. I’ve missed the blog. I enjoy writing, but I don’t like posting for posting’s sake, and if I am honest, while “life” has indeed continued along its merry way, I haven’t much felt like posting.  Which is naff. Because I haven’t posted in so long, I was also torn in my decision to go to Blogtacular or not. I went last year, and I honestly think that a second visit would probably be more useful as I wouldn’t be so nervous or unsure of what to expect. Unfortunately, I’ve left it a bit too late now, and definitely want to be in more of a blogging swing of things before I go back so that I can take more things away from it.

(Photo credit: Mollie Makes)

If we were having coffee, I’d probably look a little more relaxed than I have done recently.  I’ve just come back from a week away with my mum and sister.  It was meant to have been a family holiday, but it turned into a girls’ week away, which I think actually turned out to be better than it probably would have been, had it been a family holiday. We went to our holiday destination from when we were children – a little town in Herefordshire called Ledbury.

Photo Credit: Hoseseasons

We stayed in a Scandinavian style lodge, which has limited mobile signal, and is in the middle of nowhere, resulting in an enforced (and well needed) break away from technology for the most part. The lodge itself was really nicely decorated, and I genuinely wondered whether we could move into one permanently.  We managed to head out every day to do something – whether it was getting a bit soggy in a walk around the ruined castle at Ludlow, or sitting in the sunshine watching a rather brilliant falconry display. I have a real soft spot for owls anyway, which was completely reinforced by their burrowing owls (like “Scarp” below), and a European Eagle Owl who is foster-mum to all sorts of orphans.

If we were having coffee, I’d probably still be raving about the amazing salted caramel chocolate cake that I had when we visited the International Bird of Prey Centre this week. Sometimes, salted caramel can just be a bit “meh” and it’s always a bit of a lottery whether it’s going to be any good. But this stuff? Amazing. It was rich and chocolatey and properly-salted-caramelly. I think one of the Centre’s five labradors (this one is called Agapanthus) would have liked to help, but apparently he’d already managed to scoff someone’s birthday cake earlier in the week anyway. And besides, the cake was too good to share (and also, too good to photograph – I didn’t hang about to get stuck in!).

If we were having coffee, you’d know I was reading Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint. I haven’t ventured back to a Whole 30 or anything yet, though I know I am heading that way (sob… no more salted caramel chocolate cake… sob). In the midst of wandering around the internet (or more specifically, Instagram), I was looking for food inspiration. I follow a paleo convert called Paleo Bailey on Instagram, but didn’t realise until very recently that she also had a blog. So I hopped on over, and got reading her post about her “paleo bookshelf“. Really, I was on the hunt for another good recipe book. But I read through the list and reviews, and decided that perhaps Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint was worth a read. It’s pretty heavy on the science side, but it does make sense, and I can see me heading back to a more paleo way of life soon. I feel best on it, and that should probably be enough to tell me that I don’t want to keep chasing down my current path.

What’s new in your world? Been on holiday recently? Matt is going to Le Mans for the 24 hour race, so we’ve somehow managed to do two holidays apart this year! Oops!


Thanks as always to Deborah and Coco for hosting Ultimate Coffee Date each month! I think it’s a lovely way to catch up with and discover new blogs.

Advertisements


5 Comments

Whole 100: My Day 100 check in

Here we are – Day 100 of my Whole 100. The end of a pretty good experiment.

Casting my mind back three and a bit months (obviously, with the help of a blog post from then too!), I wanted to give a Whole 30 a bit longer and see if I could address a longer standing problem of having a poor relationship with food. The makers of Whole 30 acknowledge that, while it shouldn’t be a 365 day way of eating, you might want a bit longer than 30 days if you’re experiencing different or more embedded issues. My previous Whole 30s have been great experiences – each time I have learnt a little more about myself. The problem for me hasn’t been in the completing the Whole 30 (I’m bloody minded enough to stick with it for that kind of time), but it is the “after” that I really struggled with. Moderation, as I have said before, is not something I am good at. I’m an all-or-nothing kinda girl. As a result, I quickly slipped back into old eating habits, putting on more weight, and then, well, several stone later and the rest is history! So, without waffling further, I wanted to see if 100 days of eating in a strict paleo way would help me battle some of the longer standing niggles.

The Grand Results Progress 

I’ve been thinking about the rhetoric that I use to describe what I’m on, and I was chatting to Mum at the weekend about a couple of things, including my recent weight loss. It got me thinking. I don’t like “results”. No, that’s a lie. I like results (as an entity) a lot. I don’t like the word as a word to describe where I’m at. Results to me imply that it is an arrival at a destination – I’ve finished. Except, I haven’t finished (not by quite a long way). So, I’m calling it progress.

Numbers wise, I’ve lost 36 lbs since I started this Whole 100, and since the beginning of the year, I’ve lost 56 lbs – 4 whole stone. That kind of blows my mind. Apparently, according to I Lost What that is the equivalent of a hang glider or 280 tomatoes!

Whole 100 Results Beyond the Sofa February to August

However, health isn’t just about weight, and there are plenty of non-scale victories to complement the decrease in my waistline. Even if I had no other highlights, I’d be pleased with the above, but actually I can also be pleased about:

  • Going down two dress sizes (okay, at the moment, it’s only officially one size, but my current trousers are too big so I know I will fit into the next size down).
  • Tackling hills. Particularly lately, I’ve done pretty well on powering up some hills at the weekends and during a week off.  I definitely think I would have struggled with this 6 months ago.

Whole 100 Hills

  • Sticking with yoga. Following in a similar theme, I have to admit that while I do struggle a little bit with it at the moment (I am absolutely nowhere near being able to do jump throughs or anything, as I am carrying too much weight), I don’t think I could have done half as much 6 months ago. Back in October last year, I went to a beginners course at the studio I go to now, and I found that hard and disheartening. I don’t feel like that now, which is great.
  • More home cooking. I find cooking generally quite relaxing, and, let’s face it, very rewarding. I have enjoyed cooking more food and eating better. I’ve also tried to make more choices to support local businesses, like buying from our local butcher (who has an amazing “meat for the week” deal), and our local greengrocers. The only thing I REALLY don’t like, is the washing up. Urgh. When will I be able to work in a tidy way? It looks like World War 3 has happened, a sea of mutilated onion peelings and crushed garlic trailing in my wake.

Whole 100 meals

  • Eating out. In my previous Whole 30s, I have actively avoided social interaction and eating out. That’s doable for one month, but for three, not going out just wasn’t going to be a workable solution. It took some effort and pre-planning (no, Italian could never be on the list of places I could go, and Chinese was out for the soy they put in everything), but I did manage it. I keep thinking I’ll do another post on eating out on paleo, but suffice to say for now, I’ve maintained some sort of social life. Also, bonus non-scale victory? Realising that soda water with ice and a slice at the pub is free. Yes, I stood there with my purse for about 5 minutes, waiting for the bartender to come back and charge me, before he realised that I didn’t know it was free. Winning!
  • Better handle on my binge triggers. I have always know that when I feel low, my willpower slips and I end up eating ALL the things. Typically all the sweet things, though I am non-discriminatory in that sense – savoury is equally as game. While I’ve always known this, it has nearly always been a surprise when the urge to eat anything and everything in sight hits. For the large part of my Whole 100, I haven’t felt the need to do this, until recently (maybe the last 4 or so weeks). I’m not surprised I haven’t really noticed it before, but there are tell-tale signs that this kind of behaviour is imminent, but when it really hits, it’s like someone has flicked a switch and nothing would satiate that feeling. It’s hard to describe, and I am probably not making a load of sense. My point is, that I have now experienced that feeling, paid close attention to it, and then promptly got on with a distraction to help the time (and the urge) pass. Hence why I have gone through several balls of wool and crocheted a lot of granny squares.
  • Enjoying summer. I won’t lie, my parting is very much not enjoying summer and practically sizzles like a hot plate when I get in the shower (I really do need to remember a hat), but generally, I am really enjoying this summer, for the first time in literally years. I’m not sure if I can attribute this to just the Whole 100, feeling better in my skin, or living in a different town, but I am definitely doing a better job of living beyond my sofa so far this summer.

Summer 2016

I think I have gone on for quite long enough today. I am still feeling a little nervous about coming off of the Whole 100, but I have given it a lot of thought over the last couple of weeks, and think I have a plan in place – more on this another day!


My other Whole 100 posts are all here:


15 Comments

Ultimate Coffee Date: August 2016

I completely missed July’s Ultimate Coffee Date for some reason, so I have a couple of months to get caught up on. You’ve been warned – it’s a longish one!

Over coffee, I’d tell you about the week off I had in July. My last week off was back in March, so I was definitely ready for some time off. We didn’t have anything planned as such, so we stayed at home and went out on day trips. First stop, we had a day out to Lynmouth and came back via the Doone Valley.

Lynmouth - Beyond the Sofa

It was the best day, weather wise, of the whole holiday. The sunshine was absolutely gorgeous and it really felt like summer was just coming. We walked around Lynmouth, then up the hill (which is so ridiculously steep) to look at the Cliff Railway and I was reminded that I don’t think I could have done that walk about 6 months ago because of my weight. Don’t get me wrong, I was hardly sprinting up it, but I lumbered slightly more gracefully than I would have done previously.The climb was definitely worth it for the view though!

Lynmouth Cliff - Beyond the Sofa

One of the highlights was seeing wild Exmoor ponies. I’m quite used to seeing Dartmoor ponies roaming around Dartmoor. As a family, we have spent loads of time on Dartmoor, but not much time of Exmoor.  They’re so lovely. A little further up the road, there was a mare and her foal – so adorable!

Exmoor Ponies - Beyond the Sofa

On the way home, we stopped off at the little chapel in Doone Valley. Apparently Lorna Doone was the Devonian Romeo and Juliet. I don’t remember the story at all, so Matt’s Nan dug out her copy and sent it down to me (which I still haven’t read…).

The rest of the week, we weren’t blessed with good weather, though that didn’t stop us making the most of our National Trust membership. We visited Cotehele and took Matt’s nan to Tyntesfield. That was probably one of the more rewarding days. Nan doesn’t get to go out on day trips all that often, as she isn’t so mobile these days, but we offered to take her out for the day. I never realised how hard pushing a wheelchair around all day is. I definitely got a good sweat on, going up the hills. It was totally worth it though – she enjoyed herself and we were pleased to be able to do something with her too.

Cotehele House - Beyond the Sofa

If we were having coffee, you might notice I’m a bit stiff. I’ve finished my 6 week introduction to Mysore style yoga course, and have since signed up to do one class a week. I’ve got part way through to the seated poses and it’s really challenging me. I’m enjoying it though, but I also need to make sure that I get into a better routine for some home practice.

If we were having coffee, I hope you’d see that I am quite a bit thinner than when I started the year. This is my February to July progress:

Beyond the Sofa - Feb 2016 to July 2016

My Whole 100 is going really well still. I am actually on Day 90 today, and will do a weigh in post tomorrow, but at Day 60, I was 40lbs down. I still have a long way to go, but I’m pretty pleased with how it’s going. I really thought I was going to have some food boredom but now, but I’m not feeling it at all.

If we were having coffee, we’d probably be having coffee from a paper cup at Gatcombe Horse Trials right now. As part of my birthday present, Matt bought us tickets to Gatcombe. We went a couple of years ago but I felt we didn’t make the most of it. We’d gone, not really knowing what to expect, having never been to a big horse event before. We got absolutely soaked and didn’t really get round to seeing what we wanted to.

Gatcombe 2014 - Beyond the Sofa

This year, knowing what to expect, we’re going to try and squeeze a bit more in. I’m also hoping to get to play with my camera a little bit more this time. I definitely feel like I am able to tackle the hills with relative ease now so I’m hoping to get out onto more of the cross country course.

So, that’s where I’ve been. How is life with you?


Thank you as always to Lynda, Coco and Deborah for hosting Ultimate Coffee Date.  Thanks as always to Deborah, Lynda and Coco for hosting Ultimate Coffee Date each month! I think it’s a lovely way to catch up with and discover new blogs.


6 Comments

Non Weigh in Wednesday 19: Baggy trousers

Non-Weigh In Wednesday

 

I really must get better at putting together my Weigh In Wednesday posts, as it has been another couple of weeks since I last posted one.

It’s been a good couple of weeks for non-scale victories.

Loose trousers

So we all know about my work trouser saga, and I haven’t resolved it yet. As a result, my bum has got properly baggy, but I hadn’t really noticed how much until I caught sight of myself in the mirror at a conference today during a loo break.

Mirror selfie

It’s all well and good, but the bottom of my trousers are really scuffed up now. I need to make it my mission in my week off to find a new pair of work trousers. I’m not really complaining. I think it’s actually kinda cool (though doesn’t look great, so yeah… Need to get it sorted!).

People noticing

Mum, Dad and me travelled to Hampshire on Sunday to see my sister to go out for lunch for her birthday. It was really lovely to see her (as it always is), especially as I haven’t seen her since Easter. She was very complimentary and said she could see a real difference. I was a bit concerned about what I was going to eat, as we were going to a pub. I picked a salad, and I swear it was one of the best salads I have had in ages. I’m now looking for roquito peppers, as they were in the salad and they may be my new favourite thing.

Our catering account manager has also said she can see a massive difference every time she sees me. I swear she is my favourite person at work sometimes!

Yoga

I went to my Moving into Mysore class again on Monday, and really enjoyed it. I think mentally, I’m feeling in a bit of a better place. I have always struggled with downward dog and normally revert to puppy pose instead. This week, I actually managed some downward dog. I was pretty pleased! I am feeling it in my hamstrings today though.

In other yoga news, I went to a wellbeing conference for work today and was introduced to laughter yoga. It is probably the most bizarre thing I have ever experienced, but it was really fun. I hadn’t heard of it before today. Very sadly, apparently while children smile in excessive of something crazy like 400 times a day, adults are lagging way behind. It’s the same for laughter, so the idea of laughter yoga is to get back in touch with your inner (smiley, giggly) child – going around and clapping and saying “ho ho ho, he he he”, greeting people like you’re really excited to see them and are long lost friends, and all sorts. It was completely random, but good fun.

Days ahead

It’s going to be a busy few days ahead. My meal prep has been okay this week, and I just need to make sure that it continues for the next few days. I have made a couple of really good salads, eggy muffins for breakfast, and pulled stuff out of the freezer for tea. It definitely takes the stress out of it all.

It’s Blogtacular on Friday, and I got my photowalk instructions this morning (woohoo!). There was a link to making the best of a photowalk on that email, and one piece of advice was to be prepared to be involved in the actual photos. Normally I would have though “urgh” as I really felt uncomfortable in front of the camera. At the moment, the thought of this doesn’t bother me at all. This is quite a revelation for me!

There’s a few more non-scale victories to add to the list! It’s all good!

Have you ever heard of laughter yoga? Would you ever give it a go?


4 Comments

Whole 100: 20 Days In – Attack of the Grumps

I am now 22 days in to my Whole 100, and things have definitely changed a bit since my first 10 days.

Stomachly speaking

Since my Non-Weigh In Wednesday this week just gone, where I waffled on about how my digestive system is happy, about 12 hours after posting that post, Armageddon hit my tummy.  I had probably 4 days of being completely unsettled, and I seem to be a bit better again now. I vaguely remember something like this happening during my January Whole 30, and Whole 30’s timeline predicts that it’ll happen about two weeks in, so I seem to be running a little later.

Swing Low…

If the tummy issues weren’t enough, my mood swings hit full pelt over the last couple of days too. Matt had wanted to go to Castle Combe yesterday, and originally, I was quite happy to go. It sounds like a nice day out, spectating instead of mashalling as we would usually do. By the time yesterday morning arrived, I was trying to think of every reason not to go and started getting really (stupidly) grumpy about it. Of course, when we were on the road and nearly there, I was absolutely fine. The sunshine definitely does wonders for grumpiness!

Castle Combe - June 2016

Food

The food is all okay, though I should probably be more organised with it again. I have slipped a bit in terms of meal preparation these last couple of weeks. Knowing that this was the case, and also knowing that my batch cooked meals from a few weeks ago were beginning to run low, I had scoured through my Pinterest board and Bloglovin’ feed for inspiration. I’ve actually eaten out a couple of times too, which I don’t think I’ve ever really done on a Whole 30 before. The go-to meal is always steak (which currently suits me fine!). I am due to go out with work for a Thai this week, so I am not sure what I’ll be having then.

I have probably had a bit of grumping around food envy too. Matt is kind of following me with the paleo thing, but he is also eating other stuff. I have felt myself saying “I can’t have that because of xyz” a lot over the last week or so, which is getting a bit grating. The plus side? I am definitely getting good at label reading again.

Victory!

I have had a great non-scale victory though – I’m in my next jeans size down! I bought some new jeans this weekend, and I’m really pleased to be in a smaller size. Unfortunately the work trousers that I had ordered didn’t fit, so rather than hang on to them “for when they fit”, I decided to return them (which may be the first time I have ever returned something!). I liked the fabric but I wasn’t keen on the fastening – just a zip on the hip – no button or hook and eye or anything. I figured I would sit down too quickly or something and split the zip. The search continues!

Skin, Hair and Nails

I would say that everything is going well on this front, but it’s not quite there. My scalp is still sore (though not as bad), my skin is still a bit rubbish (but better), and my nails are doing pretty well! I’m having a manicure in a couple of weeks, ahead of Blogtacular, so I am hoping for nice long nails at that point. They’re growing pretty well, so I doubt that’ll be a problem.

Sleep and concentration

Sleep has dropped off a bit for me, and I definitely am not feeling overly rested. Getting up has returned to being a struggle again. My bed has just been too inviting to get up from. Concentration? What’s that? I’m quite sure that this is all work-related fugginess so I’m not too surprised.

Our Bedroom

All in all, I’m doing okay, but my inner chant at the moment is “this too shall pass”. I think the sunshine and non-scale victory of the jeans is helping to mitigate the worst of my mood.


5 Comments

Non-Weigh In Wednesday 16: Non-scale victories already?

With my whole not-weighing-in during my Whole 100 (at least for 30 days anyway), I thought it might be nice to share some non-scale victories I have had so far.  Are you ready?

I’m alive. Functioning, just. I have had a headache for the last two days that just won’t shift (damn it Whole 30 people – you were right when you said that the amount of suck experienced in this phase is directly proportionate to how much crap you ate before starting). I am genuinely considering being alive and not having murdered anyone for a shortcake millionaire thing as a remarkable success. Where did the little chocolatey treats come from? My manager – she bought them for the office (normally a very lovely gesture that I would completely appreciate). I had to sniff them. It was the closest I could get. Thankfully I don’t think I dribbled in the tub… Nope. My colleagues just think I’m a weirdo.

Whole 100 Day 3 Beyond the Sofa

(Source)

To be fair, I am considering the not eating sweet things as a genuine non-scale victory for my first week, as resisting those buggers was tough! Who doesn’t love the Marks and Spencer tub of treats?! I am assured by Matt that this does count as a victory.

Right now, I’ve ended up in a bit of a funk. It’s a temporary food funk. I have also apologised to Matt in advance of the impending storm that will be my toddler style temper tantrum that will strike without warning (and almost undoubtedly for no good reason) over the next 5 or so days. I should probably apologise to him again, now, as I think I’m being needy and difficult. All of this over sugar. How ridiculous.

I think my mantra at the moment is very much “this too shall pass”.

This too shall pass

(Photo credit: Marlis Borger on Flickr)


13 Comments

T minus 1 to my Whole 100

It’s Whole 100 Eve today! I’ve decided to take some time out to blog about where I am right now, with pictures and everything. In my January Whole 30, I made the mistake of forgetting to take any before pictures. This time, I’ve remembered!

Starting Point

This is my starting point. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I felt like an over-stuffed sausage, squeezing into these capri pants again. It’s a long time since I wore them last, and man can I feel the extra pounds in this! I am also cringing a little to post this, but I’m desperately trying to remind myself that this is my “before” photo. It’s going to get better from here.

Whole 100 Minus Day 1 Beyond the Sofa

Obviously it should go without saying – apologies for the awful hair and lack of make up. It’s Sunday – that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it! I’ve weighed myself, measured myself, and taken photographs. One thing? I am definitely hoping for a bit more of a tan in 100 days! I’m still undecided what I am going to do about weighing in over the course of the Whole 100. In my Whole 30 round up from January, the creators of Whole 30 think you should look at the achievements beyond the scale, but when you have such a large amount to lose, I think it is helpful, so I am going to do what works for me. I don’t want to be beholden to the scale like I used to feel when I did Slimming World, but I also don’t feel ready to go it solo.

Anyway, I think it’s fair to say that my weight loss seems to have ground to a halt lately. I’m bobbing around the same couple of pounds, and I find myself regularly overeating just because it’s there.

Energy and other stuff

I honestly feel like I live in a kind of “coffee cannot cure this kind of tired” way at the moment. I have quite defined peaks and troughs in my energy (don’t ask me for anything between 3:30pm and 5:00pm – it won’t get done). My procrastination levels are possibly reaching new highs too. This has been further compounded by some really awful sleep. Normally I’m a good sleeper, but lately, my sleep has been quite broken. I’ve been quite good at getting to bed on time, as I had promised myself that I would do, though my weekends need some work! The sleep itself though has been decidedly naff.

Let’s talk about skin, hair and nails. Now, I’m going to paint you a lovely picture with words. I think I’m turning into a crust. My skin is so awfully dry and flaky. My scalp is sore with painful dandruff. My nails are super thin and brittle. I’m truly gorgeous! I had a facial a couple of weeks ago in the hope of sorting my skin out, but even that didn’t really help.

About my Whole 100

When I wrote my post about doing a Whole 100 a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d be able to breeze through it with no real issues. How hard can it be? It’s only 3 lots of Whole 30 plus 10 days. I’ve done 3 Whole 30s already after all. Then, I suddenly start thinking that actually, 100 days is really long and that I don’t want to be a hermit. Then I remembered it is the Devon County Show in a couple of weeks, and I won’t be able to eat the wonderful cheeses, breads and other samples. Then I remembered that I am out with friends the following week. Then I remembered that I am actively choosing to do this, for good reasons, and that in the grand scheme, 100 days really isn’t very long and I will be able to eat out as normal but I’ll have to be that person. It’ll be fine.

I’m expecting the first couple of weeks to be a standard Whole 30 affair, with some grumpiness, some breakouts, some issues with tiredness and concentration. From around Day 30 onwards, I would anticipate either some food boredom or plate envy, and maybe a desire to binge eat. I suspect I’ll probably have a bit of a grump around then too, though that is wandering into uncharted territory at that point.

I’ll be blogging about it, but it won’t be as frequent as my January Whole 30, as, y’know, 100 days and all.

I have a “send off” of chicken fajitas and tiramisu, so I am going to head off and have my tea. Wish me luck!