Author Archives: 5currantbuns

About 5currantbuns

Cake Baker

Where I’ve been and where I’m going

You may be surprised to hear, in view of my woeful inability to make regular posts to this blog that I actually achieved pretty much all of my goals in 2016. Let me rephrase that, I achieved almost all of the exercise related goals but fell down miserably on the weight targets… but then once you miss one weight milestone it can be difficult to get back on track unless you make them flexible…

The only exercise goal I did not achieve was the ambition to cycle to the train station regularly but failure here was down to circumstances (dropping the Boy off with his grandparents) not being compatible with the train timetable. Hopefully this year the Boy will start being more organised and will be able to walk to the bus stop on his own after having remembered to lock the front door !

I am a Wolf Runner, a Metric Centurion and a Warwickshire Triathlete, I have the medals to prove it and at some point there will be a blog post on here and photographic evidence too.

I have achieved part of the purpose of this blog. In 2016 I got fitter and I think a little bit healthier. The weight has gone down but I hit a plateau and just can’t seem to get past the 11 stone barrier and since the summer I have yoyo-ed between 11 and 11 stone 7lbs.

Part of the problem I think is I lost focus. The idea of the challenges was to find something to keep me incentivised to exercise but I found that instead of exercising to get fit and lose weight I was training to the challenge… and collecting a fine crop of medals although exceedingly gratifying was not the point.  It also failed to impress the Boy or get him enthused about the idea of being outside.

The Man on the other hand is very keen on the idea of cycling to work and after one expensive false start of buying the wrong bike now has quite a sporty roadbike/hybrid… The garage is suffering from N+1++ a number of our bikes are recondition/rebuilds which makes me quite happy. The Raleigh Candice is finished save for some new bar tape, the Boy has a reconditioned Trek as a temporary bike and we have promised him a new bike when he is a little taller (he is growing like a weed at the moment).

So I am going to make things easier on myself this year. The only target is to lose 1lb a week and to weigh at least 1 stone less this time next year…

There are some fun challenges along the way such as a run from Lands End to John O Groats (no, not really…I have a living to earn) plus a walk from the Shire to Rivendell and then either to  the Mines of Moria or Mount Doom…

There will be photos.. there will be retrospective blog posts about last year… there will be bike related musings… after all there are now 6 bikes in the garage (only 2 belong to me) and there will be some thoughts on eating (as if I genuinely want to get down to 10 stone I will have to address what I eat as well as what I do)… in short, there will be a lot more blogging than last year… although that’s not going to be difficult !

Back out There aka wet ride and puddles

I still haven’t made a decision about the Nightride in June. My unofficial plan said I needed to complete a 10 mile cycle ride by the 31st January if I was going to take part… except the weather was against me on the 31st January so I resolved to complete a 12 mile cycle by 7th February (on the grounds that I manage over 10 miles in Spin Class).

But come the following weekend the UK was in the grips of Storm Imogen so instead of cycling to the gym on Sunday I drove… besides I had received a tentative suggestion from the men of the house that maybe we did a family bike ride over the weekend.

So once at the gym I knew I had to nail the 12 miles so I set too on the stationary bike using one of the cross country programmes and quickly, but exceedingly boringly soon racked up sufficient milage…

Shame as the journey home was dry and peaceful the rain having finally stopped and it would have been an interesting ride as large parts of the countryside were submerged under water…

Later on Sunday we manage to get out as a family…

And there was much splashy puddle fun… in fact it was great being outside again… until I got another flat !

And then… whilst we were mending it… the heavens opened again

It may be some time before I get the Boy out again… cycling through puddles may be fun but being rained on is just not his cup of tea…

WEIGH IN   WEEK 5 TO 13

So despite the fact I haven’t been blogging I have been keeping to my weekly weigh in… mostly… some weeks admittedly I don’t bother if I know the print out will not make happy reading and will just make me feel more down than I might be that week…

If I do a certain amount of exercise and keep and eye on the calories then the weight will go down… if I fall down on my vigilance or have a week where too many nights conclude with the TV and a bottle of wine then I know it will go up…

There is no secret to this for me, there is no quick fix, it’s just exercise, count calories and stay away from the red wine…

It was unfortunate that my busy stressful period coincided with the end of Dry January… and I know that losing weight is easier if alcohol is not involved… not because of the amount of sugar in wine but because alcohol reduces your will power and “less will power leads to snacking… snacking leads to suffering” (as Yoda didn’t say)…

However I don’t see the point in cutting out alcohol completely unless I am planning on cutting it out long term because otherwise the weight will just pile on once the abstinence is over… I have to find a “lifestyle” and habits that work as a permanent solution.

I do try different things to keep things interesting and as a way of motivating myself… these however fell by the wayside when things got busy but I would like to start that up again.

I may have to ditch the “chew your food more” tip as I’m not sure I will ever eat slowly… but I guess less fast may be a start…

My parents banned me from reading at the table so I got into the habit of eating quickly in order to get back to my book…

The idea of eating slowly is so that you stop when you are full and don’t overeat which is a risk if you eat quickly because it takes awhile for your tummy to tell your brain that you are full…

I was also brought up to eat everything on my plate… so maybe the answer is smaller plates, smaller portions

SO the weight then, well it went up and down and up and down but generally the trend has been going down so now instead of yo-yoing between 11st 7lb and 12 stone I am bouncing mostly between 11st and 11st 7lb so I guess that’s a win

Anyway, as at the end of week 13  it was 11st 6lb the strange thing is that the gym scales now say I am 1m 67cm… I seem to be getting taller rather than slimmer…

It’s not how far you have to go that is the problem…

… but knowing that you have to cycle back!

I thought I would bring things up-to-date here and tell you about how I am getting on with at least some of my plans for this year… it does mean that this blog becomes slightly out of sequence as I will go back and cover some of the things I have done in the last 6 months at some point…

About 12 months ago I took my first ever selfie to commemorate my first bike ride in a couple of years… this is how I looked after managing 4.5 miles in about 35-40 minutes – (I managed to walk/run the same distance 11 months later in just over 60 minutes and felt less tired which just shows how unfit I was).

This is I think my 4th ever selfie taken 12 months later and shortly after I arrived at work one Friday…2015-05-10 09.49.06

I had just cycled from home to work some 25 odd miles in 2 hours 45 minutes… not completely representative of my state as this is some 10 minutes later after I’d changed and sat down to have a coffee…i20160527_091718

I had been too distracted to take a photo immediately I arrived as I was having trouble working out how my new D lock worked…

And this is how I looked some 8 hours later after I had repeated the journey back… still look quite happy and not as tired out as the first picture…

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I was tired though but exhilarated…

I think I was lucky that Google maps sent me along quite a green and pleasant route, there were lots of country roads and quiet backroads through parts of towns (Warwick, Kenilworth)…my Mum thinks country roads are more dangerous as cars hurtle down them at speed but I think I would rather take my chances with them than some of the busier town roads… certainly the bit of the journey when I was actually in Solihull was dirty, dustier and noisier.. the air just tasted different and not in a nice way…

The journey back was the more stressful as it was rush hour out of Solihull and a Friday night at that so it started early… going to work it was almost as if I was the only person on the road for a lot of it as I started early (6am) in order to reach work at a reasonable time.

Very grateful to the Man, the Boy and my parents for helping out and covering the usual Friday morning drop off arrangements for the Boy which usually prevent me from being able to set out so early…

The Ups and downs of the Heart Rate Monitor

My Fitbit is one of those that monitors your heart rate… how accurate this is god only knows but whether it is accurate or not I think there are benefits of being able to see how your heart rate changes during activity and during periods of sloth.

I felt quite chuffed when I first got my Fitbit to discover that my resting heart rate was actually quite good…it was between 57-64 bpm. Not bad I thought for a fat girl who has only really been exercising since the summer and only taking a real interest in being healthier since October (so 3 months at that time).

I started to get quite alarmed therefore when I noticed an upward trend in my resting bpm from about the end of January. Pretty much every day from the end of January until the end of February I saw a daily increase in the resting level… and then it plummeted back to early January levels.

It was only when it started to go up again that I realised what the trigger was… stress… and some of the things that go hand in hand with stress. It was at the end of January that things started to get stressful at work as I started to prepare for the Court case at the end of January…

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post as I got busier and more stressed my exercise went out of the window. I drank more coffee (caffeinated), cut back on the amount of water I drank (because I didn’t have time to leave my desk to get it), started missing lunch and not going for a walk or a run as I was working through.

It also coincided with the end of dry January and my intake of red wine went up quite a lot too…

Up and up it went until the date of the court case… and then 2 days after it dropped…

Googling later it revealed that yes stress, alcohol and not drinking enough water can dramatically affect your resting heart rate…

So there you are then… lesson learned… or perhaps not as since the end of April I’ve been dealing with a Judicial Review… once again diet and exercise have gone out the window and my resting heart rate has gone up.

I’m not going to let it happen a third time.

 

Week 4 Statistics

I wasn’t expecting today’s weigh in to be good news as not only did I take a week off from exercising, but I have in part been neglecting the healthy eating AND the wheels fell off the dry January wagon in a big way on Tuesday.

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The lack of physical activity was partly due to the indecision I explained in my previous post but partly because my focus this week has been on work.

I am in court with one of my cases at the end of February and I have spent the last week analysing our case and ensuring we have answers to every argument raised.

Past experience tells me that when I have to think hard about work for long periods then I need  to avoid activities that give me too much solo thinking time such as running or lunchtime walks. Admittedly I can block some of it out by sticking the headphones on and listening to music but it is best just not to do it.

The same applies to the healthy eating side of things but so much

This post was drafted at the end of January but I didn’t get around to posting it because of the things I mentioned in the previous post…

Pressing the Reset Button

It’s been awhile…I didn’t mean to be away for so long… it’s just when things get busy it’s hard to keep all the balls in the air…

When you are part of a family, yes you have a right from time to time to do what you want to do but you also owe certain obligations to that family, to pull your weight, do your share of the chores and make sure the household functions… kinda like society in miniature !

I try not to let my keep fit/health goals impinge too much on family life… I also try very hard not to let work interfere with family life or family intrude into the work sphere…

…and when things get busy or stressful then something has to “give”…

I think I have mentioned before that I’m a lawyer. Well before I went “in-house” I used to be a high street litigation lawyer; mostly personal injury and debt action but also breach of contracts, general disputes and occasionally a repossession.

We don’t tend to do much civil litigation ourselves at work (except judicial reviews), mostly disputes get farmed out to external solicitors but occasionally for small claims court stuff or possession claims I have to revive my litigation skills.

Anyway as I got to the end of the Couch25k my work life suddenly started to get busy. This was the end of January. I had started preparing for the court hearing due at the end of February of the case I’d started last October to remove some trespassers from our land. Trespass cases are meant to be over and done within about 10 days of issuing… not this one though as at the hearing last November our case was adjourned for a longer hearing…

Suddenly out of nowhere a firm of solicitors started writing to me claiming they were acting on behalf of one of the Defendants who had somehow managed to get Legal Aid

After that it all got very complicated and very very busy. I had so many things that needed to be resolved. And well, the one rule in my job is that litigation comes first. You have to meet the Court imposed deadlines, no excuses.

I also found that I couldn’t run or cycle or do any activity which would mean I would spend long periods of time inside my own head because I’d start to think and worry and fret about things… I guess the answer would have been to find someone to run with… instead I reduced my activity to spin class only

So yes pretty much the diet, exercise and trying to be health took a bit of a nose dive… I managed to do just about enough to mean that when I did my first 5k run at the beginning of March it wasn’t a complete disaster and I managed to avoid piling on loads of weight… it’s just it wasn’t coming off very quickly…

We were back in Court at the end of February which solved many things but we have still ended up with yet another court date (July) and a long list of directions which has meant me being busy for most of March and April but it hasn’t been quite so bad…

… and then just when I thought things were getting back to normal I ended up with a judicial review to deal with on another matter…

I will try and catch up over the next few weeks PLUS I finally have some updates on what is happening with the Raleigh Candice I was meant to be rebuildingV