Tub on the Run


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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:


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Whole 100: Day 90 update and weigh in

Wow! 90 days in! Just 10 more days to go. That is now three consecutive Whole 30s under my belt, and the second longest I’ve managed to stick to a particular way of eating. I think the only way of eating that I have stuck with for longer so far was the Tesco GI Diet in 2008.

Let’s talk numbers. Since January this year, I have lost 50 lbs in total, and 30.7 lbs since I started my Whole 100. This is a bit of a funny one for me. My team mates at work have asked how I am doing and are always amazed at the number that trips off my tongue, but it doesn’t feel that much. I have found myself getting a little disheartened (which I know is silly) as I know that I have probably just ticked over a third of the way to my goal. I think the sadness has come from two places – 1) that I have lost a lot of weight already now, but there is still a long way to go, and 2) that I have been so heavy for so long that I actually asked Matt the other night “when will I be a normal size?”. I’m not looking for sympathy, as these moments are always countered by the feeling that I am finally getting somewhere with it, and have lost the most I have ever lost.

Yo-yoing feelings aside, this is how my Day 1 to Day 90 compares:

Whole 100 Day 90 Update Front

I don’t think I have realised quite how tired I look first thing in the morning. Bags aside, I think it is safe to say that I have the beginnings of a waist again (hurrah!). I have to admit, I’m pleased as I can see much more of a change now, and clearly sticking at it is really beginning to pay off. One thing I have noticed in the picture above it that the drop in my right shoulder is getting more obvious as I lose weight. I came off my motorbike years ago and damaged my shoulder. I hadn’t really noticed the droop until today.

Whole 100 90 Day Update Side

From the side, I can see that I am beginning to go in now, and the double chin is slowly receding, which is always good news.

Highlights

The trousers that I bought after not being able to find a pair I liked initially, are now baggy. They’re not quite as baggy as when I last needed to move down a size, but they’re definitely on their way. I’m holding off buying a new pair until towards the end of August – firstly, I am beginning to get a little nervous about what life post-Whole 100 looks like, but secondly, I haven’t budgeted for it (I am trying to rein my spending back in with the wonderful YNAB app). In terms of tops, I’m now able to fit into more of my wardrobe too, which is really great and meaning I can have “work clothes” and “normal clothes” rather than mixing the two.

I’m also super impressed that I haven’t really ended up in a food rut at all for the last 90 days. I did look for some Whole 30 compliant new recipes that I could make recently, and this sausage and butternut squash casserole (here) was a big hit.

Another highlight for me has been not dying whilst walking up hills. Last weekend, Matt and I went to Wiscombe Park in East Devon to watch a hill climb race (in a nutshell, cars will sprint to the top of the hill). Spectators had to park at the top of the hill in a different field and walk down into the valley. That’s all well and good, but what goes down must also come up if you want to get back to your car. I can’t confess to having sauntered up the hill in a spritely manner, but I definitely didn’t die, or really stop. (I really feel that the picture hasn’t done the steepness of the hill any justice).

Wiscombe Park - Beyond the Sofa

Activity

When I write these weigh in posts, I usually take a look back at the most recent one to see what I was writing and experiencing to see what has really changed over that period of time. I note that in my 60 day update, I was hoping to start running with the Couch to 5k programme shortly after my update. It hasn’t happened, but (and I know people say this all the time), I swear the last 30 days has galloped by without my noticing. I definitely feel like I am ready to get back out there physically now, so definitely watch this space!

Otherwise, my main activities have been walking and yoga. I’ve had good days of walking, where I have done a fair bit above 10,000 steps a day, and then some others which have been pretty, well, comatose. Yoga has been good though, and I’ve made it through the ashtanga vinyasa sequence to some of the seated poses. Initially I thought that the seated poses would be fine. It’s sat down, how hard can that be?! I think I sweat more in the seated poses than I do in some of the standing ones. I am pretty sure that I have mentioned in a previous post somewhere, that my long standing pose nemesis is downward dog. I don’t know what it is about that one, but I really struggle with it – super tight in my hamstrings, very weak in my shoulders. A few weeks later, and I can hold the pose for longer and more often without having to resort to the puppy pose. Small progress, but progress nonetheless.

Concerns

I wasn’t sure whether to call this “concerns” or “nervousness” or “considerations”, but I am beginning to find myself a little nervous about coming off my Whole 100. It’s been a really good thing to do, and I have enjoyed it for the most part. I’ve eaten out less than I would have done normally, and while eating out has been a bit tricky, it hasn’t been impossible. To date, I’ve lost the most weight I ever have done from eating in a specific way. I am nervous that by coming away from my Whole 100 I will start to put the weight on again. I’m not actively worrying about it, but it’s silly things like if I have a piece of cake, will I be able to keep some sense of sanity and plough on through with my willpower, or will I revert to Steph of the past and face plant the cake and eat it all? The rock and a hard place dilemma is that I don’t want a life devoid of cake forever, but I don’t want to fall into a food based spiral back to 20+ stone again. I don’t seem to have much of a handle on moderation.

I haven’t really tried to think too much about my concerns so far, but I know I will need to address them in the imminent future.


Previous updates:


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Whole 100: 70 days down – shorts and old SD cards

Seventy days in to my Whole 100, and I have a couple of highlights to add to my previous ones this week.

Firstly, I’ve found a picture of me from February, just after I’d finished my January Whole 30 and was about to start doing the Fitness Blender 8 week challenge. At the start of the Fitness Blender challenge, Kelli and Daniel recommended taking progress photos along with measurements. I am not entirely sure what I did with my measurements (they’re probably in an old notebook somewhere), and I’d forgot about the progress photos until I looked back on my smaller SD card.

Beyond the Sofa - Feb 2016 to July 2016

Much better! I popped over to see Mum on Friday as it would be the last time I saw her before she left for her holiday in Canada with my sister, and we got talking about my weight and how I was doing. Long time readers will know that I have been overweight for a very long time now, and Mum and I got talking about Christmas 2014. I blogged that the walk had taken place, but I didn’t tell the full story. Mum said to me on Friday that it had been so sad to see me at that time. I’d turned into a lumberer. There was no spring in my step and I walked like a very heavy person. I remember getting home from that walk, barely having kept it together, and sobbing as I sat back on the sofa having abandoned the walk early. What I hadn’t really considered was that other people felt sadness for me. I have to admit, I’d never really thought that other people would see my weight as a problem that they would experience. It was an interesting conversation, and one from an angle that I’d never really considered.

On a happier note, when I last went to buy some new jeans (in my original hunt for some work trousers), I also bought some shorts in the next size down, mainly because they were £10. When I bought them at the end of May, I couldn’t fit into them at all. The button wouldn’t meet. Today, I thought “I’ll just see”, and lo and behold, they did up! They’re totally wearable – my circulation isn’t being cut off and I’m not deluding myself into thinking that I can fit into them as I have done so many times in the past. Nope, these fit!

Beyond the Sofa - Summer shorts

Please excuse the white glare coming from my legs! They literally never see the sun.

In other news, I also finished my 6 Weeks into Mysore classes at my local yoga studio. I think I’ll be keeping it up once a week though I’ll skip this week as I have a couple of things going on. I can’t say as I have noticed a load of progress, but it is a good way to escape and do something active for a bit.

Life is going pretty well actually, and it’s kind of strange to think that I have the equivalent of one Whole 30 left now. As I mentioned in my 60 day post, I think this would be quite a sustainable way to continue eating for me and I don’t anticipate changing much from Day 100. That being said, I might find that in the next month, I suddenly get a huge hankering for something I don’t currently eat. I would be surprised though. Even if I did, I feel like I would be able to have a better, more honest conversation with myself about why I wanted it (whatever “it” is).

The only thing that isn’t improving is my scalp. I bought some stuff from Neal’s Yard today in the hope of sorting my skin out. Given that I am not eating any wheat or dairy and haven’t done for over two months, I don’t think that I can lay my awful skin at the door of my diet. The culprit, as perhaps I’ve always known, is stress. My poor scalp is red raw and has been for ages now. It got a bit better when we had a week off a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s pretty awful. I kind of refuse to go to the doctors as it just seems a bit of a stupid thing to go for. Plus, the root cause of it is, I am quite certain, stress, so I don’t just want to mask the symptoms, I want to tackle the cause but soothe the irritation in the meantime. So that’s my focus for the next 30 days, to effectively stop bleeding from my hairline. Gross.

Apparently it is National Ice Cream Day today. What’s your favourite ice cream? Obviously ice cream isn’t on the Whole 30 “approved food” list, so instead I had an iced coffee today.


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Whole 100 Day 30 – Progress Update

Here it is! The sun has nearly set on Day 30, which I guess makes this my fourth Whole 30, and (you guessed it) 30 days into my Whole 100. I thought I’d just run through where I am right now.

Highlights

I’ve had a couple of really good highlights so far. Firstly, I am in the next size down in jeans and really do need to replace my work trousers sooner rather than later. I’ve actually lost 15lbs since Day -1, which takes my weight loss since the beginning of the year to 31.5lbs lost which I am really pleased with. I’m just trying to see if I have any pictures of me at Christmas for a better comparison (if I find any, I’ll post them at some point). Frustratingly, while I feel different, I don’t think you can see a massive difference in my progress pictures, though it is slightly more evident front on (I think, maybe).

Whole 100 Day 30 side comparison

On the plus side, I look a bit chirpier than I did in the Day minus 1. When I’ve spoken to Mum, she said I sound happier too and I guess I feel more like that in myself despite some extra challenges and stress at work.

Whole 100 Day 30 front comparison

When I talked about my Day minus 1, I said that my skin, hair and nails weren’t great. I was suffering with some pretty gross dandruff, my nails were super brittle and flaky and my skin was spotty and patchy. This is definitely a work in progress, but I’m really pleased to say that my dandruff has mostly cleared up and my nails are growing well and are much stronger (despite catching my thumb nail in the grater when I was grating carrot a week and a bit ago! Ouch!).

Another highlight has been eating out. In my previous Whole 30 escapades, I have actively avoided going out to eat. This time, I’ve eaten out twice and haven’t found it too bad an experience (and hopefully, I haven’t been too difficult to eat out with!).

Food

I thought I’d just mention food that I am really enjoying right now.

Whole 30 Meals

Sweet potatoes are everything. I eat something sweet potato related most days, and I am nowhere near bored of them (which is quite unusual for me). I’ve also really enjoyed my salads lately, along with some deli tuna from Well Fed 2. For dinners, I was glad to welcome some spicy food back into my life in the form of curry. From having eaten quite a lot of red meat over the last month, I’ve batch cooked a load of chicken dishes, so it’s going to be a bit more varied this month.

The next 30 days

Over the next 30 days, I had a couple of things I’d like to work on. Firstly, I want to make sure that I’m actually eating enough. There have been a good few days where I forgot to eat breakfast, and then meetings roll on or I get caught up in something at work and before I know it, I haven’t had any lunch either. I’ve tried to make sure my portion sizes aren’t too big, but that’s not much use if I am not eating until tea time. I’ve guessed that might be why my moods are a little all over the place at the moment. Poor Matt – he’s dealt with a lot of my hangry moods lately.

Secondly, I want to add some activity in. Last night, I started a Moving into Mysore class at the yoga studio I went to last October. It’s a six week course, and I’d like to think that it will set the foundation and structure for a better commitment on my part. I’ve been comparatively more active in terms of just getting out and about over the last month or so too so I would like to keep that up.

In summary

Despite a couple of rocky patches so far, it all seems to be going okay. I’m not at the stage of feeling all out amazing, but that has just confirmed that I need to stick at this way of eating for longer to see if I can really break out of some bad habits. I do remember thinking that 100 days was an awfully long time, but now that I am 30 days in, it doesn’t feel too bad. I think Jo had exactly the right advice which was to just treat it like 100 single days, instead of one massive block of 100 days. Thanks Jo!


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Non-Weigh In Wednesday 18: Checking in

Non-Weigh In Wednesday

Non-weigh in Wednesday is here again! I still haven’t stepped on the scales yet, and think I am going to leave it until a Whole 30 has been completed before I do so. What’s been going on this week?

Steps

Well, I think I did my most steps this year on Saturday just passed, when Matt and I went to the Devon County Show for the day. I’ve got a post to write up about it, but I tipped over my goal at 10:30am on Saturday, which I don’t think I have ever done before. I feel like I am more active generally too.

Devon County Show 2016

Sleep and Concentration

I am definitely finding it much easier to get up in the morning still, though I am struggling to shut my brain off in the evening. I feel like I have so many ideas (work, blog, life) and so little time. Plus my note book is never near me when I need it, and I’m just not a digital enough kind of person to pop it on my phone. So this isn’t really a non-scale victory for me this week. My concentration levels aren’t brilliant, but I think it is because I am stretching myself quite thin (jack of all trades, master of none right now!). That will get better over the next few weeks (hopefully).

Clothing

My clothes are definitely getting baggier, which is brilliant news. While it is good news, frustratingly, Next don’t have any immediately available trousers in my size so I have been forced elsewhere. I’ve taken a bit of a gamble on what size I am in a different shop, but I think it’ll be officially the same size as I currently wear for work trousers. I need to buy some new jeans too, which I am hoping will match the size of my work trousers (they’re currently a size bigger). I also wish I had taken a selfie or something before I started my Whole 100 as I am sure my face looks a bit thinner (or perhaps I have found better lighting!).

Skin

This is a bit of an odd non-scale victory. My skin has broken out horribly. I’ve decided that this is a good thing. I have no idea whether this is actually the case, but I’ve decided that the crap from everything I was eating before my Whole 100 is on its way out and of course, being acne prone (still), it is my skin that suffers. If I am completely honest, my stress levels are quite high again, and that probably isn’t helping.

Digestively

This is a big thing for me. While I am generally pretty good, digestively speaking, this has got better over the last couple of weeks and it’s great! I don’t think I am eating as much, and life is just settled in this respect.

So that’s me this week. How is your week going?


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Non-Weigh In Wednesday 17 and My First 10 days

It’s ten days since I started my Whole 100! I’m stuck in that place where I feel like that hasn’t been very long at all, while also feeling like I have found my rhythm with it and like I have been eating this way for ages. As I am not weighing in, I thought I’d share some more non-scale victories (which are decidedly less sarcastic than last week).

Stronger nails

As I mentioned in my pre-Whole 100 post, my nails have been brittle, flaky and weak for what feels like absolutely ages. They were slow to grow and when they did, they wouldn’t last. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like super long nails, as I struggle to type, but I do like a little tip so that nail polish (on the rare occasion that I wear it) looks nice. Hurrah for stronger nails!

Yogi Tea - Bedtime

Getting up

I don’t know whether this is a Whole 100 thing or just a lighter mornings thing, but I am finding it much less difficult to get up in the morning. So much so that I have shrugged off my night owl preference and got in early to work both yesterday and today without having too much issues with flagging during the day. I’ve had a lot of work this week with one person down in the team, so I have been getting in to work for 7am. I have actually impressed myself. I don’t even think I represented a zombie when I’ve arrived – no one has recoiled, so I can only take that as a good thing! Importantly though, I have also managed to have a normal day until about 10:30pm. I don’t think it is something that I would want to get into the habit of long term, but it does feel good to be able to get up without having to feel like I am dragging an anchor behind me.

Whole 100 breakfast

Enjoying food and feeling hungry

Prior to starting this Whole 100, I cannot tell you the last time that I felt my tummy rumble. I am trying to remember where I found an article which I’ve read recently which was basically saying that we are designed to feel hunger and we shouldn’t avoid feeling like that. I’ve actually felt hungry! Who’d have thunk! I’ve also been really enjoying the meals that I made and froze. I don’t think there is anything that I have really felt “blurgh” about at all, which is great!

Well Fed Deli Tuna

Feeling fuller on smaller portions

This bit really is that simple – I feel that I am eating much less than I was and that I am taking longer to eat my food which is good. Obviously trying to race through crudités gives you immense jaw ache, so I have been taking my time.

Day 8 Lunch

Whole 100 generally

I have actually really enjoyed this all so far. I haven’t had my temper tantrums (yet) though I suspect they’ll arrive at some point. My concentration is a little better and I feel perkier. I don’t know if I feel thinner, but I am feeling much better in myself. I’m less windy, my stomach ache has gone and I haven’t had any since I started my Whole 100. I am not really craving much at the moment, but is phantom smells a thing? I swear I can smell things like freshly cooked doughnuts (mmm….) and other random smells in unsuspecting places. I have a feeling that I have this in my January Whole 30, but I don’t appear to have written it down in the blog.

Thinking back on my decision to go for a Whole 100 over another Whole 30, I feel like I have made the right decision. The fact that I am feeling pretty good, when ordinarily my temper has frayed and I have been a nightmare to live with for the first two weeks in a Whole 30 indicates to me that I still have stuff working its way out of my system (certainly if my skin is anything to go by, that is definitely the case).

The only thing that really hasn’t improved yet is a dandruffy scalp which makes me thing that it is more to do with my stress levels than my diet. It’s frustrating (not to mention sore) but I know it’ll go away over the next few weeks.

Anyway, that’s me for this week – I feel much more positive. All round chirpy!

 


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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)


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Weigh in Wednesday 12: The return

Weigh in Wednesday 12

Given that I weighed myself at the weekend, I wasn’t expecting to lose anything at all, and true to form, I have stayed the same. I’m pretty pleased about that, as my eating has been a bit sporadic over the last couple of days with my lunch being whatever I can find at whatever time I can take it. I need to make sure I carve out a bit of time to eat at a sensible time, and not the 4pm that it has been.

Good news is though, that our fridge freezer is now repaired and I can start batch cooking again. After my last batch cook, the freezer started to go on the blink (again – third time it has happened, and it’s only 7 months old), and we lost most of the meals I’d prepared. The ones we had were pretty tasty, so I am hoping to spend some of the long weekend doing a batch cook so we can get back to some sort of normal.

I’ve been giving the Whole 30 another good think. I am planning to do another one in July anyway, and I was considering sneaking another one in before then. I don’t think that my diet has gone totally awry but I do need to tidy it up a bit. Bread has snuck back in, along with microwave meals. Foor has definitely needed to come under the “convenience” category recently, as my working hours have been quite long. I’ve decided for the time being to hold off on another Whole 30 as I have a couple of evenings out and I am travelling with work (to the exotic location of Bradford…).

Anyway, other notable events this week were giving blood. I successfully gave my 11th donation. I would like to say that I am catching my mum and sister up, but that would be a massive overestimation – they’re both charging ahead in the 30s! I do wonder if losing weight will make my veins easier to find or get in to, as I seem to have problem veins.

I am very much looking forward to the bank holiday weekend. We don’t have loads planned, but I am looking forward to just taking a rest from work (says the girl who had a week off at the start of the month!).

Have you got any plans for the Easter weekend?


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Ultimate Coffee Date | February 2016

On one hand, it feels such a long time ago since I wrote my last Ultimate Coffee Date post, but then at the same time, I’m not entirely sure why January seems to have passed by so quickly. Anyway, it’s the first Saturday of the month, which means that it is coffee catch up day! Thanks to Lynda, Coco and Deborah for hosting!

 

If we were having coffee, I would definitely have wafted my favourite new thing in front of you (provided that you also like coffee!). As I mentioned in my Whole 30 (Day 25 to 27) post, I have a new love, and oddly (for me) it’s an instant coffee – it’s Little’s coffee. Even for a bit of a coffee snob like me, it really is good. So good, in fact, that I braved the torrential rain today, and practically swam across the car park at Darts Farm to get another version. My original find was the vanilla flavour, and today’s purchase was chocolate orange. I’m really looking forward to trying it tomorrow morning.

If we were having coffee, you may have noticed that I am two things today. Firstly, that I am a little slimmer than I was when I blogged at the start of January. On 4th January, I started my third round of Whole 30, which I really enjoyed, despite a couple of tricky patches. Since finishing, I’ve made a decision to remain mostly paleo for the time being (it’s working for my weight loss at the moment, and I feel so much better). The second thing is that I feel much brighter in my outlook right now. I feel much more chirpy and motivated than I have done in, well, I can’t remember how long!

If we were having coffee, you would also probably have noticed that I am moving a bit stiffly and slowly. DOMS is no joke, my friends! Before Christmas, I’d been thinking about joining my local gym. I was teetering on the do I/don’t I for what felt like ages. Financially, it is a commitment, and it’s a wasted investment if I find I don’t like it. I miss my spinning, though I don’t miss the gym itself as it’s always been a cardio torture house for me. I decided that before I jump into a 6 month gym contract, that I would do something more low key but would fit perfectly (I hoped) into my routine, and gave me some structure. I’ve done a few Fitness Blender videos in the past and really enjoyed them. I then found that they have an 8 week programme for just over £10. I’ve just completed the first week of workouts, and while I don’t remember finding them super sweaty at the time, I have definitely noticed that a couple of days on, I am sore and very grateful of my two rest days! I have also come to realise just how weak my core is. I literally cannot do the core workouts right now.

If we were having coffee, I would let you know that Matt and I rejoined the National Trust a couple of weeks ago. We have plans to get out and about this year. The top reason is that it gets us out and about with a real purpose. I definitely suffer from the “wasted weekend” feeling on a Sunday night if I haven’t made it out of the house that much. I like a purpose to go out (especially when the weather is so grim right now), and National Trust offers both properties and land to explore. So far, we’ve been to Saltram House, but Killerton House (which is also my local parkrun) is close by, as is the Jurassic Coast. I feel that for the last few years, I have been a hermit and lived indoors most of the time. My vampyric pasti-ness is testament to this, and I would like to change that! Bring on the vitamin D (when the spring rocks around!).

National Trust Collage

Lastly, if we were having coffee, I’d have been on time. Random? A little! I bought a Life Planner from Lollipop Designs, and I absolutely love love love it. I have gone sans diary for a year, and found myself forgetting things or appointments. My phone calendar is okay, but there’s nothing quite like having a proper diary. The beauty of this particular diary is that there are three columns each week, which I have put as work, home and blog. I’m not great at remembering where I am meant to be on a weekly basis and whether my work and personal stuff clash, and this diary has already helped me spot (and avoid) a couple of clashes already. I’ve also started to map out some blog stuff using it too. When I end up going AWOL, it’s usually because I forget to blog for a while as I don’t have much to say, then struggle to get back in to it again. My plan is that by actually knowing what to blog about in advance, I will stand a much better chance of blogging regularly.

How has your month been? Any favourites to share?


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Wrapping up my third Whole 30

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Well that’s it. I finished my third round of Whole 30 on Tuesday.  It’s been quite different from my previous experiences, and I think I made some good decisions after learning the hard way in my previous two rounds.

What did I want to get out of Round 3, and did I achieve it?

I really wanted to give this Whole 30 my all. As I mentioned in my first post about this round, I wanted to curb some of the bad habits that had snuck in since we moved house at the end of summer last year. While Matt and I had already done a lot of cleaning up of our diet, we were beginning to get lazy and buying ping meals.

The thing is, with a Whole 30, you just can’t do that. It won’t work. I had to get back to cooking, and actually I’ve really enjoyed it. I don’t really know why I hadn’t started cooking again sooner. I can only put it down to the nightmare that was my old oven, which had a mind (and temperature gauge) all of its own. Hurrah for my new oven!

My main aim was to kick start my weight loss this year. Melissa Hartwig recently posted on the Whole 30 blog that the scale shouldn’t be the only measure of success on a Whole 30, and that you shouldn’t rush to find out that number, lest it take away from the other good stuff (the many, many other non-scale victories). To a point, I completely agree. I have definitely achieved more than just succeeding with a weight loss (clothes fitting better, slightly better skin, healing of my scalp which had been really sore before Whole 30, less windy, less PMT – for the most part!). But at the same time, when you have more than 100lbs to lose, finding out that number is such a good step in the right direction, which I find really motivating. It’ll come as no surprise then that I achieved a weight loss. While my loss wasn’t as staggering as Matt’s whopping 25lb loss, mine was a 15lb loss, which I am happy with.

Generally speaking, how did it go?

I think this has been my easiest Whole 30 in some ways. Despite struggling at a few points, I really do feel ten times better than I did when I started. I’d made some decisions, such as not eating Nakd bars (which I really do love – rhubarb and custard all day, every day!), and not using My Fitness Pal to check my calorie intake. These were good decisions. I haven’t binged once in the last 32 days, and more importantly, I don’t have the craving to right now. I think that I have been able to control that by not eating foods (healthy or otherwise) that I need to develop a better psychological relationship with. Also, by not using My Fitness Pal (or any other tracker), I really tuned in to whether I felt hungry, and found myself not just eating because “it’s lunch/tea time”. I kept on top of my water intake quite well, which I definitely think helped.

I think the hardest point for me in this round came at Days 16 to 18, when the moodiness, grumpiness and issues with concentration hit. I seemed to be a few days behind the Whole 30 timeline anyway, but where they reckon most people give up at Day 11, it could have been Day 17 or 18 for me. I think the hardest part for Matt to put up with was Day 8 or 9, where I did seem to have a real PMS style moodswing akin to a gremlin who had been fed after midnight.

The best part? By far, for the last week and a bit, I’ve felt really good. My energy is nice and consistent, and things just don’t feel so difficult and hard to start. I definitely think I have procrastinated less, and I think my ability to handle stress and recover from any incident has been easier. All that being said, I think I am fighting off a bit of a cold at the moment. I know it was too good to last after having been lurgy free for a significant amount of time, while those around me have coughed and snotted their way through December and January.

It’s also been nice as people have commented that I look like I have lost weight, which has been great to hear. It’s all very well losing weight and knowing that the number of the scales is going down, but having people notice is definitely motivating for me.

One thing I really wish I had done at the start of this Whole 30 was take a “before” photo to be able to compare it to a “now” photo. I didn’t take my measurements either. I’ll definitely make sure that I take a before and after photo at my next Whole 30. It’s not the end of the world though, as I know my clothes are beginning to either fit better, or have too much room in them and I’ll need to move down to the next dress size (specifically my work trousers and my jeans).

What’s next?

I’ve been giving this some real thought. In my previous two Whole 30s, I have found the post-Day 30 really difficult. I have literally gone from eating a full blown paleo way, to going back to old habits very quickly. I want to do it differently this time. So what I have decided is that I’ll keep eating paleo for the majority of the time. It’s working for me right now, and as the saying goes “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. However, from my previous weight loss attempts, I know that as soon as I deny myself [insert any food], then that thought becomes all consuming, and I give in, and I give in big style. I don’t want that. What I have decided is that I will have a non-paleo meal (and pudding) each week, and that meal can be whatever I want, but should (ideally) be made from scratch. If I want the amazing Hairy Biker’s super indulgent cauliflower cheese, then that is what I will have. If I fancy something from one of my paleo recipe books, then I’ll have that. I’ll also be having proper tea at the weekends. It also means that I won’t be that one awkward person who can’t or won’t eat out at certain places. I enjoy food. I don’t want to stop that, but I do want to put a framework in place where I can exercise more discipline to achieve my weight loss goals.

In July, I will also be having another clean up in the form of a Whole 30. July is a pretty quite month for me usually, and hopefully we’ll be able to have a few BBQs for a bit of variety!

My first non-paleo meal? It’ll be tomorrow, and it will be pizza as I’m out with friends. I’ll stop when I’m full, and drink plenty.