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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 !

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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…

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…

STATISTICS Week 2

 This week I tried a whole host of new things partly because some of them were quite small and partly because I wasn’t sure I would be able to implement them during the week and that may have to revisit them on another occasion.

I decided this week I would try

  • Drinking more coffee
  • Drinking green tea
  • Cooking with coconut oil
  • Take a glucomonnon supplement
  • Cut back on added sugar
  • Count steps/wear a pedometer
  • Start a food diary

So yes, quite a list and it turns out that I needed a long list as I was quickly crossing things out as not feasible or not sensible.

The tip of drinking more coffee is because coffee amongst other things act as an appetite supressent… I lived on coffee during my 20’s, drunk strong and black and its probably why I in my 40’s I find it hard to recognise when I am hungry.

Anyway last January I switched to black coffee to reduce the calorie content of my caffeine addiction so this week I decided that I would try drinking better quality coffee because…. But then failed to find my coffer press and a bag of ground coffee until Thursday night.

Drinking green tea was a failure too. I don’t actually like green tea (believe me I have tried) so I wasn’t particularly active in looking for the tea bags and found them by accident when looking for the coffee press.

I ditched the idea of the coconut oil. It was too expensive and decided it was probably better to just cut down on the amount of oil used in cooking

The glucommon supplement was axed once I finally found out what is was namely a fibre supplement that swells after being swallowed which is supposed to make you feel full for longer. Well since feeling hungry is not actually a problem for me (see above) and there are the risk of blockages if it swells in the wrong palce I decided to that this was a definite no-no….

The no added sugar didn’t really work either as apart from a bit of maple syrup on porridge there isn’t a great deal of sugar in my life at the moment…

Not doing too well am I this week am I ?

The food diary was a good option and I have been keeping it diligently in combination with the pedometer which ended up being a FitBit and which deserves a post of its own… I think these 2 items must have helped because the Weigh in this week was pretty impressive.

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Yep…that’s a whole 3lbs and 2% reduction in fat…

Other stats…well I could get boring with them now I have a fitbit so I will just share that I am now reaching the final of the couch to 5k…and still managing 2 spin class a week…

The Puncture Repair Fairy

The existence or not of Father Christmas is a matter of great speculation in our house. The Boy I think has possibly reached the age where he doesn’t really believe… but is hedging his bets as he doesn’t want to risk an empty stocking come Christmas Day.

He has been avidly reading the Truth Behind Father Christmas which is a kids science type book aiming to try and explain how he manages to visit every child in one night (I prefer Arthur Christmas).

I suspect that he may be planning an ambush on Christmas Eve… if he was a bit more technologically savvy I would be concerned about a Santa Cam or possibly time lapse photography to try and find out who fills the stockings really.  There is a genuine risk that he might set up his alarm system… it came with a Spy Kit and is a series of blocks of plastic sensors with beams of light. Any breach of the light beam lets out a loud electronic screeching noise. It is horrible and loud.

The Puncture Repair Fairy however does not exist. My tyre has been flat since early November when I last went outside on my bike. Unfortunately a combination of chest infection, bad weather, work stress and the usual hurly burly of the Christmas season has meant that my bike has languished neglected in the garage.

However work usually kicks us out shortly after 12 so with any luck I will have time to fix the flat and get a quick spin round the block in before we are expected at my parents for a pre-christmas drink.

I may even try Strava for the first time now that I have it working on my phone. I also have Run. Zombies. Run working and hope to drag the Boy away from his Xbox over the next week at least once or twice.

So as large parts of the world switch off and head home to celebrate or already are celebrating I wish those who are reading this (all 3 of you)…Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you all.