Saturday, 1 September 2012


I have always liked September.  Like many people, the start of the new school year has come to signify a new beginning in general.  Now my school days are some years behind me, September is a time to look back at the last six months and review what I have achieved, and make plans for the next six months.

I have achieved one goal: losing weight. This time last year I was a shade under 10 stone and 6 pounds, and today I am 10 stone and 9 pounds.

My plans for the next six months are to lose the next 9 pounds, complete Newcastle Stampede, then start working on getting my 5k time down to under 24 minutes.

Miles run: 24

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Sea

There are some activities that you try out one day because you've always kind of wanted to do it but just never got round to it.  So you go down for a taster session, hand over a bit of cash, and discover a new love.

 I tried surfing today for the first time ever.  I wanted to treat myself at the end because I have now completed the two-week Phase 1 stage of the Low Carb Vegetarian Diet.  I grew up by the sea near a surfing hotspot but I have never tried surfing when I was younger because I always felt too fat to get in a wetsuit.  Somehow a wearing wetsuit makes me feel more self-conscious than wearing a swimming costume or even a bikini.  I am still fat, but now I am less self-conscious.

We had a brief lesson on how to get on the surfboard and safety in the water (STAY AWAY FROM THE RIPTIDES), then walked our boards down to the sea.  And the first time I walked into the sea the waves looked a hell of a lot bigger than they did from the shore.  The North Sea was icy cold around my feet and I swear I felt ice-cubes swirling around my feet.  The thought of jumping on the board and trying to catch a wave was daunting.

I took a few goes to drum up the courage, then spotted a good-looking wave, turned the board around so I was facing the beach, waited until the wave was 3 metres away from me, then clambered on with no grace whatsoever.  The first time the wave propelled me towards the beach was exhilarating.  I'm hooked.

I'm also exhausted.

This week
Running 5m
Workouts: 2 workouts and one body pump session
Surfing: 2 hours

Next week's exercise
Monday: Workout and 30 min swim
Tuesday: Workout and 4x400m IW
Wednesday: 3 mile run
Thursday: Workout and 30 min tempo
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4m run (and surfing if there's a class on)
Sunday: 30 min easy, body pump. (if there's a surf class on I'll skip the body pump and head to the beach instead)

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Micro Disneycal World Tour

This song feels a lot more upbeat than me. Has summer just given up and slunk straight into autumn with an embarrassed shrug of its shoulders and an apologetic smile?

I made it to the gym for the first time this week.  On Monday I felt too lethargic to go, and on Tuesday I was too busy attending a training session for a charity I volunteer with.  I went because I had a free evening and I have been feeling more energetic than when I started the low-carb diet, but not as energetic as I feel normally.  I've noticed I walk slower on the way to work, for example.

This does make me wonder of the point of low-carb diets if the early phases make me feel so damn awful.  I did Weightwatchers a long time ago and felt great from the word go.  I was, however, often very hungry and unable to make my points work out so I felt sated.  I don't think I work with the mentality that you can eat what you want (within moderation) on Weightwatchers,  because I have kept that mentality, and end up eating what I want but too much of it.

So the very rigid rules of a low-carb diet are working for me in the short term, but I am unsure if I can keep it up long term.  Hopefully when I get to my goal weight I can maintain and still have a few treats every now and again. At least whiskey has zero carbs.

The weightloss is also working - I've lost 3.4lb since starting the diet.  I'm not sure how much is water weight and blah blah blah, but seeing lower numbers on the dial of my scales is encouraging.  I hope I can keep it off long term, however, and that a minor slipup (because I will have them) won't cause me to pile the weight back on...

My workout was quick, and my 2 mile run was very, very slow - I blame the low carb diet, not the fact that I haven't run properly since May.


Sunday, 12 August 2012


I started Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet today. In the book you're made aware that some people feel lethargic and suffer from headaches during the first few days.  Boy do I feel lethargic, and boy do I have a headache. It could be due to what I have(n't) eaten today, or it could be due to the fact that I haven't had any coffee or diet coke at all today because caffeine is banned during Phase 1.

I usually drink a fair amount of coffee, as I start the day with a cup of black coffee and sometimes grab a soy latte on my commute.  Then it's a cup before I start work and a cup around 3pm.  On a bad day, when I'm stressed (or bored) at work I have a few more cups, and a 500ml bottle of diet coke at lunchtime. So to go without caffeine for me is a novel experience, and I felt very sleepy and tired during my run this morning. It felt like I was running through mud, and I wasn't even out of breath. I just need to go slow, take my time and let my body adjust.  Tomorrow I hope to do a 2-mile run.

Thank god I can fill the coffee gap with Rooibos and Choco Aztec Yogi Tea.   I'm not going to lie and say it tastes great and is totally a replacement for hot chocolate, because it's not, it has a mild sweet/bitter taste of chocolate that is quite 'thin' with a hint of spice, but it's gentle and a great way to round off a meal.

And I hate it when people say 'X is totally like Y only healthier/without the fat/half the calories'.  It's really not!

Body Balance class
1.5 mile run (which was tough)


3 eggs, butter and a tablespoon of cream (no seriously)
1 vegetarian sausage
1/2 tomato

Goats cheese, chicory and pecan salad with home-made vinaigrette

Asparagus Quiche (which had no pastry. See rant above)
Cooked Spinach

1/2 avocado with vinaigrette

Approx total carbs: 15.9

Never you mind

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Get What You Give

Did I mention I'm doing Newcastle Stampede on October 14th?  I don't think I did.  It's a cross-country run with obstacles, which mainly involve lots of mud, in aid of British Heart Foundation. The obstacles involve jumping muddy ditches, crawling under wires (in the mud), muddy tunnels.  You get the picture - mud.

There is some doubt as to whether or not the length of the course has actually been 10k, and some people I know who've done it have found themselves able to complete it quicker (with obstacles, remember) than they can run a 10k race (sans obstacles).  I hope they sort the course out this year.

I'm going to train as if I were training for a 10k race using a training plan for an intermediate runner (even though I haven't run since early May. Ahem) and add in some strength work which will improve my core and upper body strength.

Carbs: about 200
Exercise: 4 hours gardening (yes it IS exercise)
30 minutes at gym doing new workout

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Times Like These

I am a new day rising
I'm a brand new sky

30 minutes swimming. I should have gone for a run, but I'm feeling achey from Body Pump yesterday. I had 10lb for my squats and my right knee feels a little loose and clicky, so it must have aggravated my old runner's knee injury.

Approx total carbs: 95

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Back to Reality

Remember me?

I was supposed to run a marathon.

Well,  I didn't run a marathon.  I got runner's knee in both knees, then I got plantar fasciitis in both feet and it was too painful to run for even 5 minutes. Then I gave up on the marathon because I realised I didn't actually enjoy running 19 miles on a Sunday, and a couple of 6-9 mile runs on a weeknight.

I one thing I didn't give up on was eating like I was still training for a marathon.

I also got a rice cooker for Christmas and discovered my new favourite comfort food was a bowl (or two) of sushi rice smothered in Sriracha sauce, soy sauce and sesame seed oil.  And I was drinking more than usual, and eating more junk food at work.

I put weight on.

I'm going to lose it doing a low-carb vegetarian diet.  Why low carb?  I want to stop my dependancy on refined carbs, which is contributing to my problems with binging.  I also want to stop feeling bloated, and hopefully a low-carb diet will contribute to this without leaving me starving and prone to binging.

After the weekend (ie after I go food shopping) I will be following a proper low carb diet, until then I'm going to reduce my carb intake.

I'm going to miss the sushi rice-Sriracha-soy sauce-sesame combos. :(

Black coffee 0.8g carbs
Cornflakes 24g carbs
Soya milk 0.1 carbs
Almonds 3.6g carbs

White coffee 2.4g carbs

Rocket/Lettuce/Spinach salad 3g carbs
Home-made dressing made with olive oil, mustard, vinegar 0g carbs
Adzuki beans 28.5 carbs
Red pepper 2.7g carbs

1/2 Tesco Meat free Garlic Kiev 7.8g carbs
Quinoa 12.8
Salad 0
Broad beans 21.4
1/2 Tesco meat free barbecue fillet 6g carbs

Whiskey 0g carbs (WAHEY!)

Approximate total carbs: 107g

1 mile walk
15 mins jog
60 mins Body Pump