Year 3 week 11

12th – 18th March 2018

This week has been a really busy week for me. It has been a week of conferences. I don’t very often go to a conference so to have 2 in one week each going on for several days is really unusual.

It has meant that I have not done much exercise this week. However it has meant I have done an awful lot of walking. I think I must have walked 10 miles at least getting to the conferences and walking around the nearby towns.

One of the conferences has been in Manchester and the other was in Kuala Lumpur. Which also meant an awful lot of travel too.

The cold weather has been getting me down so I was really looking forward to changing my boots for my flip flops.

I really wasn’t looking forward to all that traveling though. One thing I was really hoping for, going to a warmer climate, was that my eating would improve.

I have to say there was a noticeable difference. I think it must have been the weather. Before I left I was finding I was eating a lot more hot food but while in Kuala Lumpur I was eating a lot less and choosing healthier foods most of the time.

I just didn’t fell like eating much, I didn’t pick between my meals and my portion sizes were a lot smaller too.

I have always thought that the colder weather makes you want to eat more and I feel that those few days away has proved it. The only trouble is that I am now back to the cold and snow again – I just need to try harder to carry on the good habits I made while I was away.


Year 3 week 10

5th – 11th March 2018

Up until now I have been doing really well with the challenges I have set for myself.

I don’t think they have been easy – they have been quite hard at times.

This month the exercise part of the challenge is going far better than I expected. This month is a really busy month for me so I wasn’t sure how I would find the time but I have managed to grab a bit most days from somewhere.

The eating part of the challenge is not going quite so well. I am not eating bad, but I have to say I am not eating good either it’s just ok and there’s definitely room for improvement.

I just can’t seem to get the motivation I need. It got me thinking “how on earth did I ever do it before?”

It has meant thinking back quite a long way and I remembered that I was desperate and it was that desperation that drove me on and gave me all the motivation I needed.

I still have the desire to lose weight but I don’t have that desperation anymore. I have achieved my main goals even though I haven’t got down to my ideal weight.

To me, having the energy to keep up with the kids and being able to do so much more than I ever could before has taken away my motivation, but I want it back!!!

Matt reminded me that when I started this diet I was very strict with myself – he said I was very military like. I wouldn’t step out of line once and I did exactly what I was told.

He said that he would sometimes say “go on you can eat that it won’t hurt”, however I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even have a small bite.

I felt that Jenny my nutritionist was the expert and I was to do exactly what she said for my own benefit and it worked. It was like she was my Sergeant Major.

I really need to get back to that but I just can’t seem to do it. I need to get desperate again but since I have been seeing Jenny I have learnt a lot and I think that knowledge is hindering my motivation because I now know what to expect.

So I think I will get Jenny to get that Sergeant Major head on again and maybe do something new.

Year 3 week 9

26th February – 4th March 2018

February challenge is now over. So it’s now onto the March challenge.

March is going to be a very difficult month for me. I have so much on and very little time to think about any new challenge. I am finding though that theses challenges every month are really working for me.

I have actually really enjoyed them when they’re done. During the month I do find it tough completing them but there is definitely a sense of achievement once the month is over.

So January I swam over 2000 lengths (20 miles) of a swimming pool. February I ran/ walked over 50 miles. So I thought for March I would combine the 2.

I thought I would swim 1000 lengths and run/walk 30 miles. It may not sound like enough but I know I have about 8 days where I can’t do any exercise at all this month.

To add to the challenge I thought I would also really try and lose weight this month too. It has been months since I have lost any weight. For some reason it just doesn’t want to budge anymore no matter how hard I try. All I can do is try my best.

As my February challenge ended the March challenge has struggled to get started. All this week I have had one of my children off school sick. All have had coughs and colds and generally feeling really rotten. It has gradually gone around the house causing everyone to get it.

I feel like we have been in quarantine all week trying not to pass it any further

This has slowed down my exercise a little. Trying to exercise when you feel that rotten isn’t much fun at all. I have managed to progress a little though.

There is one consolation and that is I haven’t really fancied eating too much. Hopefully this means I might actually lose weight!!!

Year 3 week 8

19th – 25th February 2018

Back in October I went to Serbia with 8 other ladies from our church. One thing we were going to run was a women’s retreat while we were there.

It was a few days away with a group of Serbian ladies. The idea was we would go and share our stories, take seminars, do workshops and generally connect with the women.

To do this retreat it entailed us doing a year of planning before we went. We all had our own particular jobs. One of mine was to organise a few of the workshops. Which was great for me because it meant I could get creative. Creativity, I feel, is one of my strong points.

While in Serbia we felt as a team that somethings we prepared weren’t going to work. It meant changing a whole afternoon. We found ourselves in the situation of trying to fill in 6 hours with something totally new.

We came up with this new programme and it was a huge success. It was a great laugh and highly entertaining – it ended up with so many people opening up. For me it was the best part of the whole retreat.

Through this experience I learnt something about myself. I learnt that I totally enjoyed this whole experience and I found I thrived off changing the plan and coming up with something new. I was totally in my element and I really jumped in feet first. I am not sure everyone else got as much out of it as me but I have learnt I can totally wing it if I have to.

This week I have had to wing it a lot. The kids have been off school for half term which always means a change of plan. It has also made it difficult to continue with my 50 mile challenge for this month.

I thought though that I could go on the treadmill a few times. We have had workmen in our house this week and they would constantly move the treadmill into a place where I couldn’t use it. It didn’t matter how often I tried to move it back it was always the case that when I came to use it I couldn’t.

I found this frustrating as I knew my time in February was running out and I still had 19 miles to go. It meant I had to totally rethink my plans and resort to plan B.

Changing plans can very often take you in a totally different direction and it did for me this week.

I managed to meet up with a friend and we took the kids bikes. We went to a place by a lake, the kids went off and we made our way around the lake a few times meeting the kids on a few occasions. We ended up going 5 miles which was more than my normal distance and it was so much more enjoyable too.

A couple of days later I went again doing 6 miles this time though. I managed to get out a couple of times by myself upping my total by 17 miles this week.

So plan B ended up being so much better than plan A and so much more enjoyable too. There are only 4 days left to this month and I only have 2 miles to go to complete this challenge. I feel I can do that no problem – if not I will be resorting to plan C!

Year 3 week 7

12th – 18th February 2018

Sometimes I find it hard to remember how I use to be. I feel I have been going down this journey for so long now that I can’t believe how I was.

I do remember though that I let things get to me really easily – it didn’t seem to take much to tip me over the edge and for me to feel like I couldn’t cope. I think it must have been all that excess weight on my brain!!

To have a sudden change in my schedule or finding that I had extra things I had to do would cause me to have a mini meltdown and it usually resulted in Matt sorting me out.

Matt would on occasion have to go away on trips and that was always a particularly bad time emotionally for me and it would usually consist of me collapsing in a heap when he got back.

I have been wondering how I would cope now with all those things. Well this week it has really been put to the test.

Matt has been away this week leaving me with the kids at home. That always means I have to add a lot more to my schedule. I have been prepared for this one so I feel I have coped with it very well.

However this week I have had so many unexpected things fall on my lap, things that have also added to my schedule and giving me so much more to do.

It was also my birthday this week too so I got to go out a lot more.

So this week I don’t know if I am coming or going. I feel I have been pulled this way and then that way. My head is going through a whirlwind of emotions not knowing which way to go next.

If this was a couple of years ago I think I would have had a total meltdown by now.

This time though I have embraced it, got on with the job at hand and actually enjoyed the experience.

I have even managed to stay on schedule with my running/walking this month. I have now reached 31 miles only another 19 to go.

The only negative I am getting out of this is that I am a little more tired than normal but I can totally cope with that.

Year 3 week 6

5th – 11th February 2017

This week I have really put in a few miles. I have managed to run/walk 16 miles so far this month which I feel is a great start to my total of 50 miles by the end of the month.

My knees are feeling really good – it seems the more I run the stronger they get. That’s how I feel after the run but during it is a totally different story.

I run outside but I also do some on my treadmill. On my treadmill I can do so much better than outside. It seems I can go faster, I can keep up the same pace throughout and I feel good while doing it.

When I go outside for a run I seem to be in pain with every step. My knees seem to creak, I am so much slower too and I can’t seem to warm up.

The weather has been so cold lately that when I run outside I feel like my joints are like a block of ice and I have icicles hanging off the end of my nose.

When I get back it seems to take me all day to thaw out. Even though I have run more this month it has left me a little disheartened.

Then I got to thinking of last year and how did I train for my half marathon in May and why couldn’t I remember it being so cold. I remembered that last year for me to run I had to have an operation to remove the saggy skin from my arms. It would flap against my body causing problems when running which meant it had to go.

This time last year I was still in recovery I was practically bed bound, I couldn’t pick up anything heavy and exercise was definitely a no go.

Remembering this means I am not so disheartened anymore. In fact I have found it quite encouraging. It means I am so much further ahead than what I was last year and I have so much more time to train for it too.

Last year after I recovered from my op I only had 6 weeks to train. This year I have 6 months so I have no reason to feel disheartened but every reason to feel encouraged.

So now I get why I can’t remember the cold. I am just looking forward to some warmer weather.

Year 3 week 5

29th January – 4th February 2018

My swimming challenge is now over and I have now started my running challenge. This week I have really put in a few miles.

When I go for a run I can’t seem to run it all I have to walk some of it, I can’t seem to keep up the same pace throughout. This month that is something I am trying to work on.

When I went to Rwanda to do the half marathon last year. I met all the other people doing the challenges too. One of the guys would always refer to us as athletes. Every time it was mentioned I would laugh because in my head that was the last thing I was.

I have to admit that I don’t look like your typical athlete. Even though I have been on this weight loss journey for over 2 years I still have an awful lot of weight to lose.

A typical athlete to me is someone super fit, super thin, has energy in abundance, can run like it’s no effort at all, wears all the cool matching gear.

Not someone like me, someone who struggles with every step, someone who would love to have the matching outfits but they don’t make them in your size, someone who is likely to damage there knees with all that weight pounding on top of it and someone who is so tired afterwards that I am not fit to do anything else.

I have been running again now for a few weeks. My knees have been fine. After one run though they were so sore that I thought I might have overdone it. The next time I went running though they were fine

Sometimes I think to myself “why am I doing this?” I am overweight, I am not your typical runner, why am I putting myself through this torture?

One thing I have found on this journey is that keeping the weight off is so much harder than getting the weight off. I feel I have to do this otherwise that weight will be piling back on again.

My motivation isn’t the best so this trip to Kenya to do another half marathon is helping with that.

To do something for a good cause is all the motivation I need. Knowing that I am going there to help vulnerable children and help provide solar lamps to provide light and electricity to homes that need it. Things that we take for granted in our everyday lives.

Knowing that I’m helping in some small way makes the pain worth it and makes me think “who cares if I’m not your typical athlete.”

If you feel you would like to help those kids in Kenya too then click on the link.

Year 3 week 4

22nd – 28th January 2018

I decided at the beginning of this month that I wanted to do a challenge. The reason I wanted to do it was because I have a half marathon coming up in June and I needed to start training for it.

I decided to swim 2018 lengths of a 15 metre pool. I thought it would be good training to strengthen my legs with low impact on my knees. The discipline of doing it has been tough. Forcing myself to go everyday has not been easy. It has definitely given me focus though because I just didn’t want to fail this task.

I am happy to say that I completed this challenge this week. I thought this challenge was going to be tough but I find when I get my determined head on nothing stops me from succeeding. That’s probably why I finished with nearly a week to spare and I did more lengths than I was supposed to.

I have never really been very good at maths but I found myself calculating how far I actually swam

If I calculated correctly it turns out that I swan nearly 20 miles/ 32 kilometres in that time. Seeing the distance that way was really encouraging I couldn’t believe I actually swam that far.

As January is nearly over and the challenge for this month has gone really well I have decided to set a challenge for February. I have decided that next month I am to run/walk 50 miles. It seems like a totally unachievable task at the moment but if I get my determined head on I am in for a chance.

I suppose we’ll see how it goes.

Year 3 week 3

15th – 21sth January 2018

I have been swimming now almost everyday for 3 weeks. It is going really well and I only have just over 400 lengths to go until it’s completed.

This challenge has taught me a few things. I have realised that I can commit myself to doing an hours exercise a day even though some days are really hard and some days I am really busy. I always thought that I could never cope with that much exercise.

One of the reasons I am doing it is because I am doing another half marathon in June and I thought swimming was a good way to strengthen my legs with low impact on my knees. I do feel it is working – I feel like I have more energy and more strength in my legs.

I also feel so much thinner. My clothes are looking so much better on me than at Christmas. Since doing this challenge however I haven’t lost any weight at all!

I have been seeing Jenny, my nutritionist, for 2 years now. I have always done what’s she has told me to. Somethings she has asked me to do have been extremely hard but I do them because she has never lead me wrong once.

One thing she has told me from day one is that you can’t exercise out a bad diet.

It is very easy to do exercises and then think you deserve a treat afterwards and go and eat cake or something just as bad.

Since Christmas I have really struggled to get my diet back on track. All that swimming has made me extra hungry too. I haven’t been horrendously bad but I haven’t exactly been good either.

At first doing all that exercise and not losing any weight was frustrating but what it does do is prove that Jenny has got it right again and I need to physically sort out my diet.

That is always easier said than done.

Year 3 week 2

8th – 14th January 2018

I am now on my 2nd week of my swimming challenge. At this point of the month I was meant to have done 1,000 lengths of a 15 metre pool.

My challenge has been going really well. I have planned 2 days off a week but I have found that I have only taken one day off a week so far. Which means I am ahead of schedule having done 1,200 lengths.

I am a person who would prefer to exercise in the mornings. I like to get it out of the way and then the rest of the day is my own. With this challenge I have found it difficult to go every morning because sometimes things crop up that I have to do instead.

For me exercising has always been a bit of a chore – it’s something I do because I have to and not because I want to! To exercise when it’s not the morning is even more of a chore – I have to be really pushed to go later in the day.

A few times during this challenge I have had to really push myself to get the lengths in and that, on occasions, means going later.

This one day I did my swim later in the day and after there is a seat I usually sit on and look out of the window while I catch my breath. Through the window there is a field and lots trees to look out on. I have found it a nice time of reflection. On this occasion though it was especially nice as I got to see the sun going down and the sky was full of lots of amazing colours .

I sat there in awe as I watched this amazing sunset coming through the trees. One thing that went through my mind was that it was my reward for all those lengths and all the hard work I had put in. It made me proud that I hadn’t wasted my day.

As I said, exercising at night is particularly hard for me. But if I hadn’t of done it, if I hadn’t put in that extra effort, I would have missed that reward.

I have learnt, especially on this journey, that when you put in the effort, when you go the extra mile the rewards can be so much greater and that sunset was my reminder.

I don’t think I can now look at a sunset in the same way again from now on.