365 Day Blog challenge Day 73 – January in Review #365daychallenge

Days without chocolate/sugary treats 31

Days without fizzy drinks 27

Bread reduction by about half

Crisps are starting to taste like cardboard

Days attempting exercise that isn’t walking 1 (I started 3 days ago then worked away from home -this is part of February’s plan)

Footsteps logged 222110

Total weight lost 8lbs (plus 6 from last year = 13lbs total)


365 Day Blog challenge Day 72 – Fit in 5 #365daychallenge

Walking is great and I love being outside but the first hint of rain and I shut the doors and get in my comfy chair with a book, all thoughts of exercise out of the window. This is fun but I don’t then get the movement I need.

I mentioned in the Wonderland post (Day 70) that I’m watching the Biggest Loser. There’s one Australian women I really identify with. Her first few weeks all she said was ‘I can’t’. I’m so guilty of this. I’ve been racking my brains and I think the last exercise I did was about 8 years ago! That’s terrible.

 So looking at what I can and can’t do. As my nan said there’s no such word as ‘can’t’.

·       I can’t afford a gym. This is sort of true. I have mentioned many times having a debt replacement plan. I do have a tiny bit of spare monthly cash but I save it for emergencies. It could technically pay for a gym but if I need emergency repairs I’d not have the funds. So…it’s not that I can’t afford the gym but rather it’s lower on my financial priorities

·       I can’t exercise. Not true. I used to love Zumba. I had to stop after an operation but it was a tiny operation on my shoulder that took a couple of weeks of recovery and I just never went back. I started aqua aerobics and loved it but had to have the same operation and did the same thing, not going back. Doing either now fits into the above of better uses of spending my limited cash.

 So what CAN I do. I can walk. I could run but I don’t get any enjoyment from it. I have a wii fit and a bunch of other wii fitness games. I have about 5 or so exercise DVDs. I discovered yesterday flicking through the TV channels a programme called Fit in 5 – literally 5 minutes of exercise per day.

 I’m going to start with that. I figure even me, I should be able to cope with 5 minutes or 10 if I do 2 together. I definitely haven’t found my ‘thing’ or maybe I have with the Zumba and aqua sports but money prevents them at the minute. I do need to step up my game now though with everything else going so well. I’m going to start tonight. I downloaded several series of Fit in 5 so I’m going to give it a chance

365 Day Blog challenge Day 71 – Development #365daychallenge

I’m about to start a development course and one of the actions on Day 1 will be to look at what career I want. This is quite a daunting thing to think about. I’m 45 and have never known what I want to be when I grow up. That in itself is never something that’s bothered me, I’ve always been happy to go with the flow.

 The flow though has taken me to the civil service and a promotion 18 months ago that means it’s the sort of thing that now gets talked about constantly. One of the issues is the civil service is huge… so much so that after 10 years don’t know all the subsets of my own department never mind the other ones. A lot of people see career advancement as moving up in grades rather than jobs. That’s how I ended up where I am and in hindsight if I could apply for this role directly knowing what I know now I probably wouldn’t want it.

 I’ve got myself on the mailing list for civil service jobs to give me a greater idea of what is out there but even just reading the titles of some roles is daunting. I quite like the idea of moving to the department that deals with education or the environment but then I wonder if the red tape and entrenched working ideas are the same everywhere. I should get a mentor on this course so I might look at seeing if I can get one that is in one of those other departments.

 The other issue I have is my own confidence. I spent the first year of this role feeling like an imposter. I’ve settled now and know what I’m doing and where I need to improve but when I think about moving somewhere else or another promotion I keep telling myself that it’ll not happen. I’m not the type of person who this would happen for. I know deep down this is rubbish. I managed to get this promotion and I did it on merit rather than being a senior managers pet.

 I’ve a tendency to quit when the going gets tough with work. I got myself all the way up to mortgage adviser 11 years ago. It wasn’t for me as such as I felt there was too much hard selling but rather than look at using my successes (and I had plenty) to move roles within the banking company or to another company I demoted myself! Plus I demoted myself to an office where no one got a promotion unless they knew someone and were a favourite. I wonder if I carry a bit of a chip about this?

 I’m not always the first person people think of for getting the juicy pieces of work. One manager called me ‘quiet’ in a derogatory way but where I see quiet as someone who comes in and gets the work done without fuss, they didn’t like that and expected me to be foolish like them. I didn’t fit in with her values so I got held back. The whole desire to be invisible probably never helped me either.

So I need to start thinking and at the age of 45 come up with some kind of goal. I’m about to spend 2 days looking at this so by the end of the week hopefully I should have a more defined idea of what I want. Having changed managers and my resolutions I’m slowly becoming more visible so that will help.

Who knows in 12 months I could be in my dream job…whatever that may be….

365 Day Blog challenge Day 70 – Wonderland #365daychallenge

I’ve been binge watching The Biggest Loser (America and Australian versions). Dunno why but the UK one didn’t seem to take off. In a past life I’d watch this, cheer people on, have a pizza and get on with my life. Possibly because I’m working on my own journey now I’m much more invested this time.

I missed a few episodes of each but I’ve noticed on the American one several women are talking about reaching Wonderland. From what I can gather this is a weight they haven’t seen for a very long time and is linked to a point in their lives; for example one woman wanted to be 217lbs, the last time she was there was as part of her high school volleyball team.

I love the idea of a wonderland. Sounds so much better than a target weight. So I’ve been thinking about my own. Now they are in a ranch cut off from the world for 12 weeks and exercising 8 or so hours a day. I don’t have that so my journey will take a bit longer. If I think of my wonderland it seems so far away as I have between 4.5 and 5 stone to loose and then would still be on the higher end of the healthy scale.

(For such a smaller, overweight lass I can carry it well and I don’t look as if I have as much to lose as that)

My wonderland will then take me down to 9st 7 – the last time I hit that weight I was in my early 20’s but I can remember it. I’m already a stone down so I’m definitely on my way.

But to try and avoid losing hope at a big number for weight loss and to amuse myself more than anything I’ve decided to go to Disneyworld first. SO…I’ve got 4 other target weights which will take me to Animal Kingdom, MGM studios, Epcot and Magic Kingdom before I hit my wonderland target. All achievable targets and all have a small memory attached to them.

I have 4lbs to go til I get to Animal Kingdom. I’ve also given myself a small treat that I can have after each of the next lots of 7lbs I lose. I’ve hit one so 3 more to go. They may take some saving so not necessarily going to be getting them all soon but it’s nice to know I’ve earned them

The final two (MK and Wonderland) are subject to change. I’m 20+ years older than when I was last that weight and I know with age comes more elastic, thinner skin and so on so it may be that the end goal doesn’t sit well on me. I’ll make those decisions when I hit my Magic Kingdom weight.

If nothing else, writing this post has put a smile on my face and the joy of knowing I am finally (if in weight only) getting to go back to Disney 🙂


365 Day Blog challenge Day 68 – Sunshine & Walks #365daychallenge

I had planned at the beginning of the week to write today about anxiety but for the first time in a long time the temperature has risen and the sun is shining and I feel really good. I don’t want to dwell on negative thoughts

I’ve had a few lazy weekends thanks to the winter weather so I took advantage of the sun to go for a walk. I decided to go up to Headingley, have a wander around the charity shops to look at the second hand books and then walk into the city centre. It’s really not as far as I expected. I probably did about half of the steps I thought I’d do.

However it was just lovely to be outside and not getting caught in a rain or snow storm! And all footsteps are good footsteps.

I managed to soak my shoes after stepping on a rogue paving stone full of rain water which wasn’t so fun but aside from that I had a really nice time

Sometimes that’s all we need – some sun and some walking 🙂

365 Day Blog challenge Day 67 – Avoiding Sabotage #365daychallenge

It’s the end of another working week for me. Last week I got caught in a snow storm, this week I got caught in a rain storm so the cold that”s been threatening all week finally broke last night.

I’m tired, achey and feeling very sorry for myself. One thing I noticed yesterday and today again is that now my immune system is low I am really craving sugary things. I’m now 25 days with no sugar, 21 days with no fizzy pop and have really reduced the amount of pre-packaged food I’ve been eating.

But I really could have eaten chocolate or some biscuits today. I had to go to the supermarket after work and that’s never good when you feel hungry and ill. So I rang home while I was passing the candy aisles and filled the basket with extra fruit. Then because I did feel a bit faint and had 45 minutes to wait for the bus I went to the cafe and bought a cup of tea and an egg sandwich which worked to make me feel a bit better.

I’m now feeling quite pleased with myself for not giving in no matter how hard it felt.

I’m at that weight loss (12lbs) where I’ve given up so often in the past so I’m very aware of this being a trigger time that needs watching carefully. But this plan to be visible was a good one I think. Before I would lose the weight, feel good, panic about the good and then sabotage myself, gain the weight back and often a bit more.

This time I want to break that so the overarching visibility plan is helping with that and helping me push through the barriers. I want to be able to get to day 365 of this and be a whole new me and not the person I’ve been for far too long. Must remember then to avoid those triggers