Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Bitter Blogger

So I am. I could wail so I could. I appear to have gone all Irish on you. I have one thing on my bucket list. It is not to visit the Himalayas, swim with dolphins, climb Kilimanjaro (that's what posh people do when they fancy a day out), take a train ride through the Rocky Mountains (okay wouldn't mind that one) or anything deep or profound. Nope. I am that shallow. Number one on my bucket list is (or rather was) to appear on Catchphrase. Yarp that's it. Not impossible some might say. Not too expensive - it would have been the cost of a one day Travelcard. Alas, I am rapidly approaching 41 and it appears my dream to press that buzzer is unattainable. Cue lots of wailing and a quick reference to my book on how to manage my ape chimp in this situation.

So close but so far! Cue wailing
In August I applied to go on the show. I sold my soul. I was witty, funny, talked of pissing myself on the M25 and other embarrassing stories of a desperate nature and was generally a total prize prat just to get a phone call. Seriously these applications mean you leave any dignity or self respect firmly away from your laptop.  To have an even bigger chance of getting on a quiz show you can send in a video clip.  Yes you can make an even bigger dick of yourself - in print isn't sufficient enough.  So I filled in my 14 pages and stopped short of writing 'pick me, I beg you' and hoped for the best.

You cannot imagine the excitement I had then, whilst on holiday, a lady had left a message on my mobile to say she was calling about the show. Her name was Megan - yes you Megan you you!! More of which later. I composed myself and phoned from France citing my blog etc etc, talked with enthusiasm and generally came over all excitable puppy like.  I thought I did well. I was positive I would have to be arranging childcare upon my return so I could travel to my audition. Maybe I should have said I'd spend the money on cancer research rather than a holiday and the normal stuff? I wish they could tell you why you are not the chosen one. More wailing.

Where's your loyalty Roy to all the children (me!!) of the 80's that watched your show!
Now, the application deadline was the second week in October so naturally I thought I might hear after this date.  I took to twitter to see how the land was lying. It turns out auditions were in August!! So does it mean the first applications get through? Did my holiday scupper my chances of getting on the show? Urghhh. In any event, I want a national inquiry as to the deadline being October and auditions are in August.  Like the title suggest I am bitter. BITTER I TELL YOU!!!

To add insult to injury some other blogger got an audition - I thought that was cool thing to say on the show "I'm a blogger, I've got virtual trophies don't you know" - now it seems someone else will be saying that. I hope they get knocked out in the first round. BITTER!!

Say what you see - a sad, bitter and wailing 40 year old woman - her dreams crashed!

I have a confession to make in that not to let sleeping dogs lie (catchphrase) I dug out the number that called me in France. I found Megan's number and left a message to ask if I had an audition. Surprise, surprise she didn't return my call. Wails again. No, I'm not a nutter but why can't people just say you were too boring, you didn't come across well or you're just a wanker.

So Mr Chips this one's for you...

This really mad me laugh - its on google and I'm not really that bitter I have gotten over it!

My sisters were once on Blockbusters - remember that? My parents had a video recording of it but I'm certain my sisters have destroyed it. They were pretty rubbish on it - they won £25 and were up against some gold run supremo. I had to endure years of the theme tune down the corridors of my secondary school even when they had left and I wasn't even on the show!

P for pissed off! 
So there you have it a bitter blog in good spirits. A bit of fun on how not to get on a quiz show. Maybe I should write a blog on that?  I have had phone calls for Come Dine with Me, In it to Win It and Perfection - which I did get an audition for but its so bloody hard that game so was saving myself for the big one.  I had a call back for Pointless but I couldn't talk as was doing the school run - needless to say I didn't get a call back.

So, if you a person who chooses contestants for a show - please put me out of my misery and tell me what I'm doing wrong!

Until next time....

Monday, 27 October 2014

Happy Birthday Blog!

I suddenly realised this week that my blog is 3 years old (on 25th October). I first started writing it to lose weight and got a bit side tracked with rants and what not along the way!  I cannot quite believe that I will shortly have over one million hits. Who would have thought? Now, I read in YOU magazine this Sunday that some fashion bloggers get one million hits a day - that's serious stuff and it is a full time job - writing, tweeting, uploading pictures all the time.  Good luck to them. I would have loved to have those sorts of numbers etc in the beginning but I'm happy with my little blog and the occasional review opportunities and what not that come my way. I also think I've got the balance between living my life and documenting it.

Anyhow, enough of all that jazz. Where am I? Well I've taken charge of my diet again after staying the same for so long. If you do the same things you can expect the same results don't you think? I've nearly finished my chimp book and have put my CORE into practice. That would be "commitment" "ownership" "responsibility" and "excellence".  I had to list all the 'hurdles' - things I will always have to jump over i.e eating fewer calories, committing to exercise, changing eating habits, pmt etc. The 'barriers' which can be moved i.e temptation, weather (exercising indoors), negative people (remove!). The 'pitfalls' i.e emotions, attitude etc.  I have worked out my plan and how I am going to achieve it. Then you have to add what is 'essential' to lose weight. That would be exercise, calories - what is 'significant' i.e setting time aside and what is 'desirable' but not essential i.e support from others.

What I've learnt from this book is that willpower does not exist - its about having the commitment to reach your goal.  In addition, beating yourself up is the most pointless emotion ever. It serves no purpose.

So in order to honor my commitment to losing weight I have decided to focus more on my blog, complete my fitness pal (eating 1500 calories a day) and exercise 3 x a week. I had to agree this with my chimp as by all accounts if you can't agree then there's more chance of failure. Basically you have to be realistic. I'm going to stop beating myself up for not exercising properly in the half term. I will aim to be as active as possibly with the kids as this is realistic. I have set a target to lose 16lbs by Xmas this is based on losing 2lb a week. If I commit to the above then I can do it.

In other news, we went to London on Saturday to see the ceramic poppies in the moat at The Tower of London (I've also ordered one) - yes they're not real as someone actually said out loud "so they're not real then?".  We were able to get to the railings to see the poppies but the walk around on the pavement was heaving - we walked back to London Bridge via Tower Bridge so got a good view from all sides. Prior to that we visited the Imperial War Museum - the kids really enjoyed it although again it was very busy. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone with children - boys and girls alike as there is so much to see and touch.

Here are some pictures from our grand day out!

The magnificent Spitfire

The many volunteers planting the poppies
A brilliant work of art

Stunning and sad in equal measure

Be back soon!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Monday, Monday

la la la la. Yes another Monday completed. I haven't felt very well the past couple of days. On Saturday I was all clamy and flu like but with no cold, headache or sore throat - a bit odd. I felt better on Sunday but today I am again all clam like with a hint of a sore throat. My youngest has a chesty cough so maybe he passed on something to me. The joy of children starting Reception class - they pick up lots of bugs and what not. Talking of which his speech is much improved! Only a month since his tongue tie was cut and already you can hear an improvement. I have a speech language review appointment this week which will help the school - they have a therapist that comes in every week which is terrific.

The bog standard response to feeling under the weather is "its the time of year" and I'm quite happy to take that. Its better than being seriously ill isn't it?  Hopefully I can shrug it off which I normally do although the boot camp for tomorrow isn't looking very good for me.  I really want to go as the chap has just added another session to the Friday one and I really love it once I'm there.  I'll see how I feel in the morning.

I went on Friday after a weeks absence - my little fella was sick on the Friday morning I was due to workout out so I kept him off school. Thankfully I haven't had the pain in my legs I had the first time I worked out at 'boot camp' although it is actually billed as legs, bums and tums pah ha ha! My bike is gathering dust in the shed - I don't feel the same about cycling at the moment or swimming. Its not particularly cold out so I don't know why I feel this way. Maybe I just like to mix it up a bit - I'm going to do my pilates on Thursday.

So what of the lard?! Its still there maintaining away - I have soooooo lost my mojo where is it?! Where did it go - its lurking around there somewhere. What has been helping me is my chimp book! What? I like it so much I bought my friend one as she has many a chimp moment. Its a book written by this chap...

...and no I didn't get it for free to review (another book I have and am looking forward to reading it). My friend did ask all suspiciously "why have you bought this?" wondering no doubt if I was on the edge or desperately unhappy.  And I suppose if you buy a book like this then something must be up with your life.  I bought it because Bradley Wiggins used this to become successful as have other athletes and also because I thought it would help with my snails pace approach to just getting on and losing weight. I know I can motivate myself to exercise and I know what to eat and what not to eat - so why can't I do it consistently.

I've found the book very useful (I haven't finished it yet). In a nutshell it explains the workings of your brain as "the human", "the chimp" and the "the computer". The chimp is your emotional reaction to everything. The chimp is 5 x stronger than the human and you will never be able to control it - you can only manage him.  So this is the reason you don't have willpower. I also like the part on breaking the totally useless emotion of beating yourself up if you haven't achieved something by simply replacing "should" with "could" - I could lose weight and then writing all the things on how to achieve this is far more effective than saying I should lose weight and then writing all the things that have prevented you in the past. He talks of stop 'treading in treacle' as in going through the things that have made you fail in the past - it is pointless.

The chimp has no concept of consequences and only acts on pleasure and emotion - this is way you just shove something in your gob without thinking. Its your chimp! If you can pause and switch to your human who will think - do I want to be shoe horned into these jeans forever more and will this biscuit help me then you are more likely to see results.

Also things like replacing "why?" as in "why can't I lose weight?" "why me?" etc which is very victim like (no one likes a victim) to "how" just a simple word can mean so much "how can I lose weight" "I could lose weight" has a far more positive and helpful impact.

I also like the the chapter on thinking to yourself "do I want to feel like this?" and if you are going to react in a chimp like manner to say "change" pause and stop yourself.  My husband naturally takes the piss but I think he is all chimp even ape! Potentially this book could serious numb any ranting behaviour - well for the time being.

I shall head off as I'm not feeling that great.  I could return and I shall return and tell you how I'm going to continue to lose weight.

Night Night

p.s sorry for the poor grammar and what not - more so than usual but need to get back into my blogging as it helps with the weight loss

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Rachel's Back - Weight Loss Update!

Its a good job Rachel is writing at the moment as the content of my blog would be somewhat sparse - I am on the case and have a tittle tattle update for you shortly. In the meantime, enjoy the latest instalment from Rachel. Well Done!! 

Eat less, move more: 1 month in

Last month, I confessed all about my illicit affair with Mr. Cadbury. An affair that had left me significantly heavier than before I embarked upon it. Well, after I shared that story, it kind of got worse.

I was pretty peed off with being 10 stone 10 pounds after spending a lot of my life quite a bit lighter. So, when I went for a check up at the hospital, I was even more aggrieved when I topped the scales at 11 stone and was declared officially overweight by the consultant. Not my proudest moment.

So what did I do?

Well, I stopped off at John Lewis on the way home for a latte and huge chunk of chocolate cake. Probably not the best move but my word, it was yummy. And then I had a week of basically eating anything and everything.

I think I may have been trying to get all my cravings out of my system by gorging on them because I woke up the next morning with a renewed sense of determination and money in my purse to by a new set of scales. Accurate ones, this time around.

And since that day, I stuck at it. It’s been a massive turnaround.

Firstly, I’ve been out running two, often three, times per week. I’m out for about 40 minutes, in total, and am following the Couch to 5K programme. It suits me because it slowly builds up to running 5k by alternating walking and running. I’m about half way through and have already noticed a huge difference regarding how far I can run without feeling like I’m about to die. I don’t get as many strange looks in the street any more either.

Finding time to run has been the hardest thing because my husband works A LOT.  I’m having to go out at 6 or 7am or the moment he steps foot through the door after work, leaving him to deal with two very tired but excitable boys. It’s not ideal but this is what we have to do to make it work.

Secondly, I have been scrutinising absolutely everything I eat and drink. Everything! I’m using the MyFitnessPal app to record it all and I can’t tell you how much of a difference this has made to what I eat. I think I used to eat about 1,200 calories in good food and then the same, if not more, in snacks. How terrible is that? Now, I’m making better choices and aiming for a daily intake of between 1,200 and 1,400 calories. This feels like the right amount for me, personally.

So one month in, here’s how the measurements stack up:

Weight: 10 stone 9 pounds (was 11 stone) – loss of 5 pounds
Waist: 37 inches (was 38 inches) – loss of 1 inch
Chest: 41 inches (was 42 inches) – loss of 1 inch
Bottom: 40 inches – no change
Thigh: 21 inches – no change

That’s a loss of five pounds in total and an inch off my waist and an inch off my boobs. Exactly where I need to lose it so a pretty good result. It’s made me even more determined to keep at it and get to that 9 stone something goal.

I promise a photo update next month!

If you have any questions or want to know anything about my diet/fitness regime, please go ahead and ask in the comments. I’ll be popping back to take a look and will reply.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Run And Dye

Hello all - my husband has been away for 2 weeks so I've been a tad busy running the home (trying not to set it alight - more of which in my next blog post). So forgive the absence. I am currently about 13 stone 7lbs so definitely need to get myself together before Christmas. I am still loving the Boot Camp on a Friday and it'll be my 4th one on Friday.

Anyhow, more of the chit chat in another post.  The lovely Kat ran a 5km with her son in a blaze of colour. Here's her post - an honest, touching and funny account. Enjoy! 

When The 1970s Diet Blog asked me if I was interested in doing the Run or Dye 5k event for free in return for blogging about it and taking pictures, naturally I jumped at the chance! I have never done an organised run before and was totally up for the challenge. I’d booked a 10k run for October and figured the 5k would be good practise. Ever since hearing about Run or Dye, I’d be dying to do it (see what I did there?!) so I was really excited. Booking online was an easy process. The cost of registering goes up exponentially over time so the earlier you book, the cheaper it is. The cost varies between £23 and £35 depending on when you book and whether you run as an individual or not (it’s cheaper to run in a team of 4 or more). Kids are the same price as adults and I booked for me and my 12 and 9 year old. A few weeks before the event I got an email asking to sign a waiver and print tickets.

Running practise was going well for weeks and I was doing a fast 5k in around 30 minutes. After a long holiday abroad in the summer I forgot about running so when the Run or Dye event day was approaching I got in a bit of a panic. I ordered white t-shirts (to show off the dye) and mentally prepared myself. My son was really looking forward to it but my daughter pulled out. The night before we went to stay with my parents in London so we would be closer to the event at Excel, Docklands. I was really disappointed to receive an email from Run or Dye to say that their Swagbags hadn’t arrived in time and would be substituted.

Saturday morning race day arrives at last and Alex, my son and I head off early on the train. Unfortunately all trains to London are cancelled due to engineering works! So off we trot on the bus. We head upstairs and prepare to enjoy the hour and half long bus journey to Waterloo followed by a couple of tubes. We’re running late, sweaty and exhausted already. When we arrive at Docklands, we unwittingly get off at the wrong stop along with a dozen or so other late runners (you can spot them in their running garb and Run or Dye t-shirts). We’re half way round the track and have to walk 2.5k to get to the start. Worn out, late and worried they won’t let us join in means nothing when we get around the corner and see the start line-up. It’s manic! The queue goes on forever. The advantage of being late and having already pre-registered online means the queue for registration is quick and easy. Dozens of brightly coloured people are milling around. The ground is covered in dye and it looks like an explosion in a paint factory full of clowns.

We get our bibs and t-shirts, tattoo, wristbands and a couple of packs of dye (no Swagbags though.) Now up to this point I had no idea what the dye was. I thought it was like hair dye but in fact it’s like ground up pastel chalk. It has no smell and brushes off easily. Alex can’t wait to open his packets and throw them over himself and me. I thought you got the dye AFTER the race so was a bit surprised that everyone was already covered. The party had started already! Pretty soon we find ourselves he rded into the end of the queue at the start line. The first runners were already coming back! (You know the serious ones) without an ounce of sweat on them.

We are waiting in the crowd shuffling slowly forward and Alex is getting a bit bored at this point. He just wants to run already. I’m just soaking up the atmosphere. There’s music blasting, an entertaining DJ, funny chatter, fancy dress and the feel of a festival. The weather is glorious for a late September day and everyone is really chilled and happy. Finally after about a 45 minute wait, we get to the front and off we go. Takes a while for the crowd to disperse as the slow runners and the fast runners separate. I jog a little and walk a little. Alex runs off and have to reign him in explaining not to use all his energy at once. He doesn’t listen and leaves me behind promising to meet me at the finish line. I’ve been abandoned by my 12 year old but I carry on at my fast pace. I’m mostly keeping up with the same people I was queuing with.

I’m not with any serious runners and it’s a great atmosphere. Everyone is chatting and high fiving and having a lot of fun. I’m so excited when I get to the first dye station. Everyone has stopped there and are flinging dye everywhere. I try to get myself a bit more covered but it’s too busy and on I go. Each station has a different colour. It doesn’t take long and I surprise myself when I get to the half-way point. It’s not a circular route so you literally turn around and head back and pass people who were queuing behind you on the way back. I note that I haven’t seen Alex again and imagine him already at the finish line waiting for me.  I bump into a family walking very slowly with a little boy wearing The Lily Foundation t-shirts. Having a young disabled son myself, it was deeply moving to watch. His mum and dad explain to me he has mitochondrial disease. It’s a rare untreatable genetic disorder just like my little boy’s disease. I’m in awe of the family and find myself wondering if my little boy will ever be able to do a 5k with me. I wish them all the best as I pass them. Already planning in my head if I could take my youngest son on the next Run or Dye event in his wheelchair covered with a see-through rain-mac! I make a mental note to spot anyone else with a buggy or wheelchair and I do!

Heading back through the dye stations it’s turned into mayhem. There is so much chalky dye on the ground people are slipping and sliding in it. I even spot a couple of runners doing, er, dye angels on the ground! It’s so cloudy with chalk you can’t see where you are going.

Near the end, the finish line, I spot a few cheats who haven’t double backed. Why cheat on a 5k? It’s not a race, you’re only cheating yourself after all. I’m tired and thirsty but I’m determined to do it. Getting towards the finish line, I see Alex waiting patiently for me with a bottle of water. I run towards the finish line (like I was running the whole time, everybody does it) and I get a little cheers from the small crowd gathered and a volunteer hands me my free bottle of water. Alex had only arrived 10 minutes before me so I was quite pleased. I did it in about 55 minutes and Alex about 45 minutes. I down the whole bottle of water and feel very pleased with myself. I can still breathe so that’s a bonus.

There’s a stage rigged up, an after party and a colourful bopping audience. Everyone has had a fantastic time and clearly enjoying themselves. There was a large multi-cultural mix of people at the beginning but now we are all just blue, green, pink, purple and orange. You can’t tell the men from the women. It’s a beautiful rainbow of happy humans.

Alex and I head off again. Next destination is McDonalds….

For more information about Run or Dye visit Entrance fee was paid for by Run or Dye. I was not paid to do this post and all opinions and photos are my own.

Thanks Kat for a lovely post!