The Movie of Your Life

One of the Spring Up & Runners, the astoundingly clever Sara Lando, said the most wonderful thing on the forums recently when one of her comrades was having an off day with their running:

"… Struggling looks best in the future biography of your life.

Can you imagine how boring would be if you told your story like "yeah, I started running and it was ok. Then I was awesome. The end".

Sometimes as I run I try to imagine an epic voice narrating what I'm doing. You know the guy that does movie trailer voiceovers? He goes like "And through adversities… never giving up… with sheer willpower…" and so on.

So I feel like I'm fighting for something great with spectators rooting for me and since I just avoid movies without an happy ending I KNOW I will eventually win. If I suck it just means I'm about halfway through the movie and that I need a good training montage."

(Quoted here with Sara's blessing)

P.S. It's been a little crazy around here since I got home, more soon!

Fitbloggin was fab

That's all I can say right now! There are so many emotions and big things learned burbling away in my mind I feel like I'm about to explode, much like that bloody Icelandic volcano that threatens to prevent me getting home today. I've started five different posts but I don't think I'll be able to gather my thoughts properly until I'm back in Scotland and back with the good Dr G. So in the meantime I just wanted to say hello to you lovelies and to any Fitbloggin folks who stop by, thank you thank you thank you for a wonderful, wacky, welcoming weekend.

P.S. Just one of a gazillion highlights: meeting my podcast partner in crime in person 🙂


I am human and I need to be clothed

I went to a local New Look store a wee while back and they'd moved the plus size section. It was once right in amongst the "normal" clothes in the prime of the store, but they'd moved it upstairs, tucked into a tiny corner behind the menswear. To make one feel just that little bit more shithouse, on this particular day the lights happened to broken. The whole store was a flourescent blaze, except for this one corner with the fat clothes which was in total darkness. You gotta laugh.

Things have changed massively since I was last a larger lass. Back in the early 00s it was a struggle to find something to wear and the limited selection seemed aimed at old ladies – blousy tunic tops, tapered leg jeans with elastic waists; shiny black "slacks". And of course those nighties with kittens printed on them.

These days there is so much more on offer, especially online. With the proliferation of fat fashion blogs you're never short of inspiration either. Here are some things I've noticed from recent shopping experiences:

1. Sizing is ridiculous
I know there's never really been anything remotely resembling standard clothing sizes, but I currently have clothes from 16 – 22, some of it even from the same shop. What the bloody hell size am I? In some stores I can wear the "normal" sizes, other times I'm banished to the plus sizes. You never really know til you try on, which is a pain in the arse if shopping makes you cranky.

2. They're making trendy stuff in larger sizes
Which is a great leap forward from the Sequinned Kitten era. Alas I'm now 33 years old and look ridiculous if I slip into something apparently Bang On Trend.

3. Somtimes you still feel like a second-class citizen
They make an effort to have a larger size range, but it's only available online. I'm looking at you H&M and Old Navy.

4. Jeans are easier to find
No more tapered legs! There's such a great variety of styles, but no matter what size I am I still usually have to get wide-leg styles to accommodate my sturdy thighs.

5. Dressing the top half is not as simple
This is no doubt down to my fusspot personal preferences and body shape, but I find it hard to find tops that don't totally swamp your waist. I still have a waist dammit, I don't want a smock! Also, there doesn't seem to be that much choice in the middle ground between dull basics and mega trendy.

Speaking of trendy, here are the two kinds of tops that most leave me spluttering with disbelief.

a) The modern equivalent of the kitten-print top, Tops with stupid shit written on them:

Lol   Rawr   Rawr

b) Tops that make you look like you were attacked by hungry dogs:

Nibbled2   Nibbled2

Golf is evil

On Saturday afternoon Gareth and I went to a driving range to whack some golf balls. Neither of us have any interest in golf but we were both in a cranky mood (boring homeowner issues) and needed to hit things.

The driving range, a former cow shed, was empty except for a cluster of teenage boys. I felt about seven hundred years old because as soon as they saw us they hastily stubbed out their cigarettes and tried to look busy. Do we really look that old now?! I've never smoked in my life but I wanted to pick up a smouldering stump and puff away, just to let them know I was young and hip to the cancer sticks.

Then I wanted to run away as I hated the thought of the youths witnessing my lack of skill. There is no laughter more mocking that the the multi-pitched cackle of a teenage boy. But they turned out to be very lovely and helpful, perhaps overcompensating for us busting them with the ciggies, "Have you been here before? Do you know how to use the ball machine? Do you know where the shop is?". Are you lost, old people!?

(I think Gareth was crushed to realise the anti-aging properties of his baggy jeans and hoodie uniform may finally be wearing off.)

Before long we had the cow shed to ourselves and I was quickly reminded that I freaking stink at golf. I didn't nearly kill anyone this time, though I did hit the wall of the shed three times. How the hell the ball managed to turn 90 degrees I will never know, but I do know that I hate golf. At least with a driving range you just hit the balls and leave. It would be so much worse if you had to wander around a course for hours, hating golf while old men in crazy trousers tut-tutted at your incompetence.

Anyway the point of this post was to tell that I now have Golf DOMS. DOMS of course being delayed onset muscle soreness. Somehow 45 minutes of ball-whacking (and pirouetting because I couldn't keep my feet planted) has resulted in two completely useless arms today. My biceps are on fire and the underside of my forearms hurt like hell. I cannot straighten my arms properly. Go go gadget robot arms!

DOMS, from a driving range. Ha ha ha, say the golfers of the world, this is what you get for mocking our sport. Gareth is in pain too, but since it's Man DOMS you can imagine it is so, so much worse.


New Year Goals Check-In: April

I'm doing monthly updates on my New Year Goals. ONE THIRD of 2011 is now done and dusted!

The lovely Jennette wrote on her blog today:

I have often wondered if someone who's lost a ton of weight has to become a fitness and health fanatic for the rest of their life to keep it off, or if they can just integrate it into a normal part of the life that is not any more or less important than other things in their life.

Recently I was emailling with some podcast listeners about the Maintenance episode and we were pondering pretty much the same thing. The thought of having to be "hardcore" for the rest of your life was just totally depressing, quite frankly. But I've been thinking about it and I reckon what I've been doing this year is sustainable and realistic – healthy but not hardcore.

Sure, progress is happening at a glacial pace and thus I too shall be fat at Fitbloggin next week (loved Jennette's post there – ditto to all that!). But I feel so peaceful and positive right now, and a helluva lot happier than I did when I got to my so-called Happy Weight a few years ago.

Reasons why:

  • I'm not constantly thinking about food
  • I no longer feel like I'm on any sort of wagon, poised to fall off at the slightest wobble
  • I'm getting better every day at pausing before I eat to decide whether I am really hungry
  • I no longer fear losing control around food
  • There's no good or bad foods anymore. I'm starting to observe how different foods make me feel and choosing accordingly. Lately my body makes the choices more often than my mind, if that makes sense!?
  • I can now recognise when I am feeling upset or angry or tired rather than hungry. Sometimes I still eat anyway, but the ability to pinpoint the real emotion just plain rawks!
  • I'm getting better at doing what I need to do to feel sane and happy and not worrying about what others may think
  • I am getting better at being honest with myself e.g. Are you really sooooo busy or just can't be arsed to go kickboxing? 
  • I'm getting better at dealing with problems and issues as they arise, instead of letting them rot and/or eating to supress the feelings.

All this progress feels SO HUGE to me but the changes aren't quite as big on the outside yet. I have no idea where all this will lead in terms of my size. I feel it is more important to keep working on the problem, rather than the symptom. The emotional eating, not the weight loss. I don't want to screw that up and get all obsessive just to get back into The Jeans of 2007.

I'll be honest. I would like to lose some weight, simply to have more choice of clothes and to have less wobbles in the way when I exercise. But I am prepared to be patient and focus on being consistent and sane. Ahhhhhhhh 🙂

April highlights (aside from the Zumba ferret dude of course):

  • I hit my goal of exercising consistently, until the 'flu and a very loud and annoying cough slayed me in the last week
  • I hit my goal of consistently planning meals. Amazing how that half an hour of effort every fortnight brings so much freaking CALM and order to everyday life
  • I lost a grand total of one pound
  • Food diary is still humming along. I tell you it is so satisfying to a spreadsheet lover to see four months of entries filled in!

Hope your May is going smashingly so far!

Winner of the Up & Running 5K Course giveaway

Up & RunningYou guys sure do like your watermelon! Thanks very much for your entries in the Up & Running giveaway. I wanted to bust out the barbecue until I remembered I've still not cleaned it from that one time it was sunny enough to use it last year. Hmm.

So, the random number generator has spoken and the lucky winner is…

#45 – Svava!

She's a frappucino fan:


Congratulations Svava. I'll be in touch shortly with all the details for the 5K Course. Thank you to everyone who entered the draw!

We've just opened up registration for the Summer 5K Course. If you've been pondering the idea of running for awhile but need a helping hand to get started, why not join us? Coach Julia is an amazing coach and when you combine her support and expertise with a community of fellow beginners all striving to outrun the zombies, you cannae go wrong.

Thanks to all who entered. I'll be back tomorrow with the ol' Monthly Goals Check-In post thingo. Hope you had a tops weekend.