Hoop There It Is

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I’ve slowly become obsessed with my hula hoop.

After I first purchased her, she spent a considerable time leaning against the wall in our hallway. Ignored for the most part, I was too shy to actually try her out. Luckily, with the encouragement of a friend who has taken a hooping course and is magnificent at it, we had a group session during one of our lunch breaks at work and a gang came along.

At first I seemed to be the only one just not getting it, but I’m finally there and getting stronger every time.

Last night I spent 35 minutes in our yard hooping by myself. Salt n’ Pepa’s Greatest Hits provided the soundtrack. Sassy seems to be the way to do it, since there’s a lot of hip action involved.

It’s pretty sexy, once you get over what a tit you look. While I was out there I bumped into every single neighbour we have and the reaction was mixed. The older men looked bemused, while the young couple next door to us thought it looked cool.

That’s the biggest thing for me I think, having gone from being completely non-active to being into keeping fit; getting over myself and how I look to others. Literally nobody cares.

Any way, I’m planning on supplementing what I already do with hooping to tone up my middle. This morning I can feel it in my abs and legs and it feels great. I do want to lose weight but almost as important to me is toning up considerably, so I am feeling pretty good and happy at the moment.

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I think about how much I have taken on in the last three months and I think it’s very much a credit to the gorgeous women I work with. They’re all fit and healthy and incorporate exercise into their every day, whilst still enjoying cake.

I don’t think I would have found the transition quite as easy or fun if it hadn’t been for them. So thanks for the encouragement and all the love, girls!

 

The Reluctant Baker

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Baking the right way

I baked a cake this weekend.

I was going to wax lyrical for a while about how inept I am in the kitchen but examining the evidence, I’m not sure that is the case. Based on cooking Christmas dinner last year for five people (successfully) and now this cake, I would have to describe myself as a perfectly adequate chef.

However, unlike my talented baker friends, I do not class this past time as one of my favourites. Given the choice, I would set foot in my kitchen only to replenish cups of tea and to grab a biscuit every half hour. I do, of course, feed the family, sometimes without complaint and that is about as far as my affair with domesticity goes.

But Mr Bee needs a cake for next Thursday and I’m a nice woman. Oh and he wasn’t convinced I could do it successfully so part of the appeal of this experiment was to stick two fingers up at him. I hate being told I can’t do something.

So he gathered the ingredients and I mustered the enthusiasm and together our peanut butter cake was born!

It’s delish by the way. I won’t include a recipe as this isn’t a baking blog but I was so proud of my handiwork that I took a bunch of pictures and they tell the story just fine.

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Ingredients / So far unused baking goodies / Messy kitchen

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Fresh out the oven / Success! / Details

In your face Mr Bee! For the record I should say he wasn’t being mean about my skills really. And he did sort of help, making sure I had all relevant utensils to hand and washing things up as soon as I was done with them. Basically, he was the perfect assistant.

What have I learnt from yesterday’s Bake Off? Well, I now understand the joy baking can bring. I’m ridiculously chuffed that it turned out so well and am also proud I can take some to work with me tomorrow. The girls in my office have all had a go at bringing the homemade cakes in and I’m always only too willing to eat them. Now it’s my turn!

Incidentally, if you’re a baker and would like to add some gorgeous ideas and recipes to your collection, check out my friend Boo at Lip Smackin’ Treats. She’s really good.

Now, for a giant slab of MY cake and a nice strong cuppa. Happy Sunday all!

Running, Man

vintageRunning2Running has been a mixed bag. I am now coming to terms with the fact that I am not naturally shooting about like a pocket rocket with the wind in my hair, and that every single step has been challenging. More so, that I haven’t fallen in love with it right away.

I am starting very slowly and could probably afford to push myself a little more, if I’m completely honest.

But I’m doing it. I’m doing it regularly and I’m getting a tiny bit better every time.

I am also learning how important stretching is and have been taking Cod Liver Oil tablets because my legs hurt so much when I run. Who even am I?

On the plus side, I am goofily proud of my attempts even if I am currently hopeless. And when I don’t run, I walk. I walk like a bitch and am racking up all those burnt calories.

I have also lost a not too sniffy six pounds in two weeks. I know I wasn’t and am going to try not to measure my achievements in the numbers dropping off, but it’s hard not to. I’m losing weight, feeling better and my legs are toning up. It’s also been great for my relationship, all good right?

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My only minor niggle, which goes against what I just typed slightly: my husband is so much better at this than me. He can actually run and even though my sensible self knows I’m achieving things at my own pace, and is also proud that he is making changes he can be proud of, I have to fight against feeling deflated by it.

That’s so me though. I’m the exact opposite of competitive, I’d far rather give up and sit down than compete with anyone, even when I know I’m better. Which in this case I really am not.

So, you know, trucking along.

 

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

This isn’t a fitness blog by any stretch but I had to log my first run here, didn’t I? Since I’ve been flapping on about it for a while.IMG_20140403_125343

I went running this evening, starting off by doing half a mile of just walking. Once round the park I thought fuck it, why not just run a bit? So I did.

I can’t even run continually for 45 seconds. I was planning to walk for two minutes, run for one – that’s the method I’ve been ‘studying’.

45 seconds!

That seems pretty poor, I think. However, I haven’t run for at least fifteen years and I am carrying a lot of junk in my trunk (only too apparent when I am running and my arse is bouncing up and down behind me).

I know that sooner or later all the things I have been trying to change will come together to make running easier, or so I have to believe. A couple of my more active friends have assured me that they were exactly the same when they started.

As it is, I have to say that although I currently suck arse as a runner, I wanted to test myself in terms of running in public and whether I would actually be able to do it.

(I know that we all know that nobody cares and nobody bats an eyelid at joggers, but when you don’t feel all that great about yourself, you still think people with point and laugh).

I did it though and nobody cared.

Which is an epic win as far as I’m concerned. YEY ME!

 

 

Walk This Way

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These last few days I haven’t been doing much, except taking myself off on as many walks as possible. I haven’t even start running properly yet and I feel like the walks are making a difference already. Luckily for me, I am surrounded by lovely people who are only too happy to encourage and even join me!

My early morning walks with Mr Bee have been beautiful actually. Although I am annoyingly chatty (to motivate myself) and he likes to be quiet, we haven’t pissed one another off yet and it’s very nice to have half an hour where it is just us.

Life can be only too distracting and quality time is almost always buzzing with outside forces, so to focus can only be a good thing.

So, I’m on Day 3 of The New Me and I can say it is going very well. It might be a bit premature to believe that things have changed that much, but my core already feels stronger and I swear I’m holding myself up straighter.

Watch this space!