Tub on the Run


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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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Soapbox time: Habit forming

The habits that took years to build, do not take a day to change

It’s soapbox time.

One thing that I have found really grinds my gears in the world of health related articles, including all the New Year’s Resolutions articles masquerading as help, is the “it takes 21 days to form a habit”. That’s right, 21 days and I will be an early morning riser, super productive, healthy eating, good wife/sister/daughter/friend, yoga guru, gym bunny.

This might seem a really small and trivial thing to get wound up about, but let me explain. I have three reasons for this being a soapbox rant target.  I call bullpoop on 21 days.

First up…

Where is the science?! I studied psychology at uni, and while that makes me so far from an actual psychologist, it did give me the desire to see things back up by, y’know, science. Ask most people how long it will take to form a habit, and the stock answer is probably going to be 21 days. Where has this mythical 21 days come from? Interestingly, from what I have read, it actually started off being an observation of a surgeon called Maxwell Maltz in the 1960s who said that he noticed his patients adjusted to a physical change from 21 days onwards (it is the “onwards” bit that is often missed off). In 2010, a health psychologist called Philippa Lally published a study which suggests that it is more likely to take 66 days to start forming a habit. A bit of a difference in timescales there! Importantly, she also said that it depends on the type of person and the habit they’re trying to form. It’s going to be much easier to form a quick and pleasurable habit (eat a piece of cake a day) versus remembering to wash the car on a weekly basis.

Secondly…

Maybe this is just me, but habits do require some maintenance. Suggesting that your habit will be formed after 21 days and will then be forever ingrained is just daft. Okay, brushing your teeth may not require as much thought, but trying to adjust your eating habits, or exercising habits, speaking from experience, can be hard work. Not physically hard, but mentally tough. I find myself having to be in a constant state of vigilance, lest I find myself falling into my own personal danger zone of apathy because I have decided I have failed at whatever I am working on.

Lastly…

I think it can be damaging to bandy around the idea that in three weeks, you’re cured! Your bad habit has been broken and replaced by a good habit.  Congratulations! You’ve succeeded in three whole weeks, and no more do you need to think about it! Again, if it’s a nice habit (like eating cake every day – that would be lovely right now), it’s not going to take much effort to get into that kind of routine. This is where it gets personal for me. Telling me that it will take me 21 days of healthy eating to reform my habits psychologically doesn’t do me any favours. Have I failed to form a habit successfully if it takes longer than 21 days? Yes, according to the unreasonable and illogical part of my head, I have. Forty-one days later into a different way of eating and I can’t understand why this doesn’t feel any easier. That’s lie. I can understand it. I said before that it’s a constant state of awareness, and questions, and reasoning, and logic. I went to a workshop for work this week, and there were pastries. I cannot tell you how amazing they smelled. Little pastry slices of sweet and buttery heaven. Before the workshop started, my internal dialogue was “Do I feel hungry?”… Yes. “Okay, are you thirsty?”… Yes. “Have you tried having a drink first?”… No, okay, glass at the ready. “Is there an alternative?”… Yes, there’s fruit. “You’ve done really well, will the pastry set off a binge type response?”… Probably. “Is it a good idea to have a pastry?”… No. All of this over a pastry. And right now, I don’t see that changing any time soon.

So, at the end of all that? I think it really depends on who you are and what you’re trying to do, and of course, how much it really means to you and your motivation and engagement in following it all through. Just please, no more “21 days to make a habit” rubbish.


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Happy birthday Tub!

Roll out the Whole 30 approved cake – Tub on the Run is two years old today!

 

Last year, I found it interesting (and amusing) to see what came up in my stats, and this year hasn’t disappointed either!  My top post was My Whole 30 Results.  And some of my favourite search terms of the last year have been:

  1. shaved on hen night
    • How on earth did you end up here?!  This was definitely not something that happened on my hen do.
  2. side effects of murray mints
    • Deliciousness and nostalgia.  Those are the side effects.
  3. does slimming world consider clothing weight at weigh in
    • No, but I think it is frowned upon to weigh in naked.  However, I always found it helpful to weigh in at the same time each week – that would give me a good idea of where I was.
  4. slimming world does spinach give air
    • Air?
  5. putting weight on in between slimming world weigh ins
    • Please, please, PLEASE step away from the scale mid-week.  You can’t tell diddly-squat weighing in daily.

Whole 30 Collage

Back at the ranch, my Janathon has slipped a bit. I have been trying to do a little something every day, but I keep forgetting to tweet or blog about it.  I’ll keep on going, as it is nice to get the bones moving after a day stuck at my desk.

My Whole 30 is going pretty well.  I’m not craving anything which is good, but I am suffering from breakouts which is very irritating, and my energy levels haven’t really picked up much yet.  Having said that, I am more even tempered and I think my clothes are a little bit looser.  My sleep hasn’t changed much as I’m usually a pretty good sleeper.

One thing I have found, Nakd bars can trigger a binge behaviour.  This makes me a bit sad really, as they’re good to have as a snack.

How is your Janathon and/or Jantastic going?

 


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Janathon Day 5 meets Whole 30 Day 1

As the sun sets on day 1 of my Whole 30, I am very much in the realms of “well this isn’t so hard”.

I thought I would have been more organised for breakfast, but I am not the most speedy of people in the morning and didn’t get my groove on quickly enough – so an egg and juice it was!  I’ll try to be a bit more adventurous tomorrow (meanwhile – anyone who has completed the Whole 30 – what did you eat for breakfast?  I need inspiration!).

While breakfast was small, it did the job until about 11am.  Ordinarily I would be reaching for a biscuit or chocolate (or several) to tide me over to lunch.  Lunch was a bit more organised:

 

Tea was a beef stew with sweet potatoes.  The best! (Even if it doesn’t look it!)

 

The only thing is that I now want something sweet.  I’m not hungry, it is just a habit I need to break.

I decided that there was a choice for Janathon – yoga or kettlebells.  I could do either depending on how I felt at the end of the day (grumpy would have been kettlebells, everything else would be yoga).  Yoga won, which I was a bit surprised at given it was my first day back at work.

I enjoyed the Andrew Wrenn video, so that was my choice for this evening.

What is your favourite breakfast?  Mine would probably have to be eggs benedict.


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Rose tinted glasses? Rejoining the gym

I have a horrible feeling that I am hurtling towards becoming one of the people I used to get really frustrated with – the New Year’s Resolutionist at the gym.  You know, the people who join shortly after New Year, pack out the gym at all times of the day, and you can forget trying to get to your regular class schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all up for improvement (and I do love a Game of Thrones meme).  I’m not one to judge, I know, but I do remember the frustration at not being able to get into my normal classes in times gone by.  However, I know that I am not going to get the chance to do anything in November or December because of other existing commitments, which means that I am going to be one of those people who joins in January.

I’ve got to thinking about the gym a bit lately.  I know that weight loss is more about what you put in compared with what you do, but there are other benefits that I have come to miss.  I miss structured classes with other people.  Kettlebells at home is all well and good, but I miss an instructor kicking my bum to make sure I finish, the peer pressure, the “turn up and follow” mentality.  I miss the silent competition of spinning.  The satisfaction of hardly being able to walk after a hard spinning or kettlebell class, of getting into a pose easier in yoga.  Some reflection time has really shown me that mentally, I was in a better place when I was going to the gym (okay, I was also going to Slimming World at the same time, but I don’t feel I need to go back yet).  My ability to cope with stress was much better without doubt.

I have a feeling I might be looking at this all with rose-tinted glasses, but I’ve tried to be objective.  I even looked back at my post last year on giving up the gym.  The minimum sign up is 6 months.  If I can’t make it stick in 6 months, then I’ll break away again.

So brace yourselves Gym Goers… this New Year’s Resolutionist has plans!

Are you gym lover or gym hater?


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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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My #Whole30 results

Day 30 came and went without too much notice.  I had started to feel a bit anxious about what I was going to eat when the Whole30 was over, and partly for good reason.  Matt and I were due to go to the Silverstone Classic on Thursday 24th July.  We made it there in good time, but hadn’t really catered for a camping trip for the Thursday (our Day 30).  We’d already planned to eat whatever we could rather than try to find compliant food when we were out and about, and I had deliberately started the Whole30 when we did so that camping wouldn’t be a problem.

Thursday morning was a bit of a rush, taking photos and measurements before work, but we got it done, and I am certainly pleased with the results, and I know Matt is pretty chuffed with his too.  At the beginning, in my elevator pitch of Whole30, I wrote about what I wanted out of the 30 days:

  • Making significant inroads into breaking my problem with sugar

  • Learning more about what I truly benefit from and what does me harm

  • I won’t lie, some weight loss would be nice!

  • I’d also like to see if some of the skin problems I have are linked to my diet.  I imagine that they probably are

Looking at it in a bit of detail, I think it was a worthwhile exercise.

Energy

I didn’t think I was really one to suffer with mid-afternoon slumps, but one thing that has really made itself known since we came off of Whole30 is that I do.  My concentration is poor and I don’t feel like I am firing on all cylinders for a sustained period of time.  On Whole30, I felt great.  The world was my lobster and I felt ready to take on the challenges.

Sleep

I’ve never been a bad sleeper.  I’m a fidget and nuisance as I have restless legs and sleep walk and talk sometimes, but it rarely wakes me up.  Poor Matt, on the other hand, can often be the victim of a randomly flung leg or arm.  I wouldn’t feel like I would wake up refreshed and raring though.  Whole30 didn’t change this for me much.  I continued to sleep well, but I woke feeling a little brighter.

Sugar Addiction

This, for me, has to be one of the greatest successes.  I’m not “cured”, but these 30 days have helped me to sit out a craving, or find something else.  It’s proved to me that I don’t need the sugar and that I work better as a human being with less sugar.  I am still getting cravings every now and then, and although we’re not really following paleo or Whole30 right now, I haven’t slipped back in to my old ways of reaching for the first sweet thing I can find.  I feel like I have made a significant inroad on this particular aspect, and one that I am very keen to continue.

 (source)

Skin

My skin has never been great.  Ever since I hit puberty, the dermatology gods decided that I was destined to be plagued with breakouts and problem skin.  This has continued into my late 20s, though thankfully it isn’t as bad as it used to be.  That said, I am still unhappy with it and I find it to be a source of self-consciousness.  The Whole30 website says that improved skin can be one of the benefits of the 30 days, but I didn’t really find this to be the case.  I must make a point of saying that I have stress related breakouts and July was a stressful month, so Whole30 might have saved me a couple of nasty spots, but I’ll never know.

Weight

I don’t think there is a huge difference between the photos, but there is a good difference on the scales.  I started the Whole30 at 18 stone 9.5lbs and weighed in on Day 30 at 17 stone 7.5lbs, losing 16lbs and 8 inches.  Is it water weight?  Maybe.  I don’t really know.  I have really tried to make this more than just about losing the weight, but this is one of the best indicators for me. Something you can actually see.

Tub on the Run Side Comparison Whole 30

Tub on the Run Front Comparison Whole 30

Life after Whole30

Since finishing the 30 days, I have not stuck to any semblance of the principles of Whole 30.  This has seen my moods go up and down, my ability to cope with stress is compromised, I’m not feeling as efficient and I’m bloating.  I don’t feel great.  I actually feel sad.

Matt has seen a return to bloating too.

We’ve discussed what our next plans are in terms of diet.  We’ll be returning to a paleo/primal kind of eating soon, working on a 90% rule.  We’ve loved most of the meals that we’ve eaten and definitely want to keep them in the meal plans going forwards.  The issue is that August tends to be quite a social month for us, and eating out on paleo seems quite difficult, though not impossible.  With that in mind, we’ve discussed doing another Whole 30 in September.

I’ve got a few more thoughts on Whole 30 that I will write down at some point soon, but I thought this post was long enough, without getting in to the rest of it.