Friday Round-Up – Still no chocolate!?!

It’s Friday 27 February and I haven’t eaten chocolate for 10 days!

That’s right people, I’m sticking with my chocolate ban for lent and haven’t touched the stuff in 10 days, that must be some kind of record for me! I still have cravings every now and again, usually mid-afternon at work when I want a coffee and something sweet to nibble on.

I’ve substituted chocolate with sweet rice cakes and Fluff, both of which are low fat and I can easily stop after 1 rice cake/1 spoon of Fluff, so I still get a sweet kick without all the sugar, fat and calories!

I’ve lost 2lb since last Friday, weighing in at 154 this morning! I haven’t been at 154 in YEARS! Definitely not since the beginning of 2013 (to be fair I was pregnant/had a baby) but even before than I was probably over 154. So happy!

Also, on Wednesday I was in London for a conference and dropped into H&M for a browse whilst waiting for my train. I picked up a size 12 pair of jeans which fit great, and a jersey top in stripes, which is super flattering, size M.

Can you tell that I’m feeling great? I feel great!

Giving up chocolate for Lent

Pancake Day, oh Pancake Day, how I love thee Pancake Day!

I cannot stress how much I love pancakes! I don’t eat them all the time but when I do, I love them soooo much! There are so many options for toppings and the actual pancakes themselves! Do you go fluffy like American pancakes, or thin like traditional pancakes in Britain? Do you go for pancakes made from banana and egg (how do people flip these?) or go for flour, egg and milk? The options are endless….

I also love chocolate. At least I THINK I love chocolate, but what I really love is the comforting feeling you get for about 10 minutes after you eat chocolate.

So, with that being said, this past Tuesday (17th February) we celebrated Shrove Tuesday in the UK. And Shorve Tuesday is Pancake Day! Knowing that I would be eating some scrummy pancakes, I still ate 2 (TWO!!!) chocolate bars at work during the day. Then, with my two pancakes in the evening, my fired and I polished off three bags of (small) Easter chocolates!

I knew I had reached a new low:-( I wasn’t getting through a day without reaching for chocolate, so as Lent started on Wednesday, I have made the decision to give up chocolate for Lent! 5 days down and I am feeling good! I feel that if I am able to get through a few more days chocolate free, I won’t feel the incessant need chocolate throughout the day or late in the evening (or anytime really).

It’s also perfect timing as my birthday lands right after Easter, and my sister and I are going to the Ritz for dinner. This way, if they do serve anything with chocolate during the dinner, I won’t have to refuse, or feel guilty for breaking Lent.

Has anyone else given anything up for Lent, or have food addictions that they want to break?

Photo Progress

Use progress photos to measure your accomplishments, not the number on the scale (or as well as).

People say that you should use progress photos to really see how your body changes when you adopt a healthy lifestyle and want to lose extra weight. And I mostly agree. If you are building strength then it is likely that additional muscle will counter-balance fat loss, so you may not see the scale move as much as you want to, but your body composition will change. With that said, I do use the scale to track my weight loss as well as progress photos.On Friday (13th February) I weighed in at 156lb, and this weekend I took some progress shots.

Comparison July 2013, Aug 2014, Feb 2015

On the left was a couple of months after having my baby, and I weighed about 175lb. In the middle was Aug/Sep last year and I weighed somewhere between 157 and 159 pounds. The photo on the right is from February 2015 and I weighed 156lb. I know there is no major difference between the second and third pictures, but I am definitely slimmer in the stomach and my posture has improved.

Do you take progress photos to track how a healthier lifestyle is changing your body?

It’s Been A While

Gosh, long time no blogging!

I’ve had a very busy few weeks at work (where I normally do my blogging when I should be doing important things:-)) and then running on an evening and making time for my little girl and hubby, so the blog has been neglected a bit. Sorry, kind of not sorry? Real life is normally more important than internetz life!

Quick update on everything…

I’ve upped my daily calorie intake to 1500 rather than 1300 and am seeing more progress. That 1500 calories is made up of 70-80% clean and 20-30% dirty food, real dirty food, like Krispy Kremes and cheese mmmmmmmm.

My running is going OK, but the flu last week set me back a little bit. I’ve still managed to get in 20km this week (Monday-Thursday) already so feel good.

I’ve stopped any weight exercises (body or equipment) and I’m really feeling like I need to get back to some more toning exercises as well as the running, so that’s my aim for next week.

Have a good weekend you lovely people!

Half Marathon Training

April 26th, 2015: Blackpool Half Marathon

I have signed up for my second half marathon which will be the Blackpool Half Marathon towards the end of April.

The first half marathon I ran was the Great North Run back in 2011, which I completed in 2 hours 23 minutes, having done some training but not very many long runs.

This time, I am really hoping to go sub-2 hours and have been looking at training plans to help me achieve this. Incorporating speed and interval work, tempo runs and long distance over the next 16 weeks should see me reach my target. I am also going to continue with strength training, especially the back of my legs and bum to help with hills.

This weekend training kicked off proper, with a 3km temp run on Friday, 5.73km interval on Saturday and a 10.61km longer run on Sunday. During the week I want to fit in 2-3 strength days focusing on legs, arms and abs with another 2 or three shorter runs.

Have you signed up for any races this year, or any other fitness challenges?



Post-Holiday Weigh In

So Christmas has come and gone, many a glass of champagne has been drunk, turkey and the trimmings eaten and far too many chocolates to remember have been consumed.

January 2nd 2015: 162lb

And that has resulted in about a 4lb weight gain. And you know what, I am OK with that! I definitely feel more jiggly than I did before finishing work for Christmas and the first run since the 23rd December is probably going to hurt a bit, but I don’t feel too bad. Once I am back in my lunchtime gym routine and eating pattern at work I hope to see those 4lb shift fairly quickly.

I also drink a lot more water at work than I do at home. Sitting in close proximity to a water cooler has definite advantages!

I’m Thankful

Thanksgiving was months ago and I’m not even American, but I am thankful that we had more than enough food to eat during the Christmas. I think about the people on the UK and around the world that don’t have enough to eat on a daily basis and am thankful that we do not have to go without. Some colleagues and I organised a food collection to take to a local food bank before Christmas and I plan on regularly donating to those in need in my local area.

New Year Resolutions

2015…come and get it!

The New Year brings new resolutions for 2015, and whilst I don’t judge myself too harshly if I don’t stick to them throughout the following 12 months and beyond, this year I am making resolutions that I hope to adopt long into the future.

  1. Connect with loved ones more – I am a terror for not replying to text messages, not returning phone calls and not listening to my voicemail  for days, so this year I have made it my main resolution to be better at connecting. Answering communications from my friends and family quicker, and starting the conversation if I haven’t heard from someone in a while.
  2. Read more books that aren’t historical fiction – Oh how I love a bodice-ripping, sword wielding book set in the 16th-18th centuries, but I also love a lot of other books and need to read more in 2015. I have purchased Hilary Clinton’s Hard Choices and the first few chapters have been very promising. Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind Of Girl was a Christmas present and that’s next on the book shelf.
  3. Enjoy more fresh air – Getting outside more in 2015 is an aim of mine. Now that my little girl is more agile on her feet and is able to walk further without needing the pushchair, we can walk along the canal or the woods in my hometown. We can also take day trips into the Yorkshire Dales, which we are lucky to live on the doorstep to.

I can’t say that getting healthier is a New Year resolution as it’s more of a life goal, one which I have been trying to achieve for many years and am still struggling with daily.

With that said, my next post will be the dreaded post-holiday weigh in:-(

What are your resolutions this year?