Thursday, 21 October 2010

In the groove...

Another fantastic run last night. I-pod fuelled, as usual, I just let the tunes flow and ran to the beat. Forty minutes and 5 km later (OK slow, I know, but I walk every other track, and I'm a fat b*st*rd)...I stopped.

That was it. It is so good to be free of calf strains, I feel like I'm floating when I run. The girl on the treadmill behind me didn't seem to think so as my hefty bulk pounded down in front of her (I don't think my rear view was ever my best...although, checking the mirror, maybe....). I'm not sure it was the noise, the treadmill ever so slowly edging back towards her or just the splashes of sweat (mmm, lovely) that drove her away in the end. Maybe I was just so in the groove and on there so long that she finished her meagrely short jog and disappeared to do some other exercise instead. I couldn't really see because she was quite small, and the combination of the angle in the mirror and my bulk kind of obscured her completely - a shame as the few glimpses I did catch, she was quite cute...

A colleague today suggested that speed dating in the gym should be made compulsory...I seem to remember Jack Sh*t blogging about gym chat up lines so I'd better get surfin' and revisin'. I think the cute beauty behind me last night will be the first target...if she ever darkens the door of the gym again after what must have been a frightening experience for her last night.

I do need some new tunes though. I am very tempted to try and load the old I-tunes onto my spare work laptop that I need to keep because it allows me access to all kinds of websites (like Blogger) that my new official, so tightly controlled you can often hear it squeak in a very high pitched mechanical whine, won't. I don't know for certain but I'm pretty sure i-tunes is one of them, but my old Belgian laptop lets me do just about anything. Not that I've tried bathing with it. Or kite-surfing. Or accessing anything REALLY naughty. My playlists are good but just a little stale and predictable and built for an old training programme I did years ago, not for the running I'm focussing on at the moment. I'm making do, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist in these things so it's never quite right. Maybe a good thing to play with this weekend with the house likely deserted of Mooselets...

Monday, 18 October 2010

Monday, Monday...

Monday morning, 8am.

Mondays are a real dilemma for me. Getting up at 4.30 am and leaving the house so early always fills me with the thought of going to the gym when I arrive at my destination, between two and a half and three hours drive later. The thought sometimes even turns into an intention.

But as we all know, and in the words of Chris Rea, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

OK, I guess somebody said it before CR put it into that song (fairly slow running pace on the i-pod)...

But then the drive and the available time not doing much sets my brain a-working. And my brain is an unbelieveably highly tuned device. Highly tuned at finding alternative plans, excuses, and reasons why not.

The usual Monday excuse relates to tiredness. You see, with the early start, it's touch and go whether I am too tired to take on the day properly, give it everything at work, get stuff done...or whether I meander through the day, blogging, killing time, drinking coffee and longing for a bed, any bed, for the night, hoping that a decent night's sleep will see me fitter for the Tuesday and the rest of the week. Margins are tight. Get to bed before 10pm on a Sunday night and my chances are reasonably good. Stay up to watch even just the Sunday matches on Match of the Day 2 and I've lost the Monday already, before it's started.

There was a time when my boss in Belgium would arrive on a Monday morning full of all the "great" ideas that had occurred to him over the weekend, and Mondays always seemed to turn into a huge post-mortem. A day filled with trying to find the pearl among the dross of his "great" ideas, persuading him that not all were indeed the pearls he believed them to be. Time spent steering him back towards the direction we had set over the previous weeks rather than "another" new direction that would be rejected by most people...not so much actively rejected but more passively, as they were convinced - usually correctly - that next week would see a new favourite flavour, a new beginning, a new direction. Pointless to follow this week's if it was going to change again next week. But that way, every week becomes the same week of waiting it out, keeping your head down, seeing things fail, thinking "I told you so" and vaguely looking forward (with a small level of interest rather than any desire or longing) to next week's offering.

I have learned over time to be very careful with Mondays. I never work very late on a Monday if I can help it...that kills the rest of the week. And gym sessions have to be handled very carefully.

That's the thought that always hits me on the long drive, usually as I'm speeding past Heathrow Airport (yes, I am normally there so early that I can speed past Heathrow on the M25...just ahead of the traffic build-up). Is it really wise to go training on a Monday morning? Tired already from an early wake-up call and long drive, should I really expect my body to cope with a workout?

And yet I know that, while being careful with Mondays is a wise thing to do, Monday is so incredibly important to set the tone for the week, that no workout on a Monday nearly always spells a bad workout week, while training on a Monday sets the tone, starts the week off with a good habit, and inevitably leads to much calorie buring over the whole week. But only as long as the other Monday rules are followed...otherwise disaster lurks.

Wary of that post-workout tiredness though, I decided this morning to stop for breakfast as well as the planned double espresso. That decided it finally. Well, at least it decided that I wouldn't train this morning. Whether I get to the gym at lunchtime, as the revised plan calls for me to do, remains to be seen...

There is a nagging doubt lingering at the back of my brain though. Was the change of plan really down to sensible protection of energy and a desire to be productive, or was the usual sinister self-sabotage kicking in, the smell of the bacon overpowering the lack of desire to stand in the long queue at Costa?

I guess that will only be answered at 1pm, and the reality of whether I am in the gym, or whether I am at the sandwich vending machine...

Weigh in at the weekend. 116.9kg. Down 1.4kg since the start of September, way behind my target and basically steady for the last 2 weeks...I did a calculation that always shocks me at the turn maintenance into a 1kg per week loss, I am currently running at a deficit of over 1,200 calories per day. Yes, PER DAY!!! Ouch. My DirectLife monitor has me averaging 1,257 calories in October so far. Hitting my targets would get me 400 calories more, but that still leaves a whopping 800 calories I have to cut from my eating. From a normal eating base that might be doable, but from what I have convinced myself is a reduced, already-doing-pretty-well base it feels impossible. Yet I know that if I really analysed the recent calorie intake it wouldn't be as low as I've convinced myself.
And if I train a little bit more, then 110% of my calorie burn target is also possible. And that's another 170 calories a day. 170 calories I don't have to cut from food. So from today, that's the get to 110% consistently and cut the food intake.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Running again

Lunchtime run and did I feel good. 4kms and the time flew by, I was really in the zone, running at a steady 10km per hour and hardly feeling it. No calf pain. Just that tired fuzzy feeling afterwards.

Now all I have to do is stay awake on the 4 hour drive home!!! One more quick coffee before I leave...

Habits and self-sabotage

Another week where I get to Friday and I've managed to force my sorry ass to the gym only once. This always happens with a change of location and trying to get myself into a new pattern, a new lifestyle and a new way of being. I always seem to go down the path of least resistance...but that inevitably means I form BAD habits which then need breaking and replacing with GOOD habits.

I guess this comes back to self-sabotage. In the long run it would be easier and more effective if I just formed the GOOD habits first off. But I do so love to make things hard (or even impossible) for myself. It's just so comforting to know that there's nothing I can do, and I always have a ready excuse at hand. It takes away all accountability.

But that what the blogging is for - accountability.
So does fessing up on here to my tendency to self-sabotage (and I could go into long and boring details about the amount of it I've done, both professionally and personally...maybe for a later date) and to my bad habit forming help?

Blogging about it is of course going to help; because blogging is the silver bullet.

But blogging is just the start...I also need a plan of attack for forming the good habits next week.
1. I'm going to plan in my training sessions for the evenings and lunchtimes, spread across the week.
2. I'm going to the supermarket on Monday and buying 5 days supply of soup/secret October ingredient.
3. I'm going to bring 3 sets of training kit with me next week and my bum bag (funny how the small details like nowhere to put my hotel key or i-pod can deflect me and provide an excuse).
4. I'm going to go for a run or a walk each morning BEFORE breakfast (run or walk to fit in with my other training sessions) on at least 2 mornings.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

A rant about milk

Big deal going down at work so limited time for blogging for the last few days.

What is it with diets and what we do to ourselves? We eat sh*t that's packaged up as good for us (low calorie, low fat, low salt, Diet this, Light that) but actually is just unnatural. At some point our bodies rebel against us for feeding them all the sh*t and make us ill, or fat, or both.

We have to get back towards more natural foods, just less of them than of the sh*t we ate to get where we are today.
Milk is my topic for today. I have always hated skimmed milk. Don't see the point. It's just coloured water and tasteless. You might as well drink your coffee black or put water on your cereal, as far as I'm concerned. Semi-skimmed I sort of understand, and I've had periods of time where I've made Mrs M buy both semi for me and full fat for the rest of the family.

But seriously... have you ever added up the fat and calories contained in a small milk serving that you put on cereal and let's say 4 or 5 cups of coffee a day. And compared it to what you get with semi or even worse skimmed?

Let me tell you, it's not worth the trouble. Personally I'd rather get it as close to nature intended. Let's face it, the fat in milk is not bad fat. It's also not excessive. Full fat milk is, let's remember, 96% fat free. How many other so-called diet products that people stuff down their faces have as little fat? And what do they have to do to it to make it lower fat?

At work, they only buy semi- and skimmed milk. It drives me mad!!!

Tomorrow, diet cola...aaarghhhh! Why oh why oh a taster, look up on Google what aspartame does to rats.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I ran

I ran.
I ran this morning.
I ran this morning at the gym.
I ran this morning at the gym on the treadmill.
I ran this morning at the gym on the treadmill for 3km.
I ran this morning at the gym on the treadmill for 3km for the first time in weeks.
I ran this morning at the gym on the treadmill for 3km for the first time in weeks and it felt good.
I ran this morning at the gym on the treadmill for 3km for the first time in weeks and it felt good AND I DIDN'T PULL MY CALF MUSCLE.
I ran this morning.
I ran.

Friday, 8 October 2010


I woke up this morning to an incredible day. Sunshine, blue skies, a fantastic view across the harbour with hundreds of tiny white dots of yachts swaying with the tide.

I wanted to be out in it. Jogging on the beach, preferably. To feel the wind in my antlers and the sun on my face. To hear the clack clacking of the lines against the masts on those yachts. I still remember a jog on the beach in Pacific City, Oregon, while on holiday there. I can't go into all the details but that night and the run on the beach the next morning are fixed in the front of my mind and I go back there often to draw from the energy reserves the memories give me.

But I trained last night in the gym, strangely and unusually have a few blisters from that, and of course can't run at the moment due to calf problems. Bummer.

So instead I got my dose of drugs for the moose-flu, ate breakfast reading my book, and turned up at work early enough to get a long and stressful day in...once that's finished I have a 4 hour drive home to look forward to.

Maybe next week will provide further opportunity for such a dream to come true. Again.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The benefits of fruit

Lacking a couple of servings of fruit when you get to the evening can be a challenge when you're travelling and living in a hotel.
Last night saw a decision to rectify this through the medium of cider. Apple based it has to be good for you, right? And I was washing down a salad with it...
Well, the combination of an impending cold (moose-flu is similar to man-flu!!!) and it being a while since I've drunk much alcohol, meant that 1 pint really knocked me sideways. Forgetting to re-set my clock to UK time, I was up, shaved and showered before I peeked out at the magnificent harbour view from my hotel bedroom window, to be struck by the thought:
"It's still very dark for 7.20am...oh sh*t!!!!"
Well the cider has not only robbed me of an hour's sleep, it has tipped the moose-flu over the edge requiring a pharmacy stop on the way to the office to collect drugs. On the positive side, it tasted great, I slept fantastically well (albeit only until 6am!) and I got a large chunk of my book read before and during breakfast.
Here's to making it through the day with more fruit flavoured beverages - the blackcurrant cold and moose-flu remedy! And maybe, just maybe, another pint of cider this evening...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Food Addiction

I had lots of time to think today while driving...and reading on the ferry.

In the book that I was reading to kill time on the ferry, addiction comes up a lot. And this got me thinking about food addiction. Let's face it, that's what the vast majority of overweight people have; an addiction to too much or the wrong sort of food. Or an addiction to sitting on the couch. Or both.

But focussing on food addiction, there is a major difference to other addictions. While alcoholics will tell you they can't live without a drink, drug addicts HAVE to score and sex addicts claim not to be able to cope without, food addiction has the real basic property of being addicted to a substance that you REALLY can't live without.

And maybe this is the reason it's so hard to kick the addiction. Most addiction experts will concentrate on complete abstinence (OK maybe with the exception of sex addiction) as a step on the way to beating the habit. Cold turkey, AA, whatever it is, the key to success seems to be keeping away from the subject of your addiction completely and utterly.
Of course you can't do that with food. You have to eat something or die. Literally. And I don't mean literally like people say it a lot. I mean, literally the proper meaning of the word literally.

So you have to carefully control the use and abuse of the very substance that you are addicted to but without the option of giving it up completely. I guess that's why gastric bands and the like hit that they make it "impossible" to live if you do eat too much. And why just regular diet and exercise is so hard to do, and why so many seem to fail...

I'm not sure what this all means. That I should go and get gastric band surgery? I don't think so. Maybe all it means is that it's hard. But then we know that already. Doh!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Forcing out a post...

It's getting harder to force out a post every day. But that is exactly what I need to do. For me. Not for anyone else. Just for me.

I have just read a blog that talked about inspiring others towards weight loss. I will be brutally honest...that's not why I'm here. I'm here to inspire ME towards weight loss. Just at the moment I don't give a cr*p about inspiring others. (Nobody is reading anyway)
I have to be selfish and single-minded about it. If that makes me a bad person, sorry, but that's the way it needs to be for me at the moment. I'm just being honest about it. Maybe when my weight is under control and down below 100kg I can worry about inspiring others. Or maybe I can worry about just staying there once I'm there.

And as to Marie Clair - at least it sparks the debate. I stand by my original analysis that blogging helps you lose weight. No, is essential for losing weight. I don't really care if it's sponsored. I don't really care if it's good nutritional advice. I don't really care about the foibles, obsessions or addictions of bloggers.

My list for giving it everything probably defies 99% of dieting and nutritional rules. But I'm not expecting anyone to follow it. Hey, I'm not even following it myself!
September has given ME insight into ME. What works for ME. What I can stick to and what I can't stick to. And do you know what? That's about the most important thing it could have done for me...

Weight 116.2. Weight loss during "Giving it Everything" September 2kg. Total weight loss 2kg.

I have an idea for October. Yes I know it's already begun...I will be implementing this idea from tomorrow. I'm just not allowed to say what it is because I will be accused of sponsorship or leading nobody astray.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Why oh why oh why oh why....

Pizza for lunch. Why do I do it to myself?