I get knocked down but I get up again!

Lots of people have asked me what the turning point was for me and I think I finally have an answer.

As part of my job I organise the collective worship for the school, including taking assemblies. This is one of my favourite parts of the job, and I never quite know what I’m going to do next! I was starting to think about the one I’ve got to do in a couple of weeks, when I suddenly remembered one that I did last year, I can’t remember the theme but I was introduced by the head at which point Tubthumping by Chumbawumba  started playing (this part was planned) what I didn’t realise I was going to do was walk on stage doing the ‘dance’!!!!!!! I then spent the rest of the day having pupils bending down down, waving their arms in my face and singing at me!!!!!!!

I’ve got no idea, yet, what I’m going to do in two weeks time, but I’m sure there will be some madness, but that song has been going round in my head since I started thinking about it! 

“I get knocked down but I get up again you’re never gonna keep me down”

I’ve been knocked down many times in my life, who hasn’t, but I’ve never been one to stay down. However I would say that the ‘recovery rate’ has definitely got quicker!

It was actually a knock that started off this whole process of life changing events, which I’ve only just realised. It was the first day of the Christmas Holidays, and I managed to break my big toe! I won’t go into details, but suffice to say it was the day after the last night of term!

So for the entirety of the Christmas holidays, and the first few weeks of term I was on crutches! As much as I claimed that I loved my husband waiting on me hand and foot, him having to cook the Christmas dinner, getting lifts everywhere, just sitting on the sofa watching the entire box set of Lewis…. I actually hated it, I hated the restriction it had put on my life, the reliance it had caused me to have on others, and not being able to just get up and do what I wanted.

But as I was sitting there one day lying on the sofa with my leg up, after a day at work, I had a bit of a revelation…. This may have been caused by a broken toe, but actually how much different was my life? The answer… Not very different at all! If I didn’t have a broken toe would I have been rushing round tidying, working, meeting up with people, walking – NO!

Revelation – I needed to make sure that once the toe was healed my life changed. So I started with the calorie counting, then once able to I started walking home from work, then the very slow running started, then walking to work and now… I’m over 4 stone lighter, 3 sizes smaller, I’m regularly running, going to the gym, and swimming. 

When I went for the check up on my toe the Dr told me I could put weight on it now but I probably shouldn’t be running for a while – I openly laughed in his face and said I don’t think there’s any worry of that happening! What did I know? Last night I ran 5k for the second time and I loved it!

I might get knocked down but I get back up again, and at the moment there definitely doesn’t seem to be anything that keeps me down – not even a box set!

Healthy Holidays: With Blackforest and Beer

On Saturday we went to Cambridge on holiday for 3 nights. This time of year we would normally have spent a week camping in Kent County Showground at Detling Celebration, that was cancelled this year, the husband had annual leave already booked so we decided to go to a hotel for a few nights!!! This was a very different holiday to any that I have had before.

Firstly you probably need some idea of what usually happens on our holidays, at least 2 or 3 times I get stroppy and sulky, we normally end up having an afternoon nap most days, and I’m normally ready to go home. 

But this time… No afternoon naps, only one very short stroppy moment, and I didn’t want to go home!!!!! 

If I’m completely honest I was slightly worried about the holiday… Especially with the healthier lifestyle thing going on. But I decided I was going to make sensible choices, most important decision being that I was going to have a good time.

When we ate out I tried to make sensible choices, which worked on the whole, but there were two pitfalls, my love of ale, and the great British bake off!!! Ale… Ah ale… The first evening we’d had a lovely meal, I had sea bream, then a lovely dessert of strawberries with lemon sherbet. But then… We went for a walk and ended up at a pub. There was a beer called ale-Oha and the pump had a Hawaiian skirt on – how could I resist. On the last day The husband took me to Cambridge brew house – it would be wrong to go to a brew house and not drink a pint (or 2). So that explains the ale, but the Great British Bake Off?????? On the Sunday we’d gone to church with a friend and then went for lunch, I ordered a chicken and chorizo salad, and then she asked if we wanted dessert. I had a look at the menu… And they had Blackforest gateau, the show stopper of the first week of GBBO!!!!!!! So I thought, OK, I’ll try it. OH MY GOODNESS I’ve never seen a slice like it, it was HUMONGOUS! I had to stop part way through… Although I did finish it!

So there were moments of indulgence, but we were on holiday, the intention was to relax, to enjoy myself, and that goal was most definitely met. It’s difficult when you are not preparing your own food to be in control, or to stick to a healthy regime. But as I’ve said from the beginning, I don’t feel like I’m dieting, therefore there are no hard and fast rules. We were walking a lot, but we also had a gym and pool at the hotel, which we used all but one day. And actually most days I was still under the calories/or on track.

This was definitely one of the best holidays I’ve had, I enjoyed the indulgences, I enjoyed the exercise, and I enjoyed having more energy that I didn’t get tired, or stroppy which meant the husband enjoyed it a lot more as well!!!!! 

So…. Advice for holidays, make sensible choices, but don’t feel you can’t indulge every now and again, ENJOY yourself!!!! 

4. I’m enjoying not enduring it

As you may have guessed, this was the reasoning behind my blog title! I really don’t feel that it has been hard work to get healthy and to lose weight. I’ve loved trying new foods, I’ve loved spending my Saturday mornings making soup, I’ve loved learning about my body, more than anything I’ve loved walking! I love the time it gives me… to think, to contemplate, to prepare myself for the day ahead, or to wind down from the madness of the day! I’ve almost got to the point where I can’t sit still for too long, as I want to get out and walk.

I think this is the reason behind the success for me this time, previously I’ve really felt that it’s been such an effort to do exercise, to work out what to eat, to NOT eat a chocolate bar, or a large bag of crisps, or a bottle (or 2) of cherry coke! I guess this links in with previous posts, this time it has been my choice, and it has been a learning journey.

I was at the gym this week, having one of my personal trainer sessions developing a programme for the gym. I’d already had my induction where I’d used all the machines, and at my session this week my personal trainer was asking which machines I wanted to use, and what I wanted to get out of the sessions. Once I’d chosen the machines, he showed me what I needed to do to push myself, we tried some machines which I didn’t get on with – so they are not on my programme. This is the perfect metaphor for what has become my lifestyle…

There are so many ways of losing weight/getting healthy. Some people prefer a programme, group meetings, exercise classes, meals prepared, team games… I’m just sharing what has worked for me this time. If you spoke to me a year ago and told me that I would be refusing lifts, going out running, going to the gym, and choosing to go for a walk for no other purpose than to walk, I would not have believed you… and yet now I cannot imagine any other way.

1. I’m not dieting

I’ve tried a number of diets over the years, and it’s never really worked for me. About 3 years ago a couple of friends started using myfitnesspal.com, an app that allows you to keep a count on your calories. I tried this and found it useful, but, if I’m honest not much happened. But I started using the app again in January, and it’s been amazing. I have a target amount of calories per day, but it also links in with Fitbit (I will talk about this in another post) so works out how many calories have been taken in, and how many have been burnt off. I’ve learnt over time what foods are ‘wasted’ calories. It really has been a learning process, I’ve become aware of what works with my body. I still seem to be eating a lot of the time, I’m just eating different things. because I’m not dieting there aren’t things that I cannot have, I allow myself to have treats every now and then, and I don’t feel guilty. It has been more about an education than a chore. I’m enjoying discovering more about food, trying new things, and I have to say I have been so grateful for guilt free snacking from m&s!!!!!!