New Year’s resolutions from a male perspective (guest post from my husband)

Well there it is 14st 9lbs or 92.98Kg or 205lbs! How the cock did that happen?

 Well I know perfectly well how it happened. As already mentioned by Puddingtummy we both have a penchant for the booze and I’m afraid it is our undoing every time. 

We have been trying on and off for some weeks now to get some momentum with the healthy eating/ not drinking/ going to the gym thing but so far I think our world record is four consecutive days. I’m afraid booze is the main culprit, as was pointed out to me in uncomfortably clear language the other night…after a few beers. Thus ensued an interesting “discussion” about what “exactly” constituted being an “alcoholic”. For what it’s worth, I’m not sure I believe in this fairly nebulous and existential concept, obviously I won the argument/ conversation, but as is often the case with Puddingtummy, it didn’t really feel like I’d won.

All that being said I decided to turn over (another) new leaf. Thing is, Puddingtummy has big plans involving ironmen or mans or something, which in my limited understanding of such things a) doesn’t involve alcohol, b) is accomplished largely by not being fat, and c) requires more than four days consecutive dieting.

Not being one to get hung up on detail my lay interpretation of what is expected of the ironmans is essentially to run, swim and cycle as you see appropriate until all your limbs fall off. Naturally I can see why anyone would want to do this, it does sound great, but being a fairly laissez-faire sort of chap I thought I might give it a miss.

Don’t get me wrong though there are things I would like to accomplish on the fitness and weight loss front such as tying my own shoelaces in fewer than 3 reps (my current PB), climbing a flight of stairs without getting chest pains and putting on some of the tighter clothing in my wardrobe without sobbing uncontrollably and as such I can understand fully the importance of PT’s goal to her too. So here it is, my first ever blog, and a firm resolution to help out in MTs motivation and be encouraging by not being an alcoholic/ beer enthusiast, by eating stuff that isn’t beige and by going to the gym until all my limbs fall off. For at least five or more days.

Apathy

Endless cycle!

An endless cycle!

The above picture is taken from a link that has been floating round the internet recently: http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/comics-that-capture-the-frustrations-of-depression The article has various cartoons that depict the feelings of helplessness and frustration associated with depression and this one particularly resonated with me.

I just feel like I’ve lost my spark at the moment, especially where sports and fitness is concerned. Around about this time 2 years ago I’d achieved one of my life’s ambitions to run a marathon and managed to maintain my WW weight loss for 2 years. I feel like a bit of a failure for letting it slip so far and my attempts at getting into a routine haven’t been that successful. This time of year is never particularly good for me (dark mornings & dark nights aren’t exactly conducive to exercise!) and I think this is compounding the problem.

I suppose the answer it to keep going and try not to get disheartened by the odd set back. I don’t have any races scheduled for the remainder of this year, so perhaps it is time to look ahead to 2014 and find something to work towards. I need to remember that something is better than nothing – with a little bit of persistent effort hopefully my routine (and mojo) will resurface.

1 week review

Well, I am now 1 week into what I have labelled the ‘transformation’ plan, which to be honest is a pretty ambitious description of the last week.

There have been highs (hitting the gym 6 out of the 7 days) and lows (hello Domino’s online ordering) but on the whole it has been positive.

I’m pleased that I managed to stay on the wagon and only drank on two days, which considering my recent behaviour is pretty good. The scale hasn’t budged but at this stage that’s to be expected, so I’m not too worried about that at the moment. I’m still struggling with really committing though… at this initial stage it always seems like a long slow haul, but I know that consistency is the key!

Still no ‘before’ pictures, as I can’t quite bring myself to either take or post them. It’s a funny thing the before/after pics, they’re inspiring at the end but pre-transformation they just highlight how much work you have to do!

Time to take stock

After my Weight Watchers journey I thought that I would never let it all go completely and to be fair, I did manage to maintain my weight (within a small margin) for about two years… then I’m not sure what happened, but over the last 12 months I have slipped slowly back into bad habits.

Unfortunately, I think all-or-nothing mentality has contributed to this and as things started to slide, I kept thinking ‘next week will be the week’ instead of making a small change now. I also have the somewhat (un)fortunate  tendency to put weight on in an even distribution, which means it takes longer for me (and others!) to notice and it’s easier to ignore. Even now some colleagues are protesting that I look any different, when I am a stone heavier than I was 3 months ago!

So here I am now after months of indulgence finally ready to take stock and get things under control. I don’t want to do a mad diet, but I miss working out and having abs! Plus I promised myself that 2014 would be the year of the half-ironman and I still want to achieve that.

I will however do a ‘before’ pic tonight as I want to measure my progress and remind myself why I am doing this. But it’s not just about weight, it is about balance and finding better ways to relieve stress than mindless eating and boozing.

Weekend indulgence

It is apparently a universal phenomena that when going on holiday you are overly optimistic about how much time/motivation you will have to work out. On a weekend away with friends, the girls planned to go for an early morning trail run and the boys bought P90X & Insanity DVDs. None of these activities occurred. I was slightly disappointed about missing a run on Sunday morning as the weather was glorious and a run would have been a great way to explore the area,  but as it was, the general overindulgence of food and booze may have got in the way of enjoying this view…

view from cottage

I also surprised myself by making both vegetarian and meat pizzas and preferring the vege version!

I used my tried and tested pizza base recipe by Lorraine Pascale, available online here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/prosciutto_mozzarella_98052

with the following toppings for the vegetarian version:

  • tomato puree
  • roasted red peppers (I used the brand Karyatis as they have a spicy edge which is just delicious)
  • green pesto
  • spinach, cooked in a smidgen of butter
  • mozzarella
  • cheddar

Unfortunately I now have the taste for overindulgence and my hard won pre-mini break loss of 8lbs has diminished to 4lbs and counting. Must must must get back to the gym.

True grit

For my 28th birthday, in an effort to get my running mojo back, my mum bought me entry into the Sheffield half marathon 2013. But after 10 nights in Cuba and general over indulgence for several weeks (OK months) I was not feeling particularly race-ready at one week out. I went for a run on the Wednesday before and did 6.35 miles, figuring that if I could do that arbitrarily chosen distance, I would be able to finish the race. Although I hadn’t done a huge amount of running, I had been consistent in going to the gym and maintained a reasonable baseline of fitness which I hoped would get me through.

I was semi-prepared to crash and burn but as I lined up at the start line I got my head in the zone and told myself that I would take it easy, aiming for the 2hr mark.

When I got to the 7 mile marker I knew I would be ok. My legs, my usual weakness, felt good and I’d settled into a natural rhythm. My breathing was a little laboured and I struggled a bit with a double-sided stitch, but that was hardly surprising with the lack of long distance cardio I’d done in the lead up. I kept trucking on, staying positive, not looking at my Garmin but instead keeping a comfortable pace.

I ended up crossing the line in 1 hr 50 mins 17 sec – my second best half marathon time ever!

Sheffield half marathon 2013

As I summed up on Facebook: I came physically unprepared but mentally strong and got my second best marathon time ever. True grit for the win.