Monthly Archives: August 2015

We’re all going on a summer holiday

We are off on holiday this evening…holidays are usually the death knell of good intentions.

Fortunately the Man has decided that we are taking the bikes as Denmark is apparently cycle friendly… however before that we have a seriously long ferry journey in front of us…from 9am to 5pm..

I’m packing my pedometer as I suspect that if I am going to do 8 hours on a ferry there will be a lot of walking around as even I may find it difficult to sit and read or knit for that length of time – the Boy will be climbing the walls if he isn’t kept moving and distracted

I am also taking the Matt Roberts Fat Loss book in case cycling doesn’t work out whilst we are on holiday

We will also be at the mercy of Ferry food…so a bag of snacks and some drinks is coming as backup

In case you were wondering I got to call it a Green this morning for Thin Club… but only just and completley undeserved after last nights pizza…


Why do you run/walk/swim/climb ? How do you motivate yourself ?

Shortly after I got my bike through the cycle to work scheme my brother was inspired to do the same… and whereas my cycling came to a shuddering stop when the local office was closed he kept going…

When I started again he gave me some time myself; because half the fun is from trying to beat your personal best…

I mentioned this to a friend in our Reading office, this friend Will, is Mr Bike as far as I am concerned. This is a man who cycles to work most days (from Newbury), thinks nothing of getting on his bike to visit his parents in Derbyshire, was delighted to attend a trial in Luton as he could have the fun of cycling back over the Chilterns and a couple of years ago took 2 weeks off work to raise money cycling Lands End to John o Groats

He disagreed. He said it is not about challenging yourself. It’s about the journey. About enjoying the things around you that you miss when whizzing along in a car. Slow down and listen to the grass grow.

I think I may be closer to Will’s philosophy than my brother…the ride of failure on Tuesday was vastly improved by the sight of a fox trotting across the road in front of me as I panted and pushed my sorry way home.  The second time I was out I think I was happier by the fact I’d seen a fox cub, something small yellow and feathery possibly a yellowhammer and a heron all in one ride rather than the fact that I’d knocked 5 minutes off my previous time (not had such an improvement since though… but there has been plenty of good wildlife).

It’s not confined to cycling however, you can see it in most sports. Back when I used to climb (when the Man and I first met and before the Boy) you could divide the climbing community between those who were happy to push the E numbers and had their own Gym/climbing wall in the garage and the happy thuggers like myself and the Man whose idea of a good time was slugging our way to the top of a vaguely interesting bit of rock followed by a picnic in the sunshine with the rest of the group.

BUT… I’m not sure that this is reflected in sport literature. Climbing, Swimming and Cycling all have inspirational books about how someone took on the odds, pushed their own envelopes and improved their performance but there doesn’t seem to be much about the flabby majority of us (apart perhaps from the Ascent of Rum Doodle or the Owl and the Cragrat)…except in running literature

Which is why although I am unlikely to put Run Fat Bitch Run into practice I am reading it for motivation along with “It’s only 4 times round the village” and “Running Like a Girl”

Tonight’s ride is the standard 4 mile circuit I started with, complete with the need to open two gates…the penalty for quite country roads is that some of them are Gated…

Then home to pack

Run Fat Bitch Run by Ruth Field

Following on from yesterday’s dismal attempt I guess it is appropriate to talk about Run Fat Bitch Run by the Grit Doctor aka Ruth Field

I bought the book on the same day as I bought Eat Nourish Glow. It was one of those “you bought this; we thought you might also be interested in this…”

I can tell you now, this book won’t get me running as the “set up time” is too much of a commitment… I can spare 30-60 mines for a cycle ride or a run but not the 90 minutes or more it would take to do the initial “walking the route” but I am leaping ahead of myself.

The books aim is to get people out running including people like myself who don’t believe they are capable or running. It takes as its start point the idea that the biggest hurdle to running is actually leaving the house. Once you get into a routine of leaving the house and make yourself do it at least 3 times a week then you can slowly build up your stamina and your ability until you can run at least 5km…

You start by choosing a route, preferably circular of about 4-5km. You get to know the route and when you are comfortable with the route you gradually start running and walking it and gradually you end up spending more time running than walking.

The book is big on being tough with yourself. About stopping making obstacles as to why you can’t do it and find solutions to the obstacles.  It emphasises that by just leaving the house it’s a win. Every run is a win whether you performed well or not. Be tough on yourself but not hard.

After talking about running generally and how to get started it then has sections on post baby running and nudging it up a bit to marathon running.

The book takes a fun, tongue in cheek approach to just getting you out there. It can be gently bullying and is definitely no nonsense. Either this approach will appeal or it won’t.

The section on dieting and weight loss is similar to the section on running – in short stop making excuses, only you are in control of what you eat and either you want to be thinner or you don’t.

As far as diet is concerned the rules are broadly the same as Eat. Nourish. Glow namely get rid of bad habits towards food and develop good; throw temptation out of the house, drink more water; eat vegetables; with an emphasis on the fact that movement should happen first rather than the diet…

This is probably the most important point because lets face it most of us find it easier to tinker around with the diet (a not doing, a negative) than to get out an exercise (a positive act).

The list of 7 deadly sins is very similar to Eat Nourish Glow too. Sugar is bad. Avoid processed food. No more snacking.

There is a reasonably good section on motivation but by and large the book is not saying anything new but is saying it in a slightly different way.

Although I am not going to be using the book in order to get me running I am applying the philosophy to the cycling as there doesn’t seem to be anything out there similar for flabby wanna be cyclists like myself… there is no-one writing books encouraging people just to get “on yer bike” and pedal. The majority of cycling literature is either travelogues, improving your training techniques or biographies of cyclists…not very inspirational…


This is the first time since May I have failed. I have failed before in that I have failed to go out at all either because I don’t fancy it or there is no one around to keep and eye on the Boy, then it’s not really failing, just postponing to another day …

Today was the first time I have set off on a ride and come back without having done the planned route.

I don’t know what happened… I managed the big hill leaving the village and a good 2.5 miles or so and then my legs just weren’t there anymore – they just didn’t want to go round

Admittedly I hadn’t been feeling too bright when I got back. The day had involved an early start due to a trip to Leeds. I’d rushed out without breakfast thinking I’d get something at the station – totally forgetting that station buffets are not good foraging grounds for healthy eating unless you regard bacon and pastry as essential parts of your 5 a day.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover some Bircher Muesli by a firm called Moma (which stands for Making Oats More Awesome) clocking in at 306 calories and possibly counting towards the 5…admittedly slightly more sugar than I would have liked but hey you can’t have everything.

Unfortunately I also failed to take lunch with me, was running late when I got to Leeds and discovered when I reached my destination that in order to get lunch I would have to leave the office… through a back route as they had closed the front door due to a water leak…not being able to face all the security checks to get out I left eating until my return to the station which was not until 3pm

Lunch was healthy (Camden Food Co salad) but by then I was a bit of a diva due to hunger and narrowly escaped being the nasty woman on the train that makes the old couple stand all the way to Sheffield. They were in my pre booked seat – fortunately there was a spare one near by…

But lettuce and salad is not very filling so maybe by the time I set off on my bike at 7pm I simply lacking in sufficient calories… or possibly was dehydrated as I had hardly anything to drink all day due to fear of being forced to use the toilet on the train…

So as I crawled back the Man gave me his usual amused grin. He doesn’t understand the urge that makes me do this but quietly supports… the Man ran me a bath, plonked me in it and sometime later supplied tea in my Little Miss Sunshine Mug.

Much later there was a bowl of pasta carbnnara (within the remaining calories for the day) and a throw away comment that “maybe we should take the bikes with us when we go… Denmark is supposed to be very bike friendly…”

He also points out that I managed about 4 miles and one hill, so it was not a complete failure… I still went out for a ride… that is still a win…

He is my wing man, my partner in crime. He has my back

Week 1 Day 1 the retake

Today is weigh in day for the NHS programme. I clock in at 12 stone which is not good as it puts me back at the start of my Thin Club declaration from 3 weeks ago.  However I do get to claim a 31.5 inch waist… maybe the exercise and dieting is having some effect and the weight gain is muscle… however it scores a 44 inch below the belly button across my fat belt.

Measuring the fat belt is not easy with a tape measure… normally I just stand in the bath room, grab the flab between my two hands and exclaim “where the hell did that come from…”

I decide to start  Week 1 again as I didn’t really pay much attention to the 5 a day and failed miserably on the resistance exercises… to start me off  I deliberately forget my lunch

Forgetting my lunch is a planned weight loss technique… stick with me on this…

I think my failure to lose weight last week despite the cycling was because I have stopped parking my car a mile away from work (It’s been raining… I’m a wimp!).  I had been clocking up almost 10,000 steps simply walking between work and car together with a walk at lunchtime.

So lunch had to be foraged for. It wasn’t cheap but it started me off on the right footing… a Prêt super bowl salad and a portion of mango which not only ticked the fibre fruit and veg boxes but gave me 2,500 steps… sadly that will be the total for the day as rain means I am in the car park again with only a 30 second walk between car and desk

However with the Man back I have someone to “babysit” (the Boy is 10 and cannot be left alone in the house for another 4 years yet… and to be honest I am not sure I would trust the Boy in any event, he is bright but lacks awareness of “risk”)

The ride this evening felt good and left my glowing with self righteous thoughts… when I stopped lying on the floor and moaning that is. If you are not here for the cycling then you may want to skip ahead to Wednesday when there is a review. This week unfortunately will be quite heavy on the bike stuff as I am trying to fit four short rides in before the end of the week.

I don’t know about you but it is rare that I come back from holiday lighter than when I left… I am a bit worried about the forthcoming holiday that all the good I have done so far will be undone.


It’s raining… The Boy and I declare it a duvet day irrespective of the fact it is Sunday.

Not a lot is done by either of us but I do at least get the office cleared and organised which improves my mental well being… especially as I discover the passports.

Saturday…wine and a duck

I probably should explain what I am doing here…

At the start of the week I decided to commit myself to the NHS 12 week plan which is based on a combination of diet (calories reduction by about 600 calories a day) and exercise of 150 minutes per week.

My problem isn’t really the food side. The food side I can do easily. The exercise though causes me difficulties. I need something that forces me to get out there. I need a set of instructions

Previously I’ve followed the the Matt Roberts Fat Loss programme. It works for me. It got me down to 11 stone from I think 13 stone. I am not quite sure what my starting weight was as I used a weighing machine at Marylebone Station and I can’t guarantee that the Boy wasn’t teasing me at the time by standing on the scales behind me.

This is what 11 stone looks like. Still big. But happy and active and most of all not wobbling when I dance… except where you’d expect it !

My Mum calls the Matt Roberts programme the Boot Camp. It isn’t. It is still down to your choice to do it or not but it is an organised structure of exercise. The problem with the Matt Roberts programme for me is Week 2 Day 1… which involves running… I can’t run… I would like to fix that… but I am not ready yet.

The NHS programme is a warm up… its slightly structured… it requires cardio exercise 5 times a week and 2 of “resistance…  Admittedly I’ve not managed that at all this week and I’ve only so far fitted in 60 minutes exercise.

Also I’m going to get a bad mark on the chart for the calories today as I’m having dinner with my parents…again… there will be wine… but better there is roast duck 🙂