Tub on the Run


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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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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?


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Ultimate Coffee Date: June

Coffee at the ready, it’s Ultimate Coffee Date time! It’s time for a catch up! I cannot remember the last time I blogged so much. I’m not sure whether it’s the Blogtacular effect and my brain is coming up with new post ideas because of that, or whether I’m just doing a bit more that I can write about lately. Who knows!

Coffee in a teapot

If we were having coffee, you’d notice that I’ve caught the sun a little bit. I’m genuinely hopeful of a tan this year instead of going red then back to porcelain white. When we lived in the flat, we didn’t get out a huge amount as we didn’t have anywhere to sit in the sunshine unless we trekked a load of furniture with us, and even then, it’s not the same as being sat in the garden. Now that we have a house with a garden, we’ve really been enjoying getting out in it and tackling the lawn and will very shortly start weeding. Our acer has also gone from having very little in the way of leaves, to suddenly being the most beautiful colour. In terms of working in the garden, I seem to be the person who gets to do the mowing, while Matt rotivates the flower beds (which is fine by me – my weakling muscles can’t cope with rotivating manually for very long!). I think we have been outdoors a bit more lately too, which has helped, and it is amazing what a bit of vitamin D can do for your mood!

Garden 2016

Over coffee, I’d tell you that my Whole 100 is going okay. I’m near the end of a normal Whole 30 now (30 days are up on Tuesday I think). I’ve gotten into a bit a funk lately, which doesn’t seem to have any reason behind it, so I can only assume that it is the junk still leaving my body and it’s just kind of throwing me out of sorts. I know it’ll pass, and I know that I need to invest some time in getting it right too. I haven’t been great at my meal prep outside of dinner. Yesterday, because I hadn’t prepared anything and I was doing some training at work and time got away from me, I didn’t have breakfast or lunch. Not ideal. So today, I suspect is going to be a hungry day. On the plus side, it is a good kind of strange to recognise what hungry is for me. I’m trying to make a conscious effort to only eat when I am hungry, rather than “oh look, it’s 1pm, it’s lunch time”.

Whole 100 breakfast

Over coffee, I would tell you that I am going to be attending a yoga class on Monday. It’s a 6 week class which is meant as an introduction to Mysore style classes. Thankfully it is designed for the complete beginner, though while I am not a complete beginner, it’s been a while since I last practiced. My thoughts have started turning towards the last yoga course that I did in October, and I’ve been quite aware of how shallow my breathing is. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll ache and be a bit stiff for the first couple of times, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Exeter Yoga 2

Over coffee, I would probably still be singing the praises of the Devon County Show. I haven’t been for about three years, but Matt bought us tickets to go this year. I really do need to finish the blog post I’ve started for it, but I enjoyed myself a lot, despite getting up at the crack of dawn (at least it felt like it!). Normally, Mum and I go on a Friday as there are less children around, but Matt didn’t have enough holiday to do that so we went on Saturday instead. Also, with Mum, usually we try loads of different foods, from cheeses to honey to seeds to whatever sounds interesting in the beer and cider tent. This time, my Whole 100 scuppered my plans and I couldn’t eat much at all which was a shame. I actually didn’t buy too much – just a HUGE steak, some sausages and a potted rose for Mum. I would have sneaked an alpaca and/or horse out as they are one of my favourite animals, but I think someone would have noticed!

Devon County Show 2016 Collage

So that’s me this month.

What’s happening in your world?


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.


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Weigh in Wednesday 7: Achieving

Weigh in Wednesday 7

Hello hello! Time is flying for me right now – things are busy and I feel really energised at the moment, and…

Christmas is coming

(Source)

I am actually really looking forward to Christmas this year. I’ve made the decision not to blow the budget (though this will be tested when I go Christmas shopping this weekend), and to enjoy the decorating. Normally Matt will put up the tree, and when we were in the flat, that was pretty much the sum of our Christmas decoration effort. Oh no. Not this year! We need to get a new tree, as we’re a bit tight on space in the living room, but we’ll definitely be making up for lacklustre Christmas decorations over the last few years. Anyway, more on that later (maybe).

After last week’s wonky floor issues, I made sure to take a best of three. The result? Another 2lb loss. Chuffed, chuffed, chuffed. That takes me to 8lbs I think, properly into my new stone. It’s been a pretty good week generally, and I definitely think I’m reaping the benefits of it.

I’d set myself three challenges last week – go for a good walk, get some yoga in, and accept and complete all my Smart Coach challenges on my UP.

On Saturday, Matt and I were focused on the housework and getting more boxes shifted. It was really good to have a clean through, as we don’t have quite as many obstacles to negotiate now. Mum popped over in the afternoon. It was nice to have a catch up as I hadn’t spoken to her much in the week. I think Saturday was the first day that is has felt really wintery here. I hung the washing out (I know, optimistic!), and the wind had a real bite to it. Sunday wasn’t quite so chilly as the wind had dropped off quite nicely. The sun was shining, we didn’t have much left to do at home, so Matt and I headed out for a bimble. I opted for a bridleway that I wanted to know where it went. It’s just around the corner from us, and goes off in a steep and relatively long hill. We were “labradored” about half way up by this lunatic yellow Labrador who was just so pleased with life and thought everything was marvellous. We made a fuss and chatted to her owner, who then apologised profusely when the dog jumped up with muddy feet. I didn’t mind – our old dog did worse I’m sure!

Sunday autumn walk

We stopped a couple more times as Matt found some things to photograph. It really was such a gorgeous day. Eventually the bridleway came out at a farm with a stable yard. The track was quite muddy so we didn’t carry on exploring north, and so with a big inhale of the lovely smell of haylage (one of my favourite smells, which reminds me of pottering around the yard when I used to ride), we headed back towards the town. We found the road, town cemetery and primary school, which were previously unknown to us.  It wasn’t a long walk, probably two miles maximum, but it was so nice to be out in the fresh air.

I managed to fit in a very short yoga session, which felt great for my shoulders after being hunched over my desk all week.  I accepted all my UP challenges too, and I’m pleased to report that I aced most of them too. I think I am getting into a good bedtime habit now, and I’m conscious of keeping my steps up during the day.

My plans for this week are:

  • Survive the Christmas shop on Exeter high street. Good luck to me!  I’ve done a little bit of online shopping, but not much. A plan of attack is being formulated and may involve breakfast in the city.
  • Explore a different part of where I live.  So much to explore!

Do you go all out on the Christmas decorations? When does your tree get put up?

 


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Yoga isn’t relaxing – Part 2

If you missed Part 1, it’s probably worth a quick catch up here.

When the alarm went off on Sunday, I opened my eyes and felt rested. Actual, proper rest. This literally never happens. I had the best night’s sleep I’d probably had in months. The fact that I could barely move my legs was neither here nor there! My muscles ached. Maybe more than ached. While I’d had a good sleep, the fact I was barely mobile made me wonder whether I would be able to do Day 2. Mentally, I’d considered phoning in sick.

Wait. What the?!

As I woke up properly, I realised that I was being completely stupid. No one would have noticed my uncanny resemblance to a piece of wood – they were probably all feeling reasonably similar (which was later confirmed when I got to the studio).

Driving through the fog, working out the best route and considering where to park, I felt I’d made the right decision. This was only further confirmed by the easy welcome when I stepped through the door. It felt good.

Yoga isn't relaxing - Part 2

I set out my mat in the same place (total creature of habit) and we practised what we’d learnt the previous day. Despite thinking that my legs (which is where I had most of the soreness) were going to snap if I tried to bend them, the flow was much easier than I was expecting it to be.

After the sun salutations, Chris talked us through bandhas. During this part, I learnt I actually have lower stomach muscles.  I cannot think of a time when I have ever felt them before. Not even after an abs class at the gym. Turns out that I probably very rarely used these muscles, as after a while of using them, I found they ached, and later in the day, I found sneezing quite painful.

This lead on to some balances. I think it is fair to say that my balance isn’t amazing. I’m not sure why, other than I can only imagine it is because I a) don’t concentrate enough, and b) don’t engage the muscles needed for balance all that often. It seemed that I wasn’t the only one having problems in this area. What probably made it worse for me was as soon as I saw the guy to my left start to wobble or move, I followed suit. If I couldn’t see him though, it was much better.

After lunch, Chris talked about establishing a home practice, and carving out a space, both physically to roll your mat out, but also in terms of your diary. Yoga is best done in the morning apparently, and some practice is better than none. With this in mind, I’m trying to suss out how to incorporate this into my life in a more suitable way.

Towards the end, the more adventurous amongst us got to play a bit with back bends and inversions. I was able to take part in the back bends, but the inversion (shoulder stand) was a bit beyond me. I think I may have smothered myself with my own chest if I had attempted the shoulder stand!

Day 2 was less physically intensive than Day 1, but it was more subtle. There was lots of good information throughout and I actually feel that I understand now that yoga isn’t just a relaxing activity to while away the time and get a good stretch. Don’t get me wrong, there is stretching, but it is also uplifting and stress busting, and inspiring and grounding, and there is so much more beyond just moving.

I absolutely would recommend the Ashtanga Yoga Workshop if anyone was in the market for an introduction to Ashtanga yoga. The studio is really lovely – clean, warm and with plenty of equipment, and the people are very friendly and welcoming. I plan to go back to the Mysore classes once I have established a home practice. I feel like I have learnt a lot, and I’m desperate not to lose my focus on it.

Lastly, I have a couple of tips if you do find yourself signed up to a yoga workshop:

  • Get on the front row. I’m usually a back row kinda person, but I scooted forward to the front when I realised the second row had become the front row.
  • Don’t think people are watching you. Firstly, they won’t be. They’ll be too busy trying to make sure that their arm/hand/foot/leg/gaze is in the right place to notice what you’re doing. Secondly, you’ll be so busy trying to make sure that your arm/hand/foot/leg/gaze is in the right place that you won’t notice if they’re watching. The only person that matters when it comes to watching you is the teacher, who might adjust you.
  • Don’t think that all the participants are all going to be super-flexible, lithe athletes clad in Lululemon. I am living proof that this isn’t the case. We had a really good mix – from people like me, to an ironman athlete, to a yogi who had been practising for a year or so, to the stay-at-home mums who just seemed to want a bit of sanity back in their lives.
  • It isn’t serious. Well, at least this workshop wasn’t. It was good fun, if not hard work sometimes. Bodily functions will happen. People will snore during savasana. Your top will probably ride up. You’ll probably get a giggling fit and collapse, and if you don’t, someone else will. It doesn’t have to be serious.

So, as I said, this wasn’t exactly a bucket list item for me, but it was something that I wanted to do, and I’m really glad I did it.

Do you have anything similar you’d like to have a go at?


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Yoga isn’t relaxing

The Snickers advert with Joan Collins in always makes me laugh.

Sadly, the reality is that it seems I turn into a diva (though not anywhere approaching glamourous) if I find myself in the situation where I struggle to cope. Matt tells me that one of the things that really makes a difference to how I am and how well I cope with stuff is when I practice yoga. Or, rather, as I learnt this weekend, practice the poses.

I’ve been meaning to go on a yoga workshop for some time. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was on my bucket list, but it is something I have wanted to do just for me. I was googling yoga studios locally, and came across the Ashtanga Yoga Workshop in Exeter. I read the reviews, browsed their website and put my name down for the Beginners 2-Day Intensive workshop. This would probably have been around May. I knew the house move was going to take precedence for a while, but that we would definitely have moved house by 3rd October when the workshop started.

In the run up to the workshop, I’d had all these great ideas about how the unpacking would be finished in the first week, and I’d be able to roll my mat out in the spare bedroom and get back into it before the workshop. Yeah. That didn’t happen. In a way, I’m kind of glad, as I went to the workshop with no bad habits formed.

My history with yoga has been primarily gym class based, running through various poses, trying to breathe through them, and treating it as exercise, and a relaxing one that that. No fast paced stuff, and definitely there was never any real sweating, and I can’t remember a time when the instructor would correct my form in a pose. This kind of moved across into my own home practice with YouTube videos. I didn’t know if I was following a particular style of yoga, or anything behind it. Turns out, there is a lot more to yoga than just the poses!

On Day 1, I parked at the park and ride, and made my way to the studio for 10:45am. The studio is lovely. It’s a little cocoon away from the hustle and bustle, tucked down a little side street that you would miss if you weren’t looking for it. That said, it isn’t hard to find (the website directions are very good). Stepping in, the lighting is muted, it is warm, and smells cosy and welcoming. I didn’t know anyone else there, which was a little daunting, but quickly forgot all about it as I made friends with one of the ladies who I parked my mat next to.

Yoga isn't relaxing

Chris, our teacher, asked us to introduce ourselves before talking about the workshop. First order of the day was to get us to breathe properly. I thought “huh? I am breathing, so surely that is good?”.  Turns out I was wrong. Breathing fully, when you’re not used to doing it, is actually hard work, but also fascinating. Immediately this differed to what I had been shown previously – in through your nose, out through your mouth. Not in this workshop! No mouth breathing in any way. It wasn’t banned, but it felt much more effective to breathe through my nose.

After a break, it was on to sun salutations (A and B). The idea was to apply the breathing techniques that we had used in the morning in physical practice in the afternoon. These deep breaths drive movement, not the other way around, as I often thought. I recognised the sun salutations from my previous dabbling. A little bit of dread filled me at the thought of it. I cannot hold downward dog for longer than literally 1 pant, let alone five full breaths. Nope. My wrists, elbows and shoulders just don’t get it. Chris said “try puppy pose”. What?! Puppy pose?! What is this? Turns out that puppy pose is something that I can work with to working up to full downward dog – there is progression! I immediately felt the weight of dread lift.

Dread was swiftly replaced by sweat. Not quite dripping, but not far off! Thankfully I wasn’t the only one. After a couple of guided flows, and then a couple of solo flows, it was time for possibly one of the best bits of yoga… Savasana. Then lunch. Two great things!

After lunch, there was an introduction to the opening chant. I thought I’d find it really cringey, but actually it was really engaging. I won’t lie, it probably won’t be something I’ll be able to remember for home practice though. Standing poses followed the chants and information about the Ashtanga style. Chris had warned us earlier that we may feel some emotions during poses that we weren’t expecting to feel. When he’d said it, I remembered Kino MacGregor (who I follow on Instagram) saying that she would cry during a specific back bend. I smiled, thinking that this is something that happened to those who were really “good” at yoga. So to say that when I felt white hot anger in a forward bend was a shock, was a bit of an understatement. I don’t understand why, and I was really surprised it happened. I put it down to tiredness.

I came home feeling really grumpy. I was sore – my lower back felt like someone had sandpapered my muscles, my feet ached and my knees felt bruised. I wondered whether I could make it through to Day 2!

I think this post has gone on long enough, so I’ll post about Day 2, and my thoughts separately.

Have you been to a yoga workshop before?  What did you think?


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Catching up on my Janathon

Day 8 of Janathon was a mad dash around the house and trips and up and down our stairs.  The purpose of the mad dash was to pack and head up to my mother-in-law’s after work, as we were staying with her for the night.  There were definitely a few out of puff moments!  The reason for staying away from home on a Thursday night?  Well…

Matt and I, for Day 9 of Janathon, trekked over 4 and a half miles around the NEC for Autosport International.  It was interesting, and I enjoyed the live show.  I thoroughly enjoyed the people watching too.  I didn’t spot any big celebrities, though I did see Shane Lynch (of Boyzone fame).  He’s drift car racing these days apparently.

Janathon Day 9

It was a long day, brightened by a pink Caddy and a well deserved coffee!

All of the walking, followed by sitting in the car for quite a long time meant I was quite stiff yesterday morning, so…

I was quite chuffed at being able to hold downward dog for a bit longer.  I don’t think I’ve really ever said, but this is one of the poses I find most difficult.  My legs just don’t want to straighten, and I get sore wrists so I always struggle to hold this pose.  I’m not holding it for the 5 breaths that my old yoga teacher used to like us to hold, but it’s getting better.

Which brings us up to today’s Janathon.  I would like to think that some huffing and puffing as I walked out of the Apple shop (as in Apple products, not a greengrocer) would count, but I suspect not.  My iPod has decided to stop syncing.  I’ve tried all the tips suggested online by their support, but it isn’t playing ball.  I had a problem with my old iPod a long time ago, and Apple were really good about it.  Today, I wandered in and there was a queue for the tech team.  I got to the guy who seemed to be coordinating, and he said I needed to make an appointment.  No problem.  He asked what was wrong with it, and I’d taken a screenshot of the issue with my phone to show (as my memory isn’t the best).  He laughed and said that he was sure they could help with the (faulty) iPod, but he couldn’t do anything about my (working absolutely perfectly) Samsung mobile.  Urgh, Apple snob.  Then as I headed towards John Lewis, I thought I bet the Samsung tech team were having a quieter Sunday.

I digress.  Janathon has been a walk around town, some active (ish) housework, and some more yoga because I’m still a bit stiff.

IMG_20150110_153954

In Whole 30 news, everything is going pretty well.  I felt a bit apprehensive about going away overnight and then to a show, but I planned it all – breakfast quiche and juice, salad and bananas, black coffee.  Not a single non-Whole 30 thing passed our lips.

There are a couple of things that I have noticed so far.  The first is that I seem to be a lot thirstier at the moment.  I don’t remember this being the case last time, and I don’t think I have added more salt into our food than normal (and I don’t add much generally).  The second is that I seem to have missed the “kill all the things” stage, but I am firmly in the grips of the reputed “let me nap” feeling of days 6 and 7.  I think the last thing I noticed is that last time we did a Whole 30, I ended up weighing literally every day in the first week or two just to see what the scale said.  While I am interested, I’m not being driven half mad by daily scale watch.  I’d like to know if there has been a weight loss, but in all honesty, I’m just too tired to have to deal with the “Woohoo it’s as/more than expected” or the “Boo, this isn’t enough”.

How was your weekend?