Tag Archives: health

Training hard again

10 Aug

At the start of October I will be running a half marathon for the first time in a long time. I was partly strongly encouraged to do it because my boyfriend is also taking part and it was partly my own decision because I desperately need a fitness goal to motivate me.

In 2012, I was in the shape of my life. I ran a marathon (not very fast but I did it nonetheless) after getting quite heavily into running. Since then running and the whole topic of fitness has dropped off my agenda, although it shouldn’t have because I felt so much better back then.

The hardest thing for me is not the running itself; it is the getting out of the door in the first place. It always seems like a pain to go running. I need to get changed, think of where I want to run and then get out of the door etc etc. The actual running I enjoy. I’m outside and feel pretty good. I don’t even mind if it is raining. A run in the cold, wet rain means a long, hot shower is waiting at home.

Of course, the road to a half marathon does not run smooth. Training was going relatively well. I was managing a long run at least once a week and was being sensible about increasing it a bit each week. I was even doing a bit of cross-training by getting back on my bike for the first time and cycling about 20km.

On Monday it went downhill when I started with a bad cold/sore throat/cough. I have been completely wiped out by it. I wanted to at least try to go for a short run but my body was telling me that this was not going to happen.

So instead of long runs in the countryside I have been lounging on the sofa feeling sorry for myself and trying every home remedy known to mankind.

I am finally beginning to feel better. I managed to leave the house this evening and go for an hour long walk. I was in need of some fresh air. Fingers crossed I can resume training in the next few days. There is still 6 or 7 weeks left for training which should be enough. If I stay disciplined and get myself out of the front door regularly- And that is a big if!

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Anti- Stress solution?

5 Jul

Because I’m not getting any younger and I probably should take more care of myself than I actually do, I booked myself in for a Thai massage last night after work. I am slowly creeping up to a birthday that ends in a nought (but aren’t we all?) so it might be time to take preventative action and make positive steps.

For those of you who regularly read my blog, you will know that I first tried Thai massage in Thailand earlier this year. As I had so many things to do, I ran out of time and had to have a quick upper body massage at the airport. Last night was the whole hog.

The thing that I like most about Thai massage is that you remain fully clothed. I’ve had other massages before and I really can’t stand the vulnerability of being half-naked in a darkened room with a stranger. When I arrived some comfortable clothes were laid out for me. The practitioner quickly realised I wasn’t going to fit into the aforementioned clothes and went to get me new ones. I’m pretty sure they were men’s trousers and they were massive on me. One more motivation to help me lose weight to add to the list. 

Thai people look small but then they are manipulating and stretching your body, they are surprisingly strong. I can only describe the feeling as being a bit like when a toddler or young child decides to walk over you instead of around you because they haven’t yet realised that when you put your full weight on someone it hurts. Elbows, legs and arms everywhere! At one point when she grabbed my neck to massage it, it reminded me of fighting with my brother as a kid and him grabbing my neck so I couldn’t fight back.


It’s probably not recommended to be reminiscing of childhood play fights while someone is treating to realign your body’s energy. On this part, I need more practice at this.

It is said that the massage should be leave the practitioner and the client energised after the massage. I certainly felt a lot better, even though I also felt I had just done 10 rounds with a Mini Mike Tyson. I was thinking how can the practitioner possibly feel energised after this really physical procedure? I think she probably felt great about beating up a person who is twice her size and getting paid for it.

In an age where our lives are dominated by stress, it is important to find methods of relaxing. It turns out that for me this could be someone standing on my back while pulling my arms up to the sky. 

Fitness goal update 

22 Feb

8 weeks into the New Year and 8 weeks into the new fitness regime already. In my earlier post, I talked about the advice given to me by an online BMI calculator to lose 30 kilos to be the average weight for my height.

Luckily for me, I believe in striving to be above average in everything that I do. I downgraded the goal of 30 kilos to something more modest. My initial aim was to lose 6 kilos before my holiday in mid-April and then make another weight loss goal after my return.

The good news is I am well on track to achieve this. Despite a week in Munich when I didn’t exercise so much and a week of being ill when I had no energy to exercise nor to prepare healthy food, I have already lost almost 4 kilos and I still have 6 weeks until I jet off on holiday.

Each week I have prepared by lunchtime meals in advance, not bought anything from the vending machines at work (helped by leaving my credit card, the form of payment, at home), eaten a filling but health evening meal and exercised at least 4 times a week. I weigh myself each Monday at the gym to track my progress.

It no longer feels like a chore. Every Sunday I make my lunches, pack my gym bag and get ready for my weigh in. I have been constantly amazed each week when I have jumped on the scales, thinking if I have just maintained the weight I was last week that would not be so bad, only to see I have lost more weight. Not that I am complaining!

The bad news is that I might have ruined my weight loss goals by taking a trip on the Fondue ship! Every Tuesday in winter/spring a ship leaves centrally from Zurich to make a round-trip on the lake and serve the guests onboard Fondue. Combined with a second portion, beer, wine and a cold platter of smoked meats as a starter, the calories start to add up. I did go to the gym during the day but I’m not even sure that will counteract the calories consumed. Nevertheless, it was a great evening and having one night off every so often does not mean that the diet is a complete failure…


And I still have time to meet my weight-before-going-on-holiday target. I am confident that I can lose a little bit more than I intended to before setting off. Fingers crossed. This would mean I get to eat and drink a bit more while on holiday and not feel so bad about it!

In some ways I am nervous about going away and getting out of the routine I have at the moment. It will be a little painful to get back into the swing of things but that is one thing I will not be worrying about on holiday!

Unrealistic expectations?

7 Jan

One of my resolutions was to focus on eating healthier and losing weight. The main impetus for this was I did an online BMI calculator just to see what the ideal weight for my height was. The long and the short of it is I need to lose 30 kilograms (that’s almost 5 stone in old money) for me to be the average weight for my height. That seems a little unrealistic to say the least. I wasn’t even that light when I ran the Manchester marathon in 2012! Pah! Who wants to be average anyway?

I think it has been proven that the BMI calculator is not the best indicator of ideal weight because it does not, for example, take into account how much muscle a person has and muscle weighs more than fat. Unfortunately, I can’t use this as an excuse. I have some muscles in my body that have never been used.

I wouldn’t say I was the unhealthiest and unfittest person in the world but I take the point that I could do with losing a few kilos or pounds. My downfall is food. I just eat too much; pure and simple. It isn’t just that I eat too much though. I eat the wrong things. I eat sweet things, mainly when I am just bored and don’t have very much to do. It isn’t a great attitude to have to food. Food should sustain us but in 21st Century living we are programmed to want to consume more and more.

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My solution to the problem is simple: Preparation. Prepare my gym bag in advance, prepare meals in advance and prepare to feel a little bit hungry at the start. But also be prepared to feel better in a few weeks and for people to tell you how good you look in a few months.

So far, even though it is only 7 days into the New Year, so good! I have prepared my lunches for work in advance and made sure that I prepared a recommended portion and not masses and masses of it. I have been to the gym four times and been back to hockey training. I have eaten more fruit and made sure I have drunk enough water.

The first few days I was going out of my head with the hunger. All I could think about was food. I made the very clever move of leaving my credit card at home (the vending machines at work only operate with a credit card), which means my downfall of heading to the vending machines when I am bored, a bit stressed or tired is now a moot point.

Although it sometime feels a bit boring to take my little lunchbox and fruit into work and go to the gym at lunchtimes, I do genuinely feel a lot better already. The hunger pains are subsiding ever so slightly and I am sleeping better from the exercise. In some ways I would say dieting is a bit like giving up smoking. Your body reacts to the absence of something, either food or tobacco, and makes you crave it more and more. You need willpower and discipline to stay on the right track. In the end, the hard work will be worth it when you feel better and look better.