Humble Pie Tastes Gooooood

I seem to be having a quarter life epiphany. Yes. I will live to be 120. No that’s not the epiphany. The epiphany is thus; sometimes we say things that are just 100% bullshit. Here are some quotes from me that fall into this category:

  1. CrossFit is shit. Don’t do it. [Complete crap, CrossFit has some amazing elements and I made the above statement before I’d even tried it. Smart]

  1. Being a vegan is a really stupid idea. It is not good for you.[Again, knew nothing about it]

  1. I hate running [Actually running with people you love and dogs in the sun in the countryside makes me love running]

  1. Bla bla various bullshit statements about fitness in general [just too much to remember and type – oh wait wait, the comments I made about bananas not being good snack options if you want to be lean… buuuuuuuuullshiiiiiit]

So… I am having a lovely big slice of humble pie. It is delicious thank you very much. In previous years I would never admit to being wrong. I am quite well known for my stubbornness thank you very much. But actually it is quite refreshing to admit I talk nonsense quite frequently. I am not a scientist. I am not a dietitian. I am not a professional athlete/coach. And even if I were – that doesn’t automatically mean everything THOSE people are saying is correct or applicable to YOU.

So, just brushing the crumbs away from my pie, lovely lovely. Here we are at the start of another Ironman year of training. A few people have said they can’t wait to follow my progress of training etc. A few people have rolled their eyes and most likely thought “oh god… not again”. Well tough tamales.

A few new things going on in my weird little head at the minute. It isn’t little actually. It’s mahoosive. Full of air. I can’t wear normal hats either. Wah.

New things are…

  • I am very intrigued by the vegan world
  • I cannot stop reading Born to Run
  • I cannot stop researching and social media stalking the people featured in Born to Run

I was at my parents at the weekend. Mum turns to me “Well I’m glad to see Tom (Tom Wright – the guy that kicks my ass on a weekly basis with squats and really heavy stuff to chuck about) has the measure of you. Honestly… Vegan. What’s this idea you’ve got in your head now?!”. Fair play to her actually. I quite often ricochet around the fitness arena pouncing on varying concepts of health. “Oooh I’ll eat all the protein” – “Oooh I won’t eat carbs” – “Oooh let’s eat clean” – “Oooh let’s do HIIT” etc etc you get the idea. Anyway, whatever, I like it ok? So vegan food! I’m not going into the whole vegan this vegan that bla bla I’m a vegan argument. I’m not. I like Haribo and chocolate buttons and deep fried brie. The point though is I am super interested in people like Rich Roll, Scott Jurek, T. Colin Campbell and Brendan Brazier. I don’t expect anyone to know who the hell these people are, I didn’t until about two weeks ago. But it IS interesting. They are all, minus Mr Campbell, athletes. Not just any old athletes but ultra-marathoners etc. Mental.

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TOO..MANY…OPTIONS!!

I’m getting off subject here. The point is I have new people that I am watching and following for inspiration for Ironman Austria next year. Instead of filling my tummy with gels and powdered carb drinks for training I would like to try and focus on whole foods. Sounds super simple but it is actually harder than you think. Well watch this space I guess.

Oh and before I start rambling about something else. Read Born to Run. Even if you hate running and even if you hate reading. It is truly astounding. I’m not saying anything else. I went for my first trail style run at the weekend. Total eye opener. Who knew running could actually be FUN as well as “ow my f***ing ankle x 23,546,4235.

One month until the 10km open water swim. I have swam twice in the last fortnight. Grrrrrreat. Hoping I can ever so slightly wing this one to be honest. I have 8 days in the UK between now and tapering week. Not that I will actually NEED a taper week at this rate. More likely I will just have to plough straight into the swim full speed ahead training until the last minute. Sigh. Never mind. Stupid “summertime” cold (the cause of my lack of training recently).

I have decided to “go it alone” for Ironman training this time. Just me, Chris and our books. No coach. I am going to see what I can do just by listening to my own body and learning when to push harder on the bike, when to run faster on the long runs and when to rest and sleep and eat. I am actually very very excited. I have a good couple of months before I will have a rigid training schedule which waves goodbye to my social life in the pub again so I am going to use this time to build some serious strength in my legs and also focus on my running technique. I think I have already mentioned that though.

Not much else to report currently. I go to Australia next week. Wheeeeeeeeee! VERY excited. Two weeks in total, first week in Melbourne and the second in Port Douglas. Shocker. Poor me. Waa waa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahoo.

Running location = Port Douglas

If anyone here is big into trail running or eating vegan food then give me a shout. I’m interested in all that nowadays don’t you know.

I'll have you know Spongebob - I'll have you know

Oh and finally a list of documentaries I have LOVED recently;

  1. Cowspiracy
  2. Forks Over Knives
  3. Fittest on Earth

Really interesting and stops me watching old Disney movies before going to bed at 9pm. What?! That’s allowed!

C xx

 

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Humble Pie Tastes Gooooood

Oops I Did It Again

… I played with your hea—FALSE… I entered another Ironman.

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What a song. I remember this time last year when I was training for Ironman Wales I used to listen to ‘Stronger’ by Britney when I was on the treadmill. Obviously I checked the volume levels to ensure no one realised what I was listening to. Alas those days are gone and I no longer care what people think of my music choice/taste/lack of. Poor Chris had to listen to 4 hours of Kisstory on Sunday – Remember TLC and Mya? Amazing artists….ahem.

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So – pretty obvious what today’s theme is going to be. I’ve signed up to do another Ironman. This time in Austria. July 2nd 2017. I am VERY excited. For a number of reasons…

  1. My boyfriend Chris is also racing
  2. My new BFF’s Cat and Laura are ALSO racing
  3. My FB buddy Mel is ALSO racing
  4. My parents are coming over to support
  5. It will be warm and sunny
  6. We have the most amazing accommodation on the lake
  7. I am aiming for a much much faster time than my initial race in Wales last year (16 hours and 19 minutes)

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So! It has taken me thus far in 2016 to fully commit to another full distance Ironman. I have ummed and aahed about racing a half distance in Weymouth in September but it appears once the full distance gets you nothing else will give me the same fear. Well that’s a weird sentence…

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A few things have been playing on my mind recently. My friend was telling me recently how she received some odd messages from a “close friend” of hers. Essentially these comments were targeting an image of her and her “close friend” was criticising her strength training. Saying it wasn’t very feminine. Or something along those lines anyway. You know, it’s a funny thing. Who are these people exactly? At what point did these people decide that was a FRIENDLY thing to say? Is that supportive? Is that constructive? Is that caring? No.. it’s not. My response? CUT THEM OFF. It’s just not worth it. Bye Felicia.

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Essentially this then ties into my next thought process… You gotta do what makes you happy. Right? I know we have discussed this before but I think sometimes I need to take a step back and realise what that is. It is also ok to change your mind. You don’t have to stick to your guns at all times. Take the brexit vote recently. People are backtracking on their decision to vote Leave. This doesn’t really surprise me given the aftermath of carnage within both the financial and political sectors. I’m not here to get into a debate though. In fact I am going off on a tangent here. Not uncommon if you read these things regularly.

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Doing what makes you happy – this can relate to so many things. It isn’t just about hobbies or pastimes or the food you eat or the people you are friends with. The example that springs to mind is actually me. Ha! Self self self. But seriously. If we look at my last few years. I have gone from fitness freak, to carb hater, to obsessive calorie and macro counter, to nursing an ongoing mild eating disorder, to lifting heavy weights, to being obsessed with all things protein, to avoid alcohol, to panicking about nights out in case they made me fat, to arguing with family and friends about them not understanding my need to train and religiously monitor what I ate, to intermittent fasting, to saying gym was life, to hating on people that couldn’t stick to a rigid eating plan, to judging people for complaining about their weight and then drinking a bottle of wine every weekend, to signing up for an ironman, to being injured all the time, to doubting my capabilities, to losing “best friends”, to realising what real friends looked like, to appreciating what my body can do, to realising six packs aren’t everything…. christ almighty. Look at that list.

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Just writing that makes me roll my eyes. But essentially at the time I was doing what made me happy. Were they all long term? No. Do I regret some of them? Yes. However – I’ve found something and I have some people that I know will always make me happy. It wasn’t what or who I expected but there you go.

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Anyway – getting back to the point. If there even is a point. Ironman Austria 2017. When I signed up for Wales I didn’t tell people what my goal time was because I didn’t want people to judge me if I didn’t make it. Well this time – WHATEVER. I am aiming for around 12 hours and 30 minutes. Yes. Really. And yes I know that’s mental. But I don’t care. Let’s go for it. Why not? I never thought I would do an Ironman full stop. So why can’t I shoot for an insane time like that. If I don’t make it I don’t make it. But imagine if I did make it….

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I’ve been meaning to write something here for a couple of weeks now but I’ve struggled to find the motivation to get the words down. I simply couldn’t be bothered. Funny how a few days after signing up for IM I’ve found the motivation. Guess they go hand in hand for me.

There’s a few other things I’ve been discussing and realising recently. These include (in my humble opinion – and these are real 180’s for me)

  1. Counting calories and macros isn’t very fun and I don’t think it does me any favours long term
  2. Protein products are pretty bullshit. People shouting they’re eating clean but then necking protein shakes three times a day? Whatever. Again, do what makes you happy but I have finally come to realise the vast majority of these things are just very expensive supplements that we probably don’t need.
  3. Real food is pretty cool. You know. The stuff your granny made. Meat and two veg. Milk. That stuff is good for you.
  4.  We almost definitely eat too much meat. I cannot BELIEVE I just wrote that. Watch Cowspiracy. No I am not going vegan. But I don’t need ham and bacon and chicken with every damn meal.
  5. I’d rather be full of energy and training hard than trying to eat as little as possible. If that makes me bigger and stronger then so be it. I won’t get over that finish line in 12 hours if I’m living on diet coke and counting carbs for chrissakes.
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This girl is my effing idol

So – that’s a few little thoughts for you. According to Chris who is sitting next to me “I am blogging my t**s off” right now… He’s so charming.

On that note. See ya. I’m meant to be swimming today.

Cat xxx

 

Oops I Did It Again

Do You Have A Question? ASK

I have been pressured into writing another blog post by my newly acquired buddy Laura Jane. Unsurprisingly she will be featuring in today’s written verse rather frequently. To be fair to LJ though she raised some good points yesterday… and indeed this morning.

I’ve said before that I like writing about conversations that I have with friends and family etc etc. So to give this some background I know Laura J through another friend of mine, Rhona. A long story short = Rhona sent my Ironman blog to Laura J, Laura J read it, got inspired and decided to sign up to do her first Ironman 70.3 – or something along those lines. Firstly, this is freakin AWESOME that anyone read my post, ha, secondly I have massive amounts of time for anyone that takes the plunge and signs up to something that seems pretty mental. Whether it’s a 10k, marathon, C2C or Ironman.

So we currently have Laura Jane…. now give a warm welcome to Cat (yeah confusing right?). So Cat is training with my Ironman coach from last year. He put her in touch with me, she’s awesome too. Now the best part is Cat, Laura J and Chris (boyfriend) are all doing the same course! Weymouth in September. Ideal. So we have this little group of us now, to be fair Chris is sliiiiiiiightly more experienced than us with his wall of medals and his Kona goal (birthplace of Ironman and the scene for the World Championship each year aka the Mecca for Ironman athletes).

Aren’t we all cute in our wetsuits… HA

So the title for today is pretty self explanatory but to give it some grounds here are some questions that either myself (when I started training in triathlon), Cat or Laura J have asked:

“Will it be catastrophic if I don’t wear a swimming cap?”
“Do I have to wear proper cycling shoes at Ironman?”
“Can I train in a bikini?”
“Why do I need two pairs of goggles- do you swim with the other on your head?”
“Do I wear anything under the wetsuit?”

Questions are so important but they can also be the downfall for so many people. How many times have you watched something on YouTube or Insta or seen someone doing something in the gym or read something on Facebook and not known what it was or not known how to do something? If you are like me it will be quite a few times.  But here is where people differ. Laura J summed it up well yesterday actually “Some people are arrogant and find other people’s lack of knowledge amusing”. This is SO true I can’t think of a better way to put it.

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There is NOTHING worse than being made to feel stupid in the gym or when you want to try something new in life but you don’t know what you’re doing or even where to start. Having people around you, another Laura J quote here, “to encourage others and train together makes it all seem so much less scary”. CORRRRRRRECT. Now in the interests of being open minded I understand not everyone will be like this. Some people get online, read about it and crack on. Kudos. That’s awesome in itself but if you’re not likely to learn the anatomy of a road bike on your own some times you need a little help.

There is NOTHING to be ashamed of or embarassed about when it comes to asking questions or not knowing everything. Shit if I counted the number of times I thought I knew everything about training and diet then I’d be moderately well off and look like a total dick. No one knows EVERYTHING. It’s pretty much impossible because things change all the time. I guess the important thing is to recognise your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to knowledge or experience and then USE other peoples strengths to better yourself. AKA not being afraid to ASK a question, regardless of how stupid it may seem. Any person worth knowing will want to help rather than sneer or mock (I have a certain person in mind when writing this – NO I WASN’T BEING OVERLY SENSITIVE YOU ASSHOLE)….

Humph – that almost turned into a little rant there but there is no need for it to be ranty. I just think the health and fitness industry should be less judgywudgy and more “sure whaddya wanna know?”. And that’s why I train with Tom. Ha.

Moving on! Another conversation I have had a couple of times recently involves sleep and the importance of it. I would have to google the science behind it and I’m not gonna do that but basically sleep let’s your body heal, repair itself, correct hormone levels and generally wipe the slate clean after a day. So… lack of sleep = short cuts on all the above. How do we get better sleep? I actually DO know quite a bit about this. Here’s my list of stuff that ALWAYS helps me…

  • Get your bedroom set up properly. It should be cool, dark, tidy and quiet. Get blackout blinds from Ikea, crack a window, put your crap away properly and get rid of the tv. If you live in a noisy area get earplugs. They will change your life.

  • Stop charging your phone next to your bed. I am TERRIBLE for this. Move the charge across the room or better still into another room altogether. If you need your phone for your alarm then this will benefit you as you have to get UP to turn the alarm off if it is on the other side of the bedroom. STOP SCROLLING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AT BEDTIME. This will make the biggest difference of all.

  • Get some Magnesium spray. Not essential but I love it. I use this one. Follow the instructions on ze bottle. http://amzn.to/1Ye77nd

  • Don’t eat a massive meal before going to bed. This really affects me. It’s not about avoiding carbs or any of that bullshit. It’s just about letting your internal organs chill the eff out. A full tummy will be trying to digest whilst you get to sleep. Not ideal.

  • Don’t drink 20L of water before you go to bed. Sounds obvious. Think about.

  • If you have a bath at home get some Epsom Salts and some lavender oil. Do as per the instructions, don’t make the water too hot, out the bath into a cool clean bedroom = zzzzzzzzzzzzz (You can get Epsom salts in Boots. Get the big bag. Not the little pot)

  • Don’t live with me. I snore. A lot. Sorry Chris

Ok – I think that’s enough for today. Didn’t mention food once! That has to be a first! I’ll write something tomorrow or next week about how training with Tom is going. Oh and swimming – ‘cos I’m kicking ass at that and have an aaaaawesome field trip tomorrow.

Ciao xx

Do You Have A Question? ASK

Don’t Jump From Everest Summit

I made some notes the other day on my way to training with Tom. I seem to be at my most philosophical whilst sitting on the Northern Line. It may be the limited number of songs my phone will play underground that forces my mind to wander but never the less I came up with some good stuff the other day. Well – it’s good for me.

Firstly – see how a number of us are chasing goals? Goals are good. Agreed. BUT… if your goal is “I want to be a size 8” or “I want to be 15% body fat” or “I want to be 55kg” then hear me out for a minute and think about this. WHY is that your goal? Picture it. You hit your goal weight. You can now wear tiny jeans. What next? How do you feel? What has changed? Will you be exponentially happy when you can’t pinch an inch?

I’d sell my bed to have this in my London flat #perspective

Don’t get me wrong… I’d love to have my abs back but this time I am trying to focus on the journey (gaaaaaaaay) rather than the finish line. Essentially what I mean is this. Actually no, I’m going to use my analogy/metaphor here. Here goes. So my mum climbed to Mount Everest Base Camp a few years ago. When she got back she told us what an achievement it was (OBVS) and she said she couldn’t believe how hard it was and how people must be mad to climb the whole thing. Ok so our starting out on a quest for a healthier life is climbing to base camp. With me? You get to base camp and you think “you know what? let’s step it up a gear – let’s climb to middle camp” (Middle camp doesn’t exist but whatever, camp three or whatever it’s called). Middle camp is pretty cool. There’s showers and life is comfortable with people to hang out with and fun things to do. Middle camp is your daily sweat sessions and your mostly eating good food but with the weekend glass of wine and the sunday pizza and pyjama day. One day you wake up in middle camp and you think “nah – fuck it – let’s go to the summit”. Strap on your oxygen mask and gather up your crampons. It’s time to take this shit really seriously. You’re in pain. You don’t have any wine. You get to the summit and you’re like “hell yes – look at that view! Shit I’m freezing. Get me off this mountain”. The summit is your super low body fat, your counting and weighing every calorie and macro, your lack of nights out, your gym chat 24/7. Living at the summit is really really hard work with it’s benefits of a ripped six pack but it’s negatives of pizza once in a blue moon and probably some obsessive behaviour (I am generalising here – don’t shoot me if you have abs and eat Nutella – we aren’t all that way).

So now you have two options. Throw yourself off the summit and land back at sea level for some serious fat storing and lack of activity – OR – get yourself back down to middle camp for a bit and live a life.

The point I am trying to make is thus: the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Chris says this a lot to me when I moan that I wanna do another Ironman and I don’t feel like an athlete any more. He says “yeah ok but you can train if and when you want, you can lie in, you’re not walking around like a zombie and you have social life”. Humph. Ok fine fair point.

You get to 15% body fat. Now what? When I hit that goal I was nuts. My disordered eating was having a ball. I was scared of nights out in case I couldn’t log the macros from the meal. I lived for cheat days when I could consume entire pizzas and tubs of ice cream only to feel like a total loser for “undoing all my hard work” aka complete bullshit. For me, it was not a long term lifestyle.

We already know it’s nigh on impossible to stay on track 24/7. Shit happens. We smash it some weeks we don’t smash it some months (if you’re me – ha). I read something the other day that has made me think.

Joking aside… I am going on holiday with my family this weekend. My sister is a wine buyer and we are celebrating my mum’s retirement. Now then, here is my train of thought “behave yourself Cat – you can have ONE night of champagne and treats and then it’s training on the beach every day and eating sensibly”… it’s been a few days since I had that mental chat with myself and I am now of THIS opinion “YOLO”. Seriously though. In a few months or a few years time I want to look back and think “shit that was funny when we built a pirate ship and drank rum and ran around being ridiculous when we were nearly 30 (in my case)”. I don’t want to look back and think “goddammit I wish I’d just LIVED a little”.

I’ll drink his

We have all the time in the world to be ripped with 6 pack abs – I bet a few of you are sitting there thinking “yeah but it’s nearly summer and I wanna be clean eating and HIIT workouting NOW” – and that’s totally fine. My main point is I think we, or rather ME/I, need to enjoy the day to day process. I love being sweaty and smashing a lifting session or getting a PB on my 100m sprints in the pool. I love prosecco. I love pizza. I love my bloke and I love my family (Marion Mac on half a bottle of champers is better than a stand up comedy night at the apollo).

It is so hard to fight the demons sometimes but ultimately it is not a race. Enjoy your training. Enjoy your food. The streets don’t turn to solid gold and the Thames doesn’t flow with champagne when you hit that certain body fat percentage. Get your balance right. Or at least try to.

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I have taken a serious 180 on some of my previous blog posts but I swore I would always be honest…. and frankly this is where I’m at. Yes I want to be able to do pull ups. Yes I want to be a little leaner. It will happen because I will work for it but it will be a continuous mission… Not a “OK I’m lean again – I’ve achieved world peace and cured cancer”.

 

 

Don’t Jump From Everest Summit

Big Daddy

I’m noticing a pattern that quite a few of my titles sound really weird. Take today for example; it is actually referencing the popular movie ‘Big Daddy’ with Adam Sandler. I am going on the assumption most people have seen that movie. If you haven’t then you really need to asap. So there’s this scene where they go to McDonald’s for breakfast. But they’ve stopped serving it. Sandler goes mental and shouts “AAAAAHHHHHH – HORSE – SHIT!!!” at the top of his voice. Well Chris and I have now taken to shouting this every time something isn’t completely as we expect or want it to be. This could be anything from “babe we can’t order Dominos again… it’s not good for us” to “we napped for 3 hours – now it’s 6pm and we haven’t done anything”.

Both of these examples did actually occur at the weekend. After being plagued with London’s worst cold (Chris two weeks ago – me last week) we were both on the road to recovery but not quite 100%. The napping occurred on Saturday afternoon. The Dominos conversation occurred on Sunday at around 4pm – *cover your ears Tom* – we ordered Dominos. Mwah ha haaaaa. F***ing sue me OK? I turned to Chris and said “would you still love me if I stayed this body shape forever?” *as I stuff pizza in my mouth* – Him = “eh?” – “well if I didn’t get super ripped again would you mind?” – Him = “are you joking? I’d be buzzing if you looked like this forever. You’re gorgeous”. BLESS. Pass the sick bucket!

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Point of the above conversation is this whole learning to RELAAAAAAAX around food is actually going better than I originally thought. Ok I haven’t dropped the 10 kilos I want to – dominos and deliveroo may have something to do with that – but I have been ill and all over the city/country with work and I enjoyed my weekend (took full liberty with the free mars bars on offer at the swim event on Sunday – FOUR in total are now in the fridge… well actually three ‘cos I ate one). I missed a full week of training last week. I drank wine, I ate chocolate, I had pizza…. it’s all ok. This week I will try harder to eat something decent, I’ll be training, I won’t be drinking. Yin and yang. Etc etc. As we already know; these things take time.

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HOWEVER – and here is a good lesson to be learned. Just because you THINK you are letting yourself down or not making progress etc etc. Hold fire. During the swim on Sunday I felt slow. Like really slow. My form took a while to relax, my breathing was a mess, I was zigzagging around the swim course like a mental bumblebee trying to get out of a small room with no windows. I was horrid to myself for a lot of the swim “you’re so slow – get a move on – stay on course – swim faster”… turns out – I WAS EXACTLY THE SAME PACE AS I WAS FOR IRONMAN LAST YEAR. Which, if you don’t mind, isn’t bad.

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Considering this was my first open water swim of 2016 I reckon that’s pretty good. Few more pats on the back for my tortured little brain. Stuck my tongue out at the nasty demon in my head telling me I am rubbish and proceeded to be awesome. As much as possible.

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How was your weekend? Few vinos? Few BBQ’s with too much mayo and cheese on the burgers? Too many pizzas? Well it’s life innit. Tom (trainer/coach/guru) had the most mental sized pizza I’ve ever seen on Friday, however, Tom was in a calorie deficit from a hard week of training and therefore earned that pizza. Damn him. This is where I/we need to get to I guess. Then it’s pizza for dayzzzzzzzz. Ha.

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Made some nice food at the weekend though! Well, I think it’s nice, Chris think’s it’s gross. Shut up Chris. AAAAAAAHHHH – HORSESHIT! Ha. You can’t get mad about stuff without laughing at that sentence.So I had a bunch of cooked chicken in the fridge and I hate throwing stuff out. I was also in dire need of some veg (NOT veggies – stupid word) after feeling like crap all week. So, cooked chicken breasts, broccoli, spinach, reduced fat cream cheese, parmesan, frozen peas, ham…. Chuck everything in a tray, thin the cream cheese with some milk, pour over the veg with some spring onions and garlic, sprinkle on the parmesan. Result = chicken and veg a la non boring. I just had some for lunch. Tasty.

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Heading up to North Uist next week. PSYCHED. Gonna run around on beaches, sleep, catch up with family. Cannae wait. Asked Tom to write me a beach training programme. Bring on the broad jumps and the lunges. Dad is gonna laugh his irn bru oot his hand watching that spectacle. Ho hum.

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Half a quest protein bar for coffee break in two hours. Urgh. It’s so far away. I love snacks. I could snack 24/7. I don’t even LIKE quest protein bars any more but I bought loads and need to finish them or Chris the accountant will throw me out for wasting money. Humph.

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Gonna lift some really heavy stuff tomorrow morning though. Actually can’t wait. Gonna do some skipping too. Pow pow – see ya later Dominos….

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C xx

Big Daddy

Nutella For Mental Health

I am, right this minute, having a very interesting chat with my friend Alice. Essentially we are discussing methods to stay strong and fit and lean but also enjoy food… because we both love food. A lot.

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I think I have carb brain today. Not sure what’s going on but I don’t seem to be able to concentrate and I was wibblywobbly on my feet walking to work. Probably because I am eating a proper diet this week instead of the 5000kcal a day of junk diet I had on Sunday and Monday. I’m not even joking. It was incredible.

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Anyway – today’s title is pretty random but it makes sense. I have a really bad habit of being waaaaaay too extreme with food restrictions. If I decide I am going to be “clean eating” then I am ridiculous about it. Won’t go near even a tiny piece of cake in the office for someone’s birthday. Won’t have diet coke because of the sweeteners. I really really restrict myself.

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Well not any more. It has come to light that having this attitude towards food just isn’t good for me. It makes me obsessive and not very fun. It also leads to massive massive blow-outs (I’m talking enough Dominos for two people here). So – yesterday, in the office, we had a visit from a client, they make Nutella. They brought us free Nutella. Yes – I have the best job in the world. They also brought us lots of Ferrero Rocher and Kinder chocolate. I took some of the Kinder home last night for Chris and had one of the tiny little bars. It was 70 calories. This morning I had a teaspoon of Nutella in my 0% Total yoghurt. Ground breaking stuff huh? Well no… it isn’t…. it’s basic nutrition that should be part of every day life. Considering I ate around a kilo of salad and veg yesterday I think I’ll live…

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I am hoping that over the next few months my 80kcals of Nutella here and there will prevent me doing 800 kcals of Ben & Jerrys on a weekend. Don’t let the cravings build up = much happier healthier mentality towards food. That is the theory – I actually think it could and should work.

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The brain is a powerful powerful thing. I honestly have conversations worthy of the silver screen with mine sometimes. Take yesterday for example. ALL DAY my head was saying “please don’t go swimming tonight, please don’t, just go home and chill… it’ll be so much nicer”… but I knew that wasn’t the way to go – even if my brain was right – it WOULD be so much nicer. It took me EIGHT hours of arguing to finally persuade myself to go to the pool and even then on the way out of the office my brain was STILL trying to tell me I could go and swim another day instead. Shut UP brain. You are talking pure nonsense.

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I spent a bit of time last week looking at old pictures and social media posts from the last year or so. It was really good actually. Made me realise what I had achieved and what I can do when I really put my mind to it.

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I feel like I am running out of steam here but I just wanted to get some words down about the balance of Nutella and the importance of having a plan. My programme for strength training is the only thing that ensures I work hard in the gym. I have it printed, I take it with me, I stick to it – even when I am ready to cry with muscle exhaustion. I have had DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) pretty much every day for a month now. That is a product of hard bloody work and lifting really heavy weights. My workouts are longer and they are non stop. This is the product of a professional writing me a plan. Totally changed my approach. It is a similar story with my swimming. I wrote a plan and now I stick to it. If I don’t I’ll fail my 10km swim in August.

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Anyway… I’ve been seeing some really really awesome effort by people recently. Katie – you know who you are – those 5k runs are inspiring. Every time I go on Facebook there’s another one logged! Just love it. I think it’s really important to seek and offer support to people around us. We should be nicer to each other. That’s almost an inspirational image on insta but it’s true. I saw a friend of mine yesterday, Rhona, haven’t seen her in TWO AND A HALF YEARS, she is still one of the nicest people I know. Straight through the pearly gates for her. Life is better when we are nice and we are positive. Nice to ourselves and nice to the people around us. Nutella is nice too……….

C xxx

Nutella For Mental Health

Stick To The Plan

….and bin the haters

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Nothing does my head in more than people who can’t just be happy for someone. I’m going to have a right good rant here and then get onto the good positive smiley happy stuff. I feel like starting this with the words of Shakespeare because it is THAT important:

“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean”

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Yeah cracking stuff Will but I need to make this more applicable to fitness. Right so I am training with Tom and Tom is very very supportive and encouraging. Exactly how anyone who wishes to make a living by coaching people should be. Nothing is too much bother. Whatsapps regarding diet or “what the hell is a broad jump” are replied to within minutes more often than not and it doesn’t matter if I am not PERFECT at a new exercise e.g. barbell squats or cleans. Ok so Tom is the house of Montague because let’s face it – that house is just better. On the flip side we have the house of Capulet – boooooo. Now I’m not going to name names because there is no need. The guy working for the house of Capulet is a “friend”. His response to my efforts? “Pssssh could the bar be any further away from your body on that clean? Amateur”. Aye – great friend. See ya later.

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Now – don’t get me wrong – I love a bit of banter and a bit of joke but the fact of the matter is some people are negative. Always have been always will be and frankly, I don’t give a damn if they read this because at the end of the day this is what holds people back.

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I’m going to leave it there because I don’t want to spoil my moment of friggin’ ELATION at this mornings session with Tom. Shake it off Tay Tay and let’s move on.

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Last time we caught up I was negative as *rhymes with duck* wasn’t I? Whining and waa waa but I got over it. I always do for the most part. So moving beyond the negativity I got my training session with Tom last Friday and he wrote a programme for me. A PLAN, if you will, to get me stronger faster better happier and healthier. It’s been a week and I feel like a weapon. Yes really. I’m eating more. I’m training harder. I’m calmer. I’m stressing less (hardly at all to be honest) and I’m thinking about stuff less and life is just easier. My swimming is stronger, my confidence is getting stronger – KAPOW – it’s just going good.

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I’ve been chatting with a really awesome friend this week, we haven’t actually spent masses of time together as she lives up north in York but we’ve known each other a long time and recently have been talking a lot more. Her husband is a hero and I originally chatted a lot with him last year when he was trying to get some training together for walking the Sahara. He did it and made a lot of people very proud. Anyway, my friend wants to start doing some training at home because she has a little boy and a full time job. We were emailing yesterday and I sent her this:

“Just stay consistent with whatever you choose to do. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. A good one for time pressed people is first thing when you wake up. I’ve started doing 15 minutes skipping first thing in the morning. For food don’t get too worried about it. Aim for 2000 calories and use myfitnesspal to make sure you get over 120g protein a day. You won’t be starving yourself and after that you don’t need to worry about anything until you start to get really strong and fit. People get really stressed about it all including me! If you have a crap day where you smash nothing but carbs and cheese then just deal with it and move on. I spent years going back and forth with restricting and over eating when really you just have to stay pretty decent for 6 days a week and keep at it.”

I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL AND I AM NOT TRYING TO GIVE OUT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE

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However, I know this girl is around my height and age and I know roughly, ROUGHLY, what I’m talking about because it works for me (not that that means it works for everyone!!). Anyway the point is you can drink your detox tea and you can have your bullet proof coffee and you can take your CLA and you can do your fasted workouts and you can add whey protein to everything but at the end of the day it does, pretty much, at the beginning, boil down to calories in versus calories out and making sure you have a deficit and just keep doing it.

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Before people come at me with pitch forks yeah yeah there’s loads of other methods and things to take into account but generally speaking if you do the math you will drop some weight.

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So – the mega morning I had… I am reeeeeeeeally impatient and for years have thrown hissy fits because I can’t squat. WHATEVER haters! I can squat now! Bit of mobility work, bit more weight on the bar, a proper teacher and kowabunga it’s squats for dayyyyzzz. See SEE!

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The point I’m trying to make is you can do anything you want to do. One of my best friends ran her first marathon on Sunday – THREE HOURS FIFTY EIGHT MINUTES – she was totally nonchalant about the time, I was silently screaming into my hoody because there’s no way I could run a marathon in that time haha! She had her doubts leading up to it and even during the run but she smashed it. Right in the face. POW.

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Literally my buddy

Just be patient. Keep going. Work at it. Get a plan. Stick to it. Make goals. Doesn’t matter if they take years to achieve. Shit I’ve been trying to learn pull ups and chin ups for THREE YEARS. I will get there and you will all know about it when I do! You lucky monkeys.

Have a freakin’ brilliant weekend guys. Stay positive. Love those bodies and to re-quote my favourite water bottle from Ironman days….

“You’re Stronger Than You Think”

 C xxx

Stick To The Plan