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Health and fitness update 01

It feels really good to be sitting down to write about my health and fitness journey so far in 2014. I think I'm going to find it really cathartic and supportive to my goals to be writing about it on a regular basis so I hope you won't mind me sharing it here.  For those of you not interested in health and fitness please feel free to skip over.

I have been battling against talking about my weight on here and on Twitter because it just seems so dull.  I don't want to become one of those weight bores who only talks about the numbers on the scales.  I can't think of anything that defines me less than my body mass, which kind of begs the question as to why I want to tell people what mine is, or update them when the number increases.  In all the time I've known Tom, I've never known him stand on the scales in our bedroom or look in the mirror poking, prodding, huffing and criticising.  Why can't I be like the people I know who accept their bodies and don't give a second thoughts to its measurements? But despite all of my best intentions, I can't help feeling disheartened when, after a week that was certainly better than the last, the numbers don't seem to agree.  I can't deny feeling pretty dejected at seeing that the numbers now mirror what I was at the beginning of 2012, before the Jenny Craig diet, before running, before clean eating, before I felt confident enough to post a tummy photo! Aside from the scales, my clothes are feeling tighter and I feel uncomfortable; bloated, slouchy, self-conscious.  It's not the direction I want to head in, or the way I want to feel.

I talked in my previous post on health and fitness post about being more 'mindful' - listening to what my body wants to eat, when it wants to move, being more understanding of the things that make me feel good and doing them more often.  I realised quite soon after I began attempting this, that this alone would not spur me onto my goals and help me become fitter, more active and more healthy and nourished.  Left to its own devices my body craves McDonalds, Dairy Milk, lie-ins and pizza.  It does not push me, bouncing out of bed to the spin bike or the 30 Day Shred DVD. But why should I be surprised? I commented on Twitter this morning that my brain does not seem to be 'on my side'.  It tells me I can't do things, it says mean things about me when I look in the mirror and it tells me to stay in bed in the morning when my alarm goes off for a pre-work run.  The truth is, my brain, or my mind, has gone a bit rogue.  So I can't trust it to push my in the right direction and I have to take control.  I realise that this might all sound a bit odd, and that talking about my mind like it's a separate entity is more likely to get me puzzled looks rather than an inner motivation, but it's made me realise the value of determination and focus.  So my new goal this week is let those negative thoughts pass by, and attend instead to making better habits.  I have been trying that this week; letting the thought of raiding the Christmas chocolates box simply float off into the ether and instead making a fruit-filled smoothie (it is hard but will hopefully get easier). I saw two quotes today that really resonated with me, first, this one...

img credit: seventeenthandirving
... and also this tweet: "Our lives are a reflection of our minds. Busy mind busy life, fearful mind fearful life, brave mind brave life, happy mind happy life."  I definitely have a very busy mind! 

Going back to the goals I referenced in my first post though, I have some successes to share and some that need further work.  I have only been to one yoga class so far, but I'm signed up to start a course in a couple of weeks and I've also been doing a yoga video most mornings, either a couple of Tara Stiles videos, a Yoga for Beginners DVD, or the excellent Yoga for Runners routine that was recommended to me.  I feel really good after doing this and it was amazing for when I was achy post runs last week.

Talking of running, I've had a slow re-introduction to it over the last couple of weeks, with two post-work runs with our work running club (we do 5ks on Tuesdays after work) and a rather ambitious 7.5k last Sunday.

It felt absolutely amazing but I must admit I was sore afterwards, both from my weak ankle and the fact that I've barely run for months so throwing myself into 55 minutes of it at once may have been a bit silly (I do have an ankle support and did a lot of stretching but still).

I haven't done as much dog walking and generally being outside as I would like, though I am blaming that on the weather rather than laziness (it is perhaps a combination of both!) 

The dry January has also not gone so well - I made it through the first two weeks but I decided it felt like unnecessary punishment so I've had the odd social drink here and there (on three occasions this month).  I don't feel like a failure because I couldn't really come up with a reason why I was doing it or how it was helping, so that's one goal I've decided to shelve for now.

How are you getting on if you made any health and fitness resolutions this year? What's helping you with your goals?

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18 comments

  1. Little steps towards fitness help so much more in the long run Rosie! I take regular hour/sometimes longer walks in the evening which help to keep my fitness at a somewhat decent level, but really need to get back in the running game once the evening darkness lifts a little. Best of luck with your plan lovely, I have every faith that you'll make good progress! xx

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  2. "Why can't I be like the people I know who accept their bodies and don't give a second thoughts to its measurements?" is something I think far too often. I can't wait to get my back fixed and be able to work on a strong and healthy body rather than the one which I currently resent x

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  3. I have tried to do before-work workouts and it just doesn't happen. I don't want to do them after work but it's the only way that works for me. Plus I put more effort in because I'm not half asleep and I've eaten beforehand etc.

    I swear by working out at home using Fitness Blender on youtube. The workouts are so good and they really work! I only do 30 mins each time so I still get my evening free to do other things. There's no going outside into the cold or trekking to the gym. Winner!

    Best thing I did was go onto low GI foods which I did because of my PCOS. I eat every couple of hours which means I don't ever feel super hungry and I have lots of energy to do my workouts. Cutting down on sugar means I don't crave it as much and I feel a lot more balanced in general. I tend to save treats for the weekend so that I can enjoy going out for meals etc, because I know I've been good all week and it's not going to do any damage to my overall routine.

    I look forward to seeing your updates! :)

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  4. Love this post Rosie - it's so honest and, if you don't mind me saying, normal! I can really connect with how you're feeling. Although I've never been a runner (just 1 mile on the treadmill made me hate going to the gym), I've enjoyed short bursts of cardio combined with toning classes and spin classes. I've lost a stone since last Summer, thanks to Slimming World, but just started to plateau so I'm getting back to the 30 Day Shred - but still being mindful. Some nights, I won't do it. Life happens. In fact, I'm more likely to do the 30 days over 50 days, and I'll never go to level 2 because it's not up on Youtube ;) Regardless, those 20 minutes are full of pushing myself. Combined with a good food plan with SW, I hope my tummy photo isn't too far off. Rosie x

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  5. You need to focus on the good things, Rosie! You're getting back into running, which is amazing - I'm shit at running, I don't think I will ever be good at it despite really wanting to be! It's an amazing achievement (I think so, anyway).
    It can be difficult to stay on the wagon, but never underestimate the support from fellow girls in the same boat as you :) I was saying to someone I work with today how my weight goes up and down so much, and she said it doesn't show. Weight isn't the be all and end all - I'm still a size 10 if I go up or down a couple lbs! So I really shouldn't focus too much about it!
    I've managed a dry January (minus a few champagne truffles but I don't think they really count!) and have really gotten into finding good substitutes for things I really like (such as the raw chocolate peanut butter cups!). I've also really gotten into making smoothies every morning - my current favourite being a green monster smoothie of banana, spinach, soya milk and nut butter - SO good!
    I look forward to your updates, love these kinda posts! xx

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  6. It's definitely all about little steps, making better choices, more often. I always remember how good I feel when I'm eating (mostly) clean and sticking to my workout schedule. I'm training for my first marathon at the moment and whilst it's bloody hard work, I'm really enjoying the journey and ticking off sessions. Well done on your running - it's so cool that your work has a run club! x

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  7. Oh Rosie! Don't let the scales get you down! You look wonderful and you should be so proud of everything you've achieved with your running.
    The winter sucks with the cold weather and the rain and the cravings for big hearty carby meals but don't worry - it's February next week and then we're nearly at spring time and it all becomes much easier!
    x

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  8. I'm so impressed with you Rosie, I can't even remember the last time I voluntarily ran when it wasn't for a bus hahah. (Also coming from the girl eating a mini Cornetto right now.. IT'S MINI OKAY.) Also super glad you like the Ekhart videos, knew you would!x

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  9. Small steps for a big change! you are on the right path, Good luck! xx

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  10. Try not to dwell on what isn't going the way you would like it to. Last week I found myself snacking more than I would have liked and I did no exercise (due to a cold) but this is a new week and I have started a fresh.
    You are doing so well and I am very impress by your 7k. I am thinking of doing a 5k in the summer and even that scares me somewhat!

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  11. I'm sure the wintertime just sucks all enthusiasm and drive out of us, I can't seem to find much motivation and I feel like I had bucket loads of it last year. I'm setting some specific dates in my mind for events I want to take part in and figuring out that I need to get my ass in gear or risk a serious amount of regret for not putting in the effort training. Bah. Bluffing my way thorugh (bring on Spring, I'm sure we'll all feel a bit better). In the meantime be kind to yourself :) x

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  12. 7.5km is amazing! Don't be hard on yourself I'm certain you'll get where you want to be!

    www.katesdays13.blogspot.com

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  13. I know it is much easier said than done but don't beat yourself up, you are doing a lot more exercise than most people (myself included!) and every little helps right?! You have been a fitness inspiration for me for a while now so just keep doing what you are doing!

    Maria xxx

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  14. I'll read your fitness posts! Us bloggers have a way of keeping each other motivated. My fitness goal this year is to do yoga every day. I'm doing pretty good. As always, I got the flu and that stopped me from doing any for over a week. But usually that unmotivates me for a month. I'm currently back on track. One thing that helps is telling myself when I don't want to do it is 'just do a short 5-10 minute routine'. Like 99% of the time I do a full workout. Once I get started I get into it and don't want to stop. Wish I could go for runs. Even if the weather here wasn't artic I couldn't with the wee one always at my side.

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  15. I'll be heading over here every week for fitness motivation. I'm currently on week three of my healthy living (and blogging about it) and I'm finding it tough! I just lose motivation, so i'm constantly on the look out for more blogs to follow, and healthy recipes etc. I'm setting myself small targets, which is smoething I've never done before and it's definitely easier!

    Good luck, and keep at it!
    Caroline xx

    allabouthegirlblog.blogspot.com

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  16. I'm not sure there are many people, or at least many women that just accept their bodies and don't give a second thought to the measurements. Sadly I think it's just a huge part of the current culture. I was thinking this morning about my own weight loss goals and how I would be happy once I've lost 1.5 stone...but then I thought back to a time when I was that weight/size and remember not being happy then either.

    I think you look fab, but obviously that doesn't help, we have to be the ones to see it for ourselves. I think it's a long, slow journey and I'm not convinced there's a destination..Hmmm this post has given me a lot of food (pardon the pun!) for thought.

    Thanks for sharing and good luck to you with your goals!

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  17. Keep smiling babs, you're doing the right thing and focussing on how you feel more than the numbers - even if it is natural to notice them! I'm super impressed with your 7.5km run, I haven't been in ages either, maybe you could sign up to a race as incentive to keep going? :) ♥ Claire at Jazzpad

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  18. You should read the Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters. It's really helped my attitude towards food (and all other areas of my life) and the decisions I make about them. I read it last summer so my memory of the specifics are a little hazy, but basically he splits the brain into the 'rational' (human) side and an unrational side which he refers to as your chimp.

    Basically, when you make a decision which, like you call it, are a bit rogue, that's your chimp making the decision. Your rational brain knows you don't want to do it, but your chimp is too strong and overrides it. You need to learn to control your chimp!

    I've done an awful summary of the book, but it's really interesting, and gives some really practical tips about how to control the unrational side of your brain.

    Let me know if you do read it, and what you think! x

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.