Blogger · challenge · Cockapoo · exercise · fitness · goals · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fitness · walking for fun

100 posts down still blogging!!

Wow so I made it to 100 posts! When I started this blog I wasn’t sure I would even have anything to write about but the more I write the more I enjoy sharing my life with you guys. I’ve had so much lovely feedback and support from you all over the few months I’ve been doing this and love keeping you upto date on my braces,  fitness goals, family life and Poppy the cockapoo as she approaches a year old! 

So for my 100th post I can tell you I have reached my walking goal of 60 miles in May! Woohoo I’m so pleased I managed to achieve this! For anyone that doesn’t know I work 3 days a week, am a Mum, wife and puppy owner so am not able to just pick up and go walking any minute I choose, it has to be a carefully planned and scheduled event around all other duties! Plus the great British weather doesn’t always play the game so quite often it’s a washout and walking is cancelled! So now for the good news, I’ve not just reached my target I’ve actually smashed it with a total of 72 miles!!

So how do I feel after walking this much in a month?

– I feel better in myself, fitter, I’m able to walk 3 or 4 miles and not need a nap straight after now! I feel proud I’ve set a goal and stuck to it.

 – I’ve made myself go out and walk on evenings where I would really rather not and I’ve always felt like I’ve achieved something after.

– I feel like I’ve finally started to explore the area I live in more and I’m finding new routes all the time so walking isn’t boring to me.

– Mostly I’ve enjoyed walking Poppy so much, I love being a dog owner, getting out and meeting other dog owners and dogs is so interesting and fun for me and Poppy. She is now learning not to be so scared of other dogs and I’m learnim how to deal with it when she is nervous thanks to puppy classes so walks are now so much more enjoyable.

Tips from walking 72 miles in a month

– Good, comfortable shoes are a must. Yes I sound like my Nan but you can’t walk very far with blisters can you? I remember my first week at walking group being nervous that I would be the only one wearing walking shoes but getting there and seeing everyone was wearing them! I would never have been able to walk so many miles without them, fact.

-If you don’t want to walk on a certain day or at a certain time then don’t! I’ve had days I really didn’t want to go out so I made a promise to myself I would make up the miles another day. This is meant to be fun not a chore!

– Food and hydration are key! If I know I’m going to be out a while I will always make sure I eat and drink enough before I go or take something with me, for me and Poppy, usually if I’m thirsty so is she!

-You can never explore too much. Just when you think you are getting to know your area you can bet there will be another route you will find you never even knew about!

My goals for walking in June

Well I only have 3 weeks to walk in June as we are away for a week so I plan to try and manage at least 16 miles a week. I think before and after our trip this should be easy as before I will be sad I’m leaving Poppy for a week so will take her out lots to compensate and after I will need to walk/run to burn off the holiday pounds I have gained!!

So far I have learned I really love walking, getting out and exploring, seeing the countryside and finding new places to go has been so much fun so here’s to many more miles!!

Thanks for reading!

Lou x

exercise · fitness · Uncategorized

Building my workout routine

So a little while ago I wrote a post about exercise and me. Well it’s now been 2 months since I started my regular workouts so I decided it was time for a progress picture.

No I’m not about to post a picture of my abs 2 months apart, that’s not why I’m here. The reason I’m here is to tell you the cycle that I seem to follow with exercise.
First I need a reason for to motivate myself, this could be a holiday, big occasion, weekend away or my wedding was probably the biggest one I ever had!
Once I have my motivation I need drive. The drive comes easy for the first and probably 2nd time of working out but can easily start to fade early on in training especially if you haven’t been going long enough for any sort of results to show. I get the sort of mentality of ‘yes I’ve got the holiday coming up but hey one night off won’t hurt, I’ll get back on it next week.’ This is when I need to have a word with myself and remind myself I won’t get anywhere without commitment to the routine and do I want to see results or not.
Soon I start to feel resentment towards the routine, annoyance that I have to give up my time to complete it, fed up from the ache and fatigue it brings. This is when I continue to push on because I know this leads me to the next stage which is familiarity. I become familiar with the workout and start to feel less tired afterwards. I can remember the routine and am becomming a pro at the exercises. I start to enjoy the workout at this stage.
Now I’m enjoying the workout I look forward to the next one and plan my evening around the session. I try to encourage others to work out with me, big mention to my workout buddy T for doing most of the exercises a 7 year old can before bed twice a week.
Now I’ve hit a milestone, the 2 month mark has appeared and I’m forced to take stock and see if this has all been worth it. I can tell you it is!! I have more definition in my abs and feel so much more toned and happy with my shape than I did before. Im not at the end of my workout journey by a long shot but this milestone has shown me that I’m on the right track.

So now I’m on to the best stage, feeling proud of my achievement so far! šŸ˜Š 

cockerpoo · exercise · fitness · Peak District · Sunshine · Uncategorized · walking

17.23 miles in a week of beautiful walks

I would never have believed you if you had told me I could walk over 17 miles in a week and actually enjoy it! It sounds so far but it was helped by the bank holiday meaning we could walk 3.6 miles stopping for a drink on the way and the mornings without T meaning I could do 1 mile before work with Poppy. The lovely sunny evenings have also contributed massively as there is no way we would have walked 2 miles Wednesday evening before going out to our friends house if it was raining! As the sun continued Thursday it meant we could try a new route with Poppy, well i’ll be honest I was attempting a route we took at walking group a few weeks ago but I ended up going slightly wrong and we discovered Bluebell woods!

It really was a beautiful little walk and at 3.5 miles it is definitely somewhere we will go again, although hopefully next time Poppy wont end up so dirty!

Friday I walked with my walking group and with a record 23 of us this week they decided to just do a loop and walk back to our starting point instead of stopping half way for a rest. It was again a walk I hadn’t done before and I ended up chatting to quite a few people I hadn’t spoken to before also which was really nice. Another over 3 miles down.

Today I had my girl back so after a Mother/Daughter shopping trip to spend her hard earned pocket money on some new clothes for summer and stopping for a Costa as a treat we decided to take Poppy out for a little walk. T took her bike which meant I was able to get her much further than if she had walked, we explored our local woods much further than she has ever been before going down steps, up hills and along a river and finally coming out at the next village along Alwalton. We completed our loop home and brought in a 2.8 mile walk!

All this coupled with some little walks with Poppy has taken me over the 17 mile mark, I know this is in a whole week but from walking 2 maybe 3 miles a week with Poppy this is a huge jump and something I feel pretty proud of! Next week school and work return in full so there is no way I will be able to keep this mileage up but I intend to get miles in where I can and carry on upping my fitness ready for our summer trip to the Peak District.

Have a great week everyone!Ā 

Changes · Children · Easter · exercise · Healthy eating · Parenting · Uncategorized

Healthy parenting vs convenienceĀ 

Parenting is a minefield this we know and one part of that minefield is parenting healthily. From the moment we have a baby we are given advice like breast is best, only use homemade baby food, water over juice and so it goes on. As your child gets older this advice gets less and less and you are left to make your own decisions and parent your child in the way you see fit. Yes this is good, we have this little person that we can shape into whatever we choose diet wise. They can be vegetarian, vegan, drink only soya milk or live off of McDonald’s!

T has always had a balanced diet, she loves all vegetables and fruit, has never been a fussy eater and is usually willing to try new foods. But as your child gets older and becomes easier to parent on the go, grabbing a quick snack on the way to ballet becomes the norm rather than preparing a fully homemade blended fruit puree decanted lovingly into a sterilised Tupperware!

Sunday’s are now no longer for batch cooking the weeks meals and freezing individually into carefully measured portions but instead for completing homework, attending play dates, ironing school clothes and searching for PE kits.
The days of searching for organic, unprocessed, appealing snacks for your little one are now replaced with handing out the closest item to hand from the snack cupboard.
Gone is the separate meal time for your little one including a separate menu using carefully selected seasonal vegetables to broaden your child’s tastes as they grow. Now they eat what you eat at the time you eat it, and frozen vegetables occasionally is no longer a cardinal sin.

Does all this mean I am a bad parent? No, it simply means I am human. T has become easier to parent as she has grown but in this time her needs have also understandably changed. This means my time is spread between hobbies, school work, play dates and family time rather than fully focusing on prepping and planning her weeks food while watching her play on the carpet.

Yes she still has balanced meals and she likes to count her fruit and vegetables at the end of every day to see who has had the most, often if she hasn’t she will ask for more, but certain areas of her diet have become convenient. We have noticed this and a couple of weeks back we decided to make a conscious effort to try and change things.

A few things we have decided to change are;

Cereal- we are no longer buying T anything with chocolate in because she loves it or deserves a treat. She loves healthy cereal and hasn’t complained once since we switched so this is something we can easily stick to. This week we have been adding fruit to porridge and Weetabix to make it even more fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoghurt- kids yoghurt is so convenient, you just pick it up and pop it in the lunch box, or hand it out after lunch or dinner. They are also full full full of sugars and colours. We have gone back to basics with natural yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and fruit. I’ve also bought lots of smaller tupperware pots so I can send these in lunches and make them for us adults too!

 

 

 

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Snacks- gone are the Barney Bear cake bars, The individually wrapped, brightly coloured packets of sugary treats will no longer appear in this house on such a regular basis. I was actually surprised how little searching it took to find healthier snacks while shopping in the supermarket and T has enjoyed granola bites instead of biscuits and rice cakes instead of crisps.Ā The good weather has also meant our meals have all been sprinkled with salad and T has enjoyed adding herbs from the garden.Ā Our Easter week has also been the most active it could be with T taking her bike out 4 times and scooter twice and playing outside nearly every day.

Our decision to change our own eating habits as well as T’s hasn’t come at the easiest time with our house now being full of Easter eggs but the initial excitement wears off we intend to go back to chocolate days twice a week, usually a Tuesday and Saturday, this is something we have done for a long time and T looks forward to.

Once school is back and the work routine begins again I’m hoping we will be set to continue with our healthy choices, fitting in fun exercise where we can. I’m not saying there won’t ever be a time where I will say no to throwing a fruit shoot in the back of the car or that a packet of crisps won’t ever darken our cupboard doors again but hopefully this will just be something we see as more of a treat not a staple part of our diets so it will be better for all of us. Overall I will feel I am doing the best I can for T and not relying on convenience when I could make healthy, easy and fun swaps in all our diets. I’ve seen that kids can find just having a change fun so why not change from convenient to healthy and nutritious and get the kids in involved in making and preparing their own food choices when you can too.

Making easy healthy food fun and exciting while enjoying the changes yourself = mum winning!

body confidence · exercise · self doubt · Uncategorized

Is there ever a good time to comment on someones weight?

So ever since I became a Mum my weight has fluctuated somewhere between 9.5 and 10 stone. For a long period I stayed towards the top end of that and at one stage I was nearly 10.5 stone. At no point during my bigger stage did a single person comment and say I looked fuller, I looked like I had put on weight or was looking “well”. I’m not saying one day I woke up and was bigger, it was a gradual thing and it was a gradual loss too.

For my wedding last year I worked really hard to get fitter and ended up the most toned I have ever been as a result. During this stage I was proud of how hard I had worked and when I got the occasional comment about how “trim” I was looking I was pleased and happy that my hard work was paying off. Now in December I had my braces fitted, this meant a significant drop in my ability to eat Christmas treats which would normally put a few pounds back on. This coupled with the initial shock of having this contraption fitted to my mouth, (train tracks upper and lower with a metal bar across the roof of my mouth), meant my teeth were so sensitive I had to learn a whole new way of eating again. I had to relearn how to move certain foods around my mouth and how to chew without my braces being covered in food, some foods I still cant eat now and some foods still get completely stuck everywhere. As a result some foods like crisps, biscuits and sweets are still completely off the menu. This has meant my weight has remained pretty much the same since December when my braces were fitted.

Over the last few weeks I have started to exercise again and have also joined a walking group once a week, we eat healthily but do allow ourselves treats on our days off. We seem to have naturally cut our alcohol intake also, this is partly due to budget and also due to working a lot and not really having time to sit and enjoy a drink together.

All these factors seem to have contributed to me losing a couple more pounds and now being lighter than I can ever remember at 9 stone. I haven’t been trying to lose weight, if anything I’ve been allowing myself more treats than I should do over the last month with a few coffee and cake dates and mothers day thrown in. This has just naturally happened and at first I was feeling great about it and couldn’t believe this was my weight, I have to admit I went through a stage of getting on the scales every day just to check, but now I seem to have lost some of my shape, my face is thinner than it ever has been and none of jeans fit.

I’ve simply been making the most of this with a new make up routine which makes the most of these cheekbones which have suddenly appeared, I’ve been wearing clothes I’ve had in the wardrobe for a long time and never felt comfortable in until now and this weekend I finally stopped pulling my jeans up, bit the bullet and got new ones a size smaller which actually fit! I think I had been denying that I needed any for the last couple of months because I kept thinking one day I would wake up and be half a stone heavier again. I don’t know why I am finding it so hard to accept that for some reason I have basically shrunk but I am taking some time to get my head around it.

So today I was told I looked thin.

Up until now I knew my face shape had changed, my body shape had changed and I’ve just been dealing with it the best I can, secretly worrying if I still look as feminine as before, but that didn’t come as a compliment. I wasn’t pleased about it and it didn’t make me happy.

When I replied with “Oh really?” (It was the most I could get out after the shock that someone would actually say that to me), I got back “Yes you are, there really is nothing of you these days!”

I really didn’t know what to say to this so quickly changed the subject, I just don’t know how people can think its ok to make such a comment on someones weight like that just because they have lost a few pounds. I really am trying to put some weight back on, i’m not starving myself and am taking some time to get my head around my new body shape so what I really don’t need is people telling me I look thin! Would they be making the same comment if I had put this much weight on, I think not! So what gives them the right to comment now I’ve lost it? Maybe I’m taking it too much to heart and maybe I should take it with a pinch of salt but for some reason this has really bothered me.

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After a day at work with hardly any makeup left on

What are your experiences of comments on your weight?

 

body confidence · exercise · fitness

Exercise and me!

I have never been the sporty type, through school I wasn’t in any teams and didn’t play any sport that wasn’t part of the PE lesson. Since school I have dipped in and out of exercise regularly. Since school I’ve been a member of a two different gyms, owned 4 different workout dvds, done a bit of running,  watched countless YouTube workouts and followed a few fad diets. 
My workout interest usually depends on the goal. I need a goal to work towards, just being fitter and healthier isn’t enough for me. Last year it was my wedding and honeymoon and right now it’s my holiday in June.

I’m not a natural sports person, running is not something I particularly enjoy or am fast at and I don’t usually look forward to a workout so the reason I do this is purely just to feel good about myself. I’m not bothered what size clothes I wear or what other people think of my size, shape or fitness level I just like to feel body confident in myself. This is something I’ve struggled with in the past but if I know I have worked hard and am in good shape I have no problems feeling confident and happy about myself.

At the minute I’m using my kettle bell to workout, it’s a 6kg bell and I use a dvd to complete a 30 minute workout twice a week. One is more cardio and one focuses on abs. I’ve recently been using Scott’s 10kg bell for some of the ab exercises too just to really push myself.  Along with walking Poppy every day for 20 minutes and now my walking club every Friday I think this is a good start for me feeling good for summer!

Im like most people though if I don’t eat well I will put on weight. Usually after Christmas I will always have gained a few pounds, cheese and chocolate every day for a week will do that to your waistline, but this year I had my braces fitted in December so for the first time after Christmas I had actually lost weight! I’m eating normally again now and there are only a few things I struggle with but thankfully I seem to be a steady weight so my aim for my exercise is purely to try and improve my fitness levels with that end goal in mind of climbing Scafell Pike next year!

I’ve been back in my fitness regime for 4 weeks now and am feeling better for it already. I plan to keep it up to do the best I can to feel body confident in myself. It is true what they say when it comes to fitness hard work really does pay off so I plan to continue until I get the results I’m looking for!