An endless cycle!
The above picture is taken from a link that has been floating round the internet recently: http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/comics-that-capture-the-frustrations-of-depression The article has various cartoons that depict the feelings of helplessness and frustration associated with depression and this one particularly resonated with me.
I just feel like I’ve lost my spark at the moment, especially where sports and fitness is concerned. Around about this time 2 years ago I’d achieved one of my life’s ambitions to run a marathon and managed to maintain my WW weight loss for 2 years. I feel like a bit of a failure for letting it slip so far and my attempts at getting into a routine haven’t been that successful. This time of year is never particularly good for me (dark mornings & dark nights aren’t exactly conducive to exercise!) and I think this is compounding the problem.
I suppose the answer it to keep going and try not to get disheartened by the odd set back. I don’t have any races scheduled for the remainder of this year, so perhaps it is time to look ahead to 2014 and find something to work towards. I need to remember that something is better than nothing – with a little bit of persistent effort hopefully my routine (and mojo) will resurface.
Well, I am now 1 week into what I have labelled the ‘transformation’ plan, which to be honest is a pretty ambitious description of the last week.
There have been highs (hitting the gym 6 out of the 7 days) and lows (hello Domino’s online ordering) but on the whole it has been positive.
I’m pleased that I managed to stay on the wagon and only drank on two days, which considering my recent behaviour is pretty good. The scale hasn’t budged but at this stage that’s to be expected, so I’m not too worried about that at the moment. I’m still struggling with really committing though… at this initial stage it always seems like a long slow haul, but I know that consistency is the key!
Still no ‘before’ pictures, as I can’t quite bring myself to either take or post them. It’s a funny thing the before/after pics, they’re inspiring at the end but pre-transformation they just highlight how much work you have to do!
Those are 8kg dumbbells (with 7kg in reserve as I can’t even make it to 10 reps). I remember when my PB was 12kg.
I have a lot of work to do!
After my Weight Watchers journey I thought that I would never let it all go completely and to be fair, I did manage to maintain my weight (within a small margin) for about two years… then I’m not sure what happened, but over the last 12 months I have slipped slowly back into bad habits.
Unfortunately, I think all-or-nothing mentality has contributed to this and as things started to slide, I kept thinking ‘next week will be the week’ instead of making a small change now. I also have the somewhat (un)fortunate tendency to put weight on in an even distribution, which means it takes longer for me (and others!) to notice and it’s easier to ignore. Even now some colleagues are protesting that I look any different, when I am a stone heavier than I was 3 months ago!
So here I am now after months of indulgence finally ready to take stock and get things under control. I don’t want to do a mad diet, but I miss working out and having abs! Plus I promised myself that 2014 would be the year of the half-ironman and I still want to achieve that.
I will however do a ‘before’ pic tonight as I want to measure my progress and remind myself why I am doing this. But it’s not just about weight, it is about balance and finding better ways to relieve stress than mindless eating and boozing.
It is apparently a universal phenomena that when going on holiday you are overly optimistic about how much time/motivation you will have to work out. On a weekend away with friends, the girls planned to go for an early morning trail run and the boys bought P90X & Insanity DVDs. None of these activities occurred. I was slightly disappointed about missing a run on Sunday morning as the weather was glorious and a run would have been a great way to explore the area, but as it was, the general overindulgence of food and booze may have got in the way of enjoying this view…
I also surprised myself by making both vegetarian and meat pizzas and preferring the vege version!
I used my tried and tested pizza base recipe by Lorraine Pascale, available online here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/prosciutto_mozzarella_98052
with the following toppings for the vegetarian version:
- tomato puree
- roasted red peppers (I used the brand Karyatis as they have a spicy edge which is just delicious)
- green pesto
- spinach, cooked in a smidgen of butter
Unfortunately I now have the taste for overindulgence and my hard won pre-mini break loss of 8lbs has diminished to 4lbs and counting. Must must must get back to the gym.
For my 28th birthday, in an effort to get my running mojo back, my mum bought me entry into the Sheffield half marathon 2013. But after 10 nights in Cuba and general over indulgence for several weeks (OK months) I was not feeling particularly race-ready at one week out. I went for a run on the Wednesday before and did 6.35 miles, figuring that if I could do that arbitrarily chosen distance, I would be able to finish the race. Although I hadn’t done a huge amount of running, I had been consistent in going to the gym and maintained a reasonable baseline of fitness which I hoped would get me through.
I was semi-prepared to crash and burn but as I lined up at the start line I got my head in the zone and told myself that I would take it easy, aiming for the 2hr mark.
When I got to the 7 mile marker I knew I would be ok. My legs, my usual weakness, felt good and I’d settled into a natural rhythm. My breathing was a little laboured and I struggled a bit with a double-sided stitch, but that was hardly surprising with the lack of long distance cardio I’d done in the lead up. I kept trucking on, staying positive, not looking at my Garmin but instead keeping a comfortable pace.
I ended up crossing the line in 1 hr 50 mins 17 sec – my second best half marathon time ever!
As I summed up on Facebook: I came physically unprepared but mentally strong and got my second best marathon time ever. True grit for the win.
Threw together this spaghetti bolognese the other night to use up ingredients I already had in the cupboard/freezer. This was surprisingly tasty, I think probably because the mince was such good quality and not too lean.
Ingredients (gives 3 hearty portions)
- small packet cubed pancetta
- 1 chopped onion (frozen ready diced for ease)
- 3tsp garlic paste
- 1 diced green pepper (usually use red, but this worked well)
- 1 courgette, diced
- 400g Aberdeen Angus mince
- 2 tbsp tomato puree (I used a fancy version which was a tomato/italian vegetable mix)
- beef liquid stock cube (undissolved)
- tinned tomatos
- few splashes of worcestershire sauce
- spaghetti to serve
- First fry off the pancetta in a big saucepan
- Add the onion and garlic, frying in the oil released from the pancetta until soft
- Add the pepper and courgette, stirring for 5 minutes
- Add the mince and fry until brown
- Add the tomato puree, beef stock cube, tinned tomatoes and worcestershire sauce
- Turn the heat down and bubble for about 30-40 minutes. Add a bit of water if the sauce starts to thicken too much.
- Serve on top of the cooked pasta
Pictures of food is one blogger tradition that I can get down with, it’s basically food porn. Food photography however requires effort and skill, so no pictures this time. But this is worth making, trust me.