New Year, Happier Me!

Exactly two years ago, I wrote a post called New Year, Old Me about how I wanted to become healthy.

At the time I wrote the post, I don’t think I’d still be on this journey two years later.

My first year was a breeze, the weight came off quickly and I found I enjoyed the journey. Then came Christmas and I spent six months battling to lose the weight I put on in two weeks.

Then over the year, I rediscovered my activity mojo. I started with Swimathon & swam 5k for Marie Curie in April, and loved it.

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Then I had a bike for my birthday, and spent the summer happily cycling along the canal towpaths to and from work until I crashed. I still haven’t got over the fear of getting back on my bike but when the lighter days come back – I’ll be back!

Also in the summer, I joined The People’s Orchestra and I’ve found that being musically active again has improved my mental attitude & outlook. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed music in my life, plus the commitment & work required to do my bit, and the fab new friends I’ve made have helped me refresh my attitude to a lot of things.

Over the summer, I gradually began to pick up my Couch 2 5k podcasts and began to enjoy finding time to run on the treadmill, and after a Parkrun suddenly realised that I found running joyous. That triggered me to look for help in getting better at it. With encouragement from my husband & some of our Twitter friends I’ve joined a beginners running group run by the West Bromwich Harriers. Again, I’ve started seeing myself in a new light, by what I’ve achieved with them & the new friends I’ve made.

I’ve also discovered a whole new world of friendship through Twitter, some of these friendships have spilled into the real world, but even those that haven’t are amazing. When I’m happy, people celebrate with me, when I’m down, there’s always someone to listen. And more often than not, I find myself inspired and in hysterical laughter with some of the conversations.

This year, I’m not making resolutions. I’m going to commit to making time to run, and I’ve entered a 10k event in May, so have a goal to work for. My goal to be a healthy weight, and a good role model for my children all of a sudden feels tangible and within reach, and I have no doubt I’ll get there.

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Skinny Cow!

I’ve finally turned a corner!

For 12 months I’ve been pretty stable with my weight and put a few on, list a few whilst striving for that elusive 3 stone milestone.

With all the running I’ve been doing, I’d finally started losing steadily again, until last week when I had a random gain of 1lb. Although I think I can put that down to heavy grazing!

This week though, I lost 3lbs – which is huge for me!

It also meant I finally turned that corner and have hit 42.5lbs gone forever.

For the first time in 16 years I no longer have an obese BMI. I am now merely overweight.

Yes, I still have a way to go to get to a healthy weight, but I feel FABTASTIC! (Yes I made a word up).

As to the title of this post – I text hubby after weighing in and I received this text in reply:

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Just as well I love him!

Just got to navigate Christmas now without putting it all back on!

A Bump in the Road

Well a crash had to happen.

I’ve been on a high for the last four weeks, there was bound to be a bump in the road.

I’ve been looking forward to today all week. We’d decided to bring the children to Walsall Parkrun so I could finally have a go at my home Parkrun.

But this morning did not go to plan.

It started with a 6am alarm call to finish sorting the kitchen out ready for the new fridge freezer that could be arriving anytime between 7am & 10pm. This was irritating as the old one had died the day before, and we’d had no choice but to get a new one. At this point my parkrun was already cancelled as I’d have to be at home to take delivery.

But then joy of joys, a text message arrived to say our estimated delivery slot was 12pm to 4pm.

Hurrah! Parkrun was back on!

Off we trotted as a family. It was great to see some of my friends from Black Country Running Fit and West Bromwich Harriers and if course the notorious Shabba Runners.

Just like that we were off.

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(Photo from @WalsallParkrun twitter feed)

And within 5 minutes so was my son. One minute he wanted to stop then totally run wild. He went into total meltdown. Daughter trotted off on her own & carried on while I dealt with the tantrum.

We finished the first lap and I made the decision to end it and concentrate on not allowing him to disrupt everyone else’s runs.

It took till 10am to get him calmed down. It’s been months since he went into meltdown and I’d forgotten how horrible it is to deal with.

Ironically, he then went and had a perfect swimming lesson.

And although the rest of the day has been perfectly pleasant, I’m left with a lingering sense of frustration & disappointment.

I know there will be other days & other runs, but still…

Past, Present & Future

This has been an amazing week, with highs and more highs!

I’ve had moments to reflect on my past, my present and my future. And when I do, I grin like a Cheshire Cat!

Let’s start with the past.

Two years ago, me and my friends visited the German Market in Birmingham. A picture was taken of me and one of my friends. Both of us saw that picture, and immediately after Christmas joined WeightWatcher (other fat clubs available!). Last week, I was at the German Market again, almost two years to the day, with the same friend, and the same photo was taken for comaprison purposes.

To say, we were both over the moon with how far we’ve both come is an understatement. I’ve lost 3 stone, she’s lost 5 stone. That’s a whole person between us!

Here’s the picture: talk about motivation to keep going!

Before & After

(Yes, that is the same hat!)

Now to the present.

I ran my third Park Run at Princes Park. This time it felt hard, and I felt like all the work was in my head not my legs. But I got round again, although I felt I’d gone too fast to start with and was probably not going to match my time from last time. When I eventually got round to stopping Runkeeper on my phone, I was pleasantly surprised – even though I’d left it running until way after I’d been through barcode scanning, it was showing 34:40, which was about 1.5 mins faster than last time. Needless to say, I spent the whole day refreshing the website and checking my messages itching to find out whether my phone time was right!

At about 9.30pm, the text came!

My time was 34:01! a whopping 2mins 19secs off my last time and a new PB!

I’ve never felt a high like that! I fell asleep grinning!

Me & Hubby posing pre-Park Run

Me & Hubby posing pre-Park Run

The next day was the Liverpool Santa Dash – a 5k(ish) fun run around Liverpool city centre.

To say I was hyped up is playing it down!

Me and hubby left the house dressed as Santa, and felt very self conscious as we were heckled by cabbies shouting ‘Ho Ho Ho’ at us, but began to relax as we arrived at the train station to find another 10 Santas. When we got down to the platform, there was probably another 20, and then a six carriage train pulled in with hundreds. Then when we got off the train in town, there was clearly thousands. (Apparently approx. 9000 people took part). I met up with my auntie who I’d planned to run with, and we set off to the start.

The atmosphere was brilliant. It was 9am on a December Sunday morning, and all around people were giggling, chatting and dancing.

Santa Selfie

Santa Selfie with PhotoBomb

Medals and Beards

If you’ve ever wondered what 9000 Santas look like click here to see the gallery in the Liverpool Echo

Hubby went off at his own pace – and did it in 23 minutes. Me and my auntie plodded along together (apart from the flyover! That was walked!) and finished in 33 minutes. The best bit was waiting for me at the medals – my best friend was there giving out medals and hadn’t told me – it was a fantastic surprise and I couldn’t stop hugging her!

I’ve never done a fun run or anything like it and I loved it!

And now to the future:

It involves running!

What a surprise!

I’m trying to arrange things to make Walsall Parkrun a regular event I do with husband and children.

I’m going to join West Bromwich Harriers as a member in the new year.

I’m looking at doing a 10k in May.

This last one kind of freaks me out as a month ago, I would have said “no way”, but I can’t beleive how much my head and body has changed in four weeks.

Ain’t no stoppin’ me now – I’m on the move!