Sunday, 6 March 2016

It's all in the mind - trials and tribulations of a would be dieter.

Having written this post it all seems somewhat deep and maybe I'm a little nuts, but I'm posting anyway as I doubt I'm the only one questioning myself or my life.  Also I'm hoping that by putting it all out there in public I can motivate myself more to simply just get on with doing what I need to.  I can't risk failure then can I???!!!!!
And by the way, this first weeks steps have seen me hit over 72,000 and still this afternoon to go.
All in the mind?
Well it is!  At least as far as eating goes.  Slowly, very slowly I am beginning to accept that only I can stop myself from eating too much.  From eating high calorie, little nutrition snacks.  Not that the realisation has had any immediate effect but it's a step in the right direction.  I hope.  I know I will never be able to stop myself completely but I need to see cakes, breads etc as a treat.
 Half the problem for me is that I like food in general and so does my family.  We bake cakes and biscuits, we cook most meals from scratch so we can control what have but with a husband and son who can eat any amount of anything and not show it, it becomes hard for me not to join in.  So willpower and promptly freezing almost every leftover or most of the cakes has to be part of the answer.  I just need to convince them to do that so I'm not tempted.  It's going to have to be a family affair - me losing the excess. So there's another realisation it isn't just me that that needs the willpower, the family will have to change their habits too.  That could well be the hard part.  Especially as hubby is a really good cook. 
Today after walking the dog around Witherslack woods I will visit a friend for coffee (unlikely to be cake as she is consciously dieting anyway) but I will be coming home to a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings and hubby does vast quantities of roasties and Yorkshire puds with the excuse the dog enjoys them too.  Not to mention the cauliflower cheese with Stilton - I adore Stilton.  Well any cheese if I'm honest - once when visiting my parents while expecting my daughter, we were living in Germany with the RAF at the time - Mum had a piece of Lancashire Tasty on the table and I ate the lot, it was such a contrast to the German cheeses and a reminder of my childhood.  I did enjoy it too!  There - another reminder of my lack of willpower!
I know what I should be eating.  I have actually lost weight before on a proper diet plan and I felt good.  But life got in the way and the weight and more came back.  There have been family deaths, ill health with those closest to me that is an ongoing issue, a frail elderly Mum who lives on her own an hour away (I'm the only child) and I have been comfort eating.  All the while knowing I shouldn't do so. 
My hope now though is that I know I need to get myself fitter and healthier to be able to cope with whatever is thrown at the family next.  I am the constant in everyone else life so I need to be in the best possible place to be that cornerstone that holds the family together.  They all mean the world to me so I need to put myself in the best possible physical and mental space to be the person I want to be for them.
Edited to add I managed 82,171 steps this week so over target but I must emphasise that I had two days when I didn't make 10,000!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Why the Walking Challenges?

I signed up for Country Walking magazine's Walk 1000 miles challenge in January & I am amazed at just how far I can walk in a day.  Now I would love to only need to count the steps/miles outside of work but I seriously doubt I would achieve the goal so I count everything!  I use a Fitbit clipped onto my bra as work is "bare below the elbows" in clinical areas which I don't go into very often but I don't always wear bottoms or dresses with pockets on which to clip a pedometer so this seemed like a good choice.  The only time I haven't worn it was two weekends ago when I was ill in bed for two days.  It seems as accurate as the app on my phone seems to be. 
I consciously walk a little extra most days subject to time & to a degree weather - if it is absolutely tipping it down I miss the lunchtime 10 minutes and/or the after tea walk the dog around the block. Dillon the Dobermann doesn't like the rain either.

Lunchtime is a ten minute walk around the site at work.  I tend to do this at a brisk pace & shrug the shoulders, concentrate on the breathing & hope to feel refreshed for the rest of the day.  It seems to work.  The later dog walk is a more relaxed affair, slower as dear Dillon likes to stop & sniff on this walk when I want to keep moving.
This set me thinking what I use the time on these walks for.  I wondered if I should be more active on the evening walk or was the slower pace & consequent time for reflection as good for me as the brisk lunchtime walk? 
I've now tried both & have decided for now that both are equally beneficial!  The only thing I have been hoping for is a better nights sleep due to more fresh air & exercise but sad to say that hasn't happened as yet.  I don't sleep well & the sleep monitoring function on the Fitbit seems to reflect this.  But the other benefits of walking are doing me good, even if I can't see the results yet.
One thing I do know is that I won't be giving up the extra walking anytime soon, I enjoy it. 
I've always walked the dog at weekends anyway & that distance can vary from a couple of miles to six or seven, again weather dependant to a degree, & on Sundays I am with a friend I've known for over thirty years.  We just know & understand each other & love to walk.  It's our time to put our world to rights & simply just "be".  You can't put a price on this friendship.  Oh & our dogs love the open air!
Now there is another walking challenge I'm joining - work has started one this week & I'm hoping to increase the motivation to do more & maybe get my head around the amount of unnecessary food I put in my mouth.  I actually eat fairly healthily during the day but evenings are my downfall along with the occasional cake at work when I'm feeling stressed.  I have to change my thinking here.

So why the walking challenges? Walking is good for the soul & the body. It's a simple habit to form & the benefits outweigh every negative.  Physically, emotionally & mentally it clears & refreshes the body in my view.  Positivity is improved & I hope to become a better person all round by the end of the year!

Will I give up the occasional glass of wine, gin or very rare takeaway?  No!  Life's too short to give up things that give me pleasure.  Will I be more mindful about what I do in every part of my life?  Yes I think I will & I think walking more is going to help me in every way - it gives me time to think, to clear my mind, to walk off that cake, not to mention exercise the dog!!

Oh & I'll crank out some extra miles next weekend when I'm a volunteer road/traffic marshall for Kendal Festival of Food.  Two loves in one weekend! 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Every January........

Every January I try to resurrect this blog, and every year I seem to fail miserably!  I blame life on getting in the way which may be a good thing!  So yet another attempt this year.  Blogger won't let me change the header photo at the moment. Very annoying.
My motivation for this post is the staff conference I've just been to.
 Aim Higher!  #towardsinclusion.
It was buzzing. From the start. The background staff that keep our NHS trust
 running needed this, hopefully the first of maybe an annual event?
   It was good to catch up with colleagues from other sites & to gain an insight into what other departments do.  More than that it was a roomful of people with a desire to build & improve upon the new & existing exciting things that are planned / already happening.

Our Chief Exec opened with positive feedback & plans for the future for our staff to "Flourish", closely followed by our Chief Operating Officer who certainly seems to know what it's all about - for all of the staff not just the clinicians that hit the press.
Our Finance director almost had all of us on our feet dancing!  Black eyed Peas - I've gotta feeling.  Oprah Winfrey in Chicago.  Now that's how you get attention!  However the message was clear, the flash mob dance started with one & ended with them all dancing together.  That's how we need to work - together.

Our key note speaker was Leo Houlding - climber & adventurer.  His journey from planning to leading a successful attempt on an unclimbed route on the granite tower of Ulvetanna in Antartica.  Wow. Wow. Wow.

What stood out to me were the attributes of self. Self determination. Self Reliance. Own choice. Own challenge.  Multiplied by the men that went with him who he was ultimately responsible for.
It was as much about the journey as the destination & his leadership skills.

Most of all the simply facts that planning is key from the bottom (in this case base layer clothing, attention to minute detail - will the zip fail, what will happen if it does, possible death due to weather conditions - & "toilet bags") to the outer wear & the top of the mountain.  And then back down again (& removing the "toilet bags").  You leave absolutely nothing behind in these places!
All eventualities MUST be planned for - think risk assessments & then more risk assessments.

Then when you start the journey, break it into manageable steps.  Use the teams individual skills to form a cohesive bond that can adapt & react to changing circumstances.  Be the leader, be open to change, don't ask your team to do something you won't do yourself.  But be mindful & respect their feelings & skills.

So the title of the conference Aim Higher was apt.  From Leo Houlding's ascent of Ulvetanna to us individuals who keep the lights on & other things in our hospitals.  We need to grasp the new wave of initiatives & move with them, nurturing & improving upon them as a team.  Because if we put our minds to it WE CAN DO IT!

Now I just have to apply all that to my own life - lose weight, exercise more etc. etc.
I've started.  Last Sunday I pledged to #walk1000miles with Country Walking magazine, slightly easier that 10000 steps a day.  Although I would like to achieve that as well.  It won't happen today - been sat on my backside for most of it with only the dog to walk later in the rain & dark.  And it has to be said the Castle Green Conference Centre buffet was rather good.