My Pal My Fitness Pal and Other Stories

tumblr_n6ioniUYbf1smffw1o1_500I am the Queen of “I’ll get back on track Monday”.

I am the Queen of being focused for four days of the week and then falling face first off the wagon into a plate of Party Rings as soon as Friday arrives.

I am the Stop-Start Queen of the World.

The thing is: I want to be better, feel better and look better but I like food and ‘bad things’. I like sugar and chips. I love savoury snacking over a film.

I like living life with tasty things in it; and in my mouth.

I don’t hate my body by any stretch. If anything I’m happy as I am, until I have to buy clothing or catch a glimpse of myself in an unposed photograph. It’s then that I get the feelings of inadequacy and I start being really horrible to myself.

This post is not about dieting, it is about the seemingly simple act of putting less shit into my body and moving it more. In those terms I feel I can do this and I can do this with the help of my friend My Fitness Pal.

Have you met MFP? It’s an app on your phone (and/or computer) that allows you to track what you’re putting into yourself, food and exercise wise. It’s calorie counting basically and, depressing as that sounds, it works. For me at least.

There’s something very satisfying about logging everything that passes your lips. There’s definitely something about racking up a healthy exercise deficit, knowing that the two walks you took yesterday meant you could have something delicious to eat.

It’s good to know that essentially there are no bad foods, so long as you moderate; AMAZING to know that there are only 55 calories in a single Vodka and Diet Coke, which means you can have four and not wander off your chosen path.

All that sounds incredibly boring doesn’t it, now that I have read it back? I guess the concept of cutting back on the things you love is boring in itself. It’s not very rock n’ roll to say “No thanks” to excess but then I’m no snake hipped Juliette Lewis type and never have been.

I want to love myself and this leads me to the second part of this post. With this plan to take better care oftumblr_mo051uB3Uo1qz6f9yo1_1280 my body must come kindness. I’ve talked about Self Love before and that’s another thing; it’s easy to say you’re going to practice it and quite another to actually do it.

I am going to do it and this is how; these are the new rules:

  • Get out everyday at least once to clear the mind. Anything I am working though that needs addressing I can wrestle with while I’m outside, moving.
  • A friend once told a group of us that the only response to a compliment is “Thank you”. Years later I completely agree. Sometimes you have to stop yourself mid-“oh it’s all make-up…” but it has to be done. Just say thank you.
  • Self-deprecation is an endearing quality but it can go too far. Before putting yourself down to gain a laugh from someone else, think about it.
  • Wear what you like. Experiment. Just go for it. None of us are getting any younger, who wants to look back and think of all the cool stuff you could have ROCKED THE SHIT OUT OF but were too scared to.
  • #selfie if you want to. Obviously there are people who are against the #selfie phenomenon but I see it as a way to feel comfortable in your own skin. I see it as an important part of loving yourself and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

So there it is, the new rules for a more loving life. Less crap, more movement and radical Self Love, in no particular order.

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Sneaker Pimps: Running Like a Girl Review

I would describe myself as a runner who doesn’t run. Like, ever.web-Running-like-a-Girl

For about five minutes I was really going to do it and for about two of them I actually did. But my shins hurt, my arse bounced behind me like an over enthusiastic beach ball and I wasn’t the natural I thought I was going to be.

So I talked about it a lot and then walked instead.

In fairness, walking has done me wonders and I still wake up at 6.30 every morning for three times around the park come (mostly) rain or shine. I also bought a hula hoop and I do that up to twice a day (arse no longer wobbles quite so much).

But I miss the running I never did and in my heart I think there’s something still there. So the other week I bought Running Like A Girl and I read it with enthusiasm.

Alexandra, or ‘Hemmo’ as her running vest would have her known, is quite something. She was a lot like me in that she had the view that she’d be a track star by default, that she’d be a runner and that would be that.

(Where on Earth I would produce a theory like this from, I have no idea).

Her first run didn’t go quite to plan, and neither did the several that followed. She gave up, she reconnected with her chosen sport – and she kept on going.

The book itself, to the untrained eye, might just contain the story of a girl who learnt to run but I find Hemmo inspiring and really like the dynamic she shares with her father and brother. Even her lovely mum cheering her on to finish the London Marathon made me weep a little.

Anybody overcoming what they perceive to be their own shortcomings is okay by me and Hemmo is really likeable. She talks about food, socialising and life like a friend would and I think this is why her notes on running are so useful. She’s a normal girl who can run.

Sure, the detail she goes into when she describes each marathon can be a little repetitive if you’re not that bothered but I read it with a big ‘F**K yeah’ because I wanted her to get through; to run through the pain and the tears and the self doubt.

Everything Hemmo says about running is true. Nearly every able bodied person is capable of it, they just have to want to do it. And she’s honest, which I really dig. She doesn’t shy away from the fact that she stops and starts, that motivation sometimes lapses.

I found myself really relating to the way she talks about not knowing what she is running for (during one of her down times, after a big achievement). I can put this in the context of my relationship with eating well and moving my body; and perhaps this is why it works so well for me.

That said, I celebrated the completion of this book by not going running. I haven’t been at all yet and I finished the notes a week ago.

I will though. Watch me.

NB: When I talked about this with my brother, he knew who Hemmo was. Apparently, she hosted a few early morning runs and gave some talks at one of the festivals they’ve been to. Which is well cool.

And she lives in Brighton (smug face).

Book details:

  • Running Like a Girl
  • Publisher: Windmill Books (16 Jan 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0099558955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099558958
  • Bought paperback (secondhand)

Goof Troop

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I love this goofy picture of me, inside the circle of truth.

I look so damned happy!

Also, on the subject of hooping. This happened:

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#hoopdreams #hoopthereitis #hoopin

Hoop There It Is

PicMonkey Collage

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!

 

Do You Like My Tight Pants?

This week I purchased two pairs of ‘running tights’.2

I put that in quote marks not because they aren’t what they purport to be but because I’m hardly a runner (yet). I am not using mine strictly to run, but to walk and stomp and throw myself gracelessly about a school hall to the strains of something Latin flavoured (featuring Bulldog).

The thing is, and the clue is really in the title, they are so tight, man. Like bum squeezingly, thigh emphasisingly T-I-G-H-T!

Camel toe checks before leaving the house T-I-G-H-T!

I’m not sure if the world out there is ready for my jelly or even if I am ready for it myself, but I’ve crossed a bridge lately that means I can do things I would never have considered before.

Slap on a long line t-shirt and hoodie and half the battle is won. They make me feel naked which is a feeling I enjoy in the real world but the fact remains, there just isn’t any way to hide exactly what my body looks like in them.

This is my shape and it’s a good one, I suppose. It’s getting stronger but it’s right here and no amount of illusionism can disguise the fact I’m a big girl. Curvy yes, but also big.

(I’m not saying this is a bad thing for fear of sounding like I am body snarking, there is nothing wrong with big as far as I’m concerned. It’s about being happy and comfortable in your skin, and I’m getting there but I’m not there yet). Gottit?

I think this might be the most vulnerable I have felt in a long while, and I’ve been wandering about in sportswear for a few months now, even running in front of ‘real’ runners and strangers.

But the point is, me and my self-esteem rocking running tights are doing it. Like Nike, we’re not just talking about it, we’re doing it.

Swoosh!

Incidentally, I often ask my husband if my arse looks big in clothing and modelling these bad boys was no different. Without hesitation, he always replies with a massive grin on his face:

“Hellllll yeah!”

No hiding the truth in my household!

Run, Fat Girl, Run

I should have included this on the last update but forgot. Again, it probably falls under the category of “Who else, besides me actually cares?” but it’s my blog and I’ll be tedious if I want to!

Running. Yeah, I’m still not doing very well. Between you and me *leans in* I haven’t even attempted to run for two weeks.

Bad. Bad. Bassy.

I know I will never get better if I don’t Just Do It (aah?) but I haven’t been. I haven’t given up per se, I just haven’t been trying. The thought of running still appeals – it’s something I want to be good at – to me it’s more than just about the health benefits.

I can just see myself running in the middle distance, one of those bottles you can hold in your hand in my hand – cute running gear and a sweaty face. I can visualise this and see myself being good at it.

I think my downfall is that I keep thinking that as soon as I lose weight there’ll be less of me to carry around. I’ll be lighter and therefore more aerodynamic! But this makes no actual sense, you don’t lose weight if you ain’t moving, right?

I do feel better. I know I am getting there. It’s not like I’m not moving at all – all the good I am doing should make running easier eventually. I’m going to just start.

What have I got to lose? Except flab, obviously!

*Please note: Photo is not mine – but damn, I want those sneaks!

Wellness & Wonder

1969397_10153971044655018_1247624656365560236_nI don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but all the exercise and eating well and singing lessons have been part of a bigger picture for me.

I’m calling it ‘Project Me’ but I’ll work on the name,obviously, as part of the whole wellness thing.It’s pretty lame, I know.

Project Me is about making myself better in small ways.

The diet and exercise is a no-brainer: I’m looking to, if not become Miranda Kerr by the Summer then at least be a more toned, confident version of who I am already.

I’m truly not that interested in being smaller, although it would be nice. I’m just looking to whittle my waist back in and not feel like a stranger is walking too close to me only to realise it’s my own bottom behind me. True story.

I like the idea of being a fit fatty (saw it on somebody’s Twitter bio) but this will only work if I can ensure I’m healthy and right now – newsflash! – I’m not as healthy as I could be.Don’t get me wrong I don’t have any health issues, I’m just thinking of the evil BMI, etc (I know it’s a guideline).1610070_10153971065235018_654938086982862426_n

The running has been a huge part of the project, and it hasn’t being going that well. The thing is, I know I get better the more I do it, but I don’t do it as much as I can. And although I have been public about my desire to be a runner, and I want to succeed, I’m still not pushing myself enough.

But this is not just about the physical. I’m working on my inner strengths and mental health too. Hence the singing lessons.

I’m still terrible and although I’m getting more confident as we go along, I still suck. I love it though and my teacher is great.People keep asking me if I’m planning on performing. Erm, no never.

It’s not about anything like that for me, it’s just about doing something I’ve always wanted to.

So, Project Me is about treating my body like a temple (you take cake into temples sometimes, right?), moving as much as possible and trying to enjoy it; and being more positive.

It’s a work in progress.