Ups and Downs

A personal Best

I went to Parkrun again on Saturday. I know I keep banging on about it, but I can’t tell you enough how much it’s encouraged me to keep on running. As well as being lapped by the fastest runners, I also get lapped by parents running with double buggies, adults running with small children and people running with dogs. Despite all this there is constant support from the marshals and a tail runner to make sure that no matter how slow you are, you always have someone with you. I hit another personal best this week, at 45:10, still at the back, but still determined.

A healthy eating lapse

My healthy eating plan went out of the window for several days this week. The first reason was due to comfort eating. I haven’t done this since the start of the year, but for some reason I allowed other people to undermine my confidence and make me feel miserable. Before I knew what had happened I had called in the supermarket on the way home and was tucking into a full tub of Ben and Jerry’s. This was then followed of two days of eating sweets and biscuits which made me feel rough. I know that comfort eating is not the answer, but still occasionally slip back into these habits without even thinking about it.

The second reason was that on Saturday I spent the afternoon in Leeds with some lovely friends from work, as one of our lovely ladies is leaving. It was a great afternoon and although it’s very sad that someone is moving on, it was lovely for us all to get together and spend some time away from work. It wasn’t great for the healthy eating plan (I’m not sure you can count cocktails as part of your 5 a day) but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m now back on track ready to face a new week in a positive frame of mind.


I spent my Sunday afternoon decluttering the attic bedroom. This was occupied full-time by my eldest daughter prior to going to university. She’s been gone for three years now and there are things stored in there that haven’t seen the light of day in all that time.

To be fair there were things that haven’t seen the light of day for a lot longer than that. This included the following:

  • A pair of ski salopettes belonging to my husband (we haven’t been skiing for over 20 years!)
  • My wedding dress (we’ve been married 26 years, but it did have an airing about 6 years ago when my eldest daughter went to a Tim Burton themed party as “The corpse Bride”)
  • Several pairs of shoes belonging to my youngest daughter (She absolutely had to have them, but wore them only once)
  • Various blow up air beds (some of which don’t actually inflate anymore)
  • Spare rolls of wallpaper and carpet (none of it which matched any of the wallpaper or carpet that we have now

Thankfully we agreed what would be taken to the tip, what we were keeping and what would go to the charity shop, which now leaves space for more useful items and after a coat of paint will make a lovely bedroom again for when she comes home, or a guest bedroom for anyone else who wants to stay.

A bit of a mixed bag all in all, but here’s to next week, whatever it brings!

A work in progress

I am what I am

As you’ve probably realised already, I am not a slim lady. I am overweight, a larger lady, although one of my friends once described me as “rubenesque”. Afterwards she came and apologised to me as she felt that I might be offended. I have to say that I wasn’t. I am aware of how I look and sometimes this bothers me and I decide to do something about it. Other times I feel that I am who I am and my confidence in other areas of my life makes me forget about my weight. It is because of this that I have been a “yo yo dieter” for most of my adult life. I am like a lot of women with a weight problem and have tried all sorts of ridiculous diets. I’ve spent a fortune on books, foods and gadgets in an effort to lose weight and keep it off. I have wasted far too much time in the quest to have the perfect body, which in all honesty I’m unlikely to achieve and which probably doesn’t exist.

Will this year be different?

This year I am trying to put a stop to this and eat healthily and exercise because I want to and because I enjoy it, rather than spending a few weeks starving myself followed by weeks of just eating far too much. We are now 6 weeks into the new year and I am still doing well. Normally I’ve given up by now. However, I’m not saying I’ve been perfect. I have enjoyed nights out, I’ve had meals out, followed by dessert. The one thing I haven’t done so far is to just to completely blow it all because I’ve gone off track once.

The other thing that is really helping is running. I never thought I’d ever say that!  When I say running, I’m not talking about sprinting, but a slow plod, a jog, sometimes interspersed with a walk and a slightly faster jog.  I’ve always enjoyed walking, but I have continued with run together and have also been doing parkrun on a Saturday morning. The support of these groups is amazing and I am improving my fitness as well as losing a bit of weight, which can only be good. Long may it continue.

How could I be offended?

I accept that I am not model slim, but it is more important to be healthy and happy. At this moment in time I am remaining positive that I will continue to lose some weight, but living life for now, rather than waiting until then.

I looked at some of Ruben’s paintings on the internet. They involve some very shapely women, along with some religious painting and slightly scary artwork.

As a matter of interest the urban dictionary has the following definition of rubenesque:

“Applied to a woman who has similar proportions to those in paintings by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Ruben; attractively plump; a woman who is alluring or pretty but without the waif-like body or athletic build presently common in media.”

How could anyone be offended by that?




One week down

A good start to the year

So the first week of the new year has gone quite well. I’ve managed to stick to the healthy eating plan. I joined Slimming World as I know that this has worked for me in the past, but my staying power when the chips (or cakes) are down is not so good. I went for an induction at the local gym. My youngest daughter already goes there and she asked me to go with her, so this was a good incentive. I was also persuaded to join a local run together group and surprisingly really enjoyed running in the cold and dark. I’ve been out walking most days, so all in all a good start.

Now all I have to do is keep it up!

Writing the blog is certainly helping as it means that I have to be honest with myself about whether I have kept to my goals or not.

Still planning

Looking to the future, I’ve booked another week away for later in the year and am starting to plan some fundraising events. I’m also making more plans for my birthday party in April. When I first started planning it seemed such a long way away, but now it’s only three months which is pretty scary really.

A great family weekend

My niece had her engagement party this week. It was a really great night spent with friends and family. It was so lovely to see people of all different ages having a great time dancing, karaoke singing and generally laughing and chatting together. Whilst the “older” ones amongst us took a well earned rest from the festivities and sat chatting, we watched the young folks and conversation turned to how lucky we are that our children have grown up to be such pleasant individuals and that we should be really proud of them. Despite us all having our moments of doubt, worry and frustration, they really are a decent bunch of young people. Although my friend did make the point that “that’s us, we did that” and I guess she’s right.

Time moves on

I had a fleeting visit from our eldest daughter who came home overnight to celebrate with the family for my niece’s engagement. It was lovely to have her home, but strangely  it’s quite normal for her not to be there anymore. It’s been over two years since my husband and I left her in the student halls and I went into work the next day and sobbed my heart out. Now I can wave her goodbye on the train and drive home without crying. I guess that’s progress! I may however take a small step backwards when our youngest daughter decides to leave too.