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 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.

Year 3 week 1

1st – 7th January 2018

My eating in December was so bad that now we have hit January it’s all systems go.

There is a saying that I hear every new year and that is ‘New Year, New You’ and I always go by it. I make new years resolutions to try to improve certain situations and I have to say that this year is no different.

The year always starts well and as the months roll by those resolutions have gradually slipped. That’s definitely how last year went anyway!

For now though I am going for it. I have decided to give myself a challenge every month.

I have decided that my challenge this month is swimming. I have been using a pool that is 15 meters in length and the challenge is to swim 2018 lengths this month.

I set it on the 1st and thought for me to achieve this goal I will need to swim 100 lengths a day with 2 days off a week.

My challenge has started well and the first few days it was good. But once I got to days 3 and 4 it was taking its toll. Towards the end of the week it was getting easier.

I am not really finding this challenge easy. When I set it I thought it would be a challenge but not a huge push. I am finding it quite a chore though.

I have however managed to make the effort every day this week and I have already knocked 600 lengths off that target.

My eating has improved this month but it’s not perfect with all this extra swimming. I’m finding I am getting extra hungry which isn’t always good when you are trying to cut down.

Maybe I can do better next week.

Year 2 week 52

24th- 31st December 2017

I can’t believe that this is my last post this year. This year has seemed to have gone so quickly and the last 2 years since I started this journey has just flown by.

The Christmas period has been quite hard for me – there has been so much food around that hasn’t helped but it has been a great time for me to relax and meet up with a lot of family and friends.

One thing I did that I have never done before is make a gingerbread house. I have always wanted to do it and I thought because I am a creative person I thought I might be quite good at it .

I had a picture in my head of how I wanted my gingerbread house to look.

However, in reality my gingerbread house looked so much different to that. I bought a pack and I thought I would start there. I naively thought that the gingerbread was in there and I just had to make into the house, but no. I physically had to make the mixture and bake it too.

Once it had cooled then came the part of making it look like a house. It was a lot harder than I thought. I ended up with it falling down a few times, the icing ran all over the place. By the time we had finished I think it looked more like a rickety old shack rather than a grand house that I imagined.

I would have shown a photo but it was far too embarrassing to even take a picture of. My boys thought that the only thing it was good for was destroying which they took great pleasure in doing!

This scenario totally sums up my year. When I started the year I had very high expectations I was going to lose so much more weight and reach my goal by now but in reality the total opposite has happened. I haven’t lost any weight at all in fact it has gone up a little.

Last year I lost 5 and a half stone – this year I have lost nothing. It has also made me think what a waste – it made me think that I have totally wasted my year.

But if I think back on my year I have realised that I haven’t wasted it at all. Ok, so I haven’t lost any weight, but I have kept up with my healthy eating most of the time, I have managed to keep doing my exercise, I haven’t gone back into that state of feeling worthless, my confidence has grown, I can still do so much more than I ever could before.

I have been able to think of others rather than myself which has entailed me going on 2 mission trips – one to Serbia with some women and the other to Rwanda where I even managed to do something that I would never have ever dreamed.

Running that half marathon was such a huge achievement for me. I can’t believe I actually did it – it’s my greatest achievement to date. So that’s why I don’t think I wasted my year.

As I now step into 2018 and start my 3rd year of this journey I have that image of my perfect gingerbread house again but to get it that way will take a lot of hard work, determination, and overcoming things that I can’t foresee.

A bible verse was given at church today. It’s in Philippians 3 verse 13-14:

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me to.”

That’s what I am going to go by this year.

Happy new year. Have a great 2018