Check In 2

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I am actually on time with this one, even in amongst my current little blog project, so let’s have another check in shall we?

1) Learn how to fuck with eyeshadow

I was about to say that I’ve hardly worn make up these past couple of months, but that’s a lie. I have, the truth is I just haven’t made the investment in any eye shadows or the brushes that I would use to apply them. It’s just not been high up on my list of things to do, I dunno why. Probably because I am good at the one face of make up that I can do and I can get it done in 15 minutes which proves useful sometimes.

2) Learn how to do a full pull up

This is not something that I have even attempted to start trying to be able to do. I am all about trying to improve my upper body strength right now and so I am doing stuff that works my arms and chest a lot, but none of that has translated into me even attempting to do one pull up. I’m scared of them, this is the problem, this is why I have made it a goal for the year.

3) Be able to a full push up

Look, on Wednesday 14th March, mainly because I was trying to make up how shitty the workout the night before went, I did 5 whole full push ups that had a decent range of motion and was done on my toes and not my knees. So this one is making progress. I have also managed to do more since that date. I mean the reps aren’t ever all that high and for the most part I can’t get that much full of motion, but I can do it enough sometimes.

4) Read 70 books

I’m slowly making my way towards being halfway through this challenge and we are not yet halfway through the year, so this feels like it is going well for me. I mean I hit a bit of a reading slump at the end of last month, but this is moving in the right direction. I’m currently at 23 books (almost).

5) Lift heavier

I said I wanted to be at 20kg squat weight, 10/12kg arms and barbell complexes/lunges/clean and presses by July and we’ve just closed April out and I am still at what I was at when I broke the weights thing down in the last one of these. However, I say this, on Sunday I went up in weights, so I’m just about fucking with 17.5kg squats, 10kg arms and then barbell complexes was at both 12kg and then 10kg because I had to go down for the final track because I could not get through it with 12kg. The squat weight felt almost fine when it was racked back when I had to go front rack my wrists were not a fan. 10kg arms is maybe a tad ambitious so that may now be the last to go up while I work on the barbell complexes and stuff first. I felt strong. It felt kind of good. Every single muscle in my body was shaky af when I finished. But the weights are making a difference and I kind of love them for it.

6) Eat more fruit and veg

I’m still really hit and miss with that. The good news is that we are reaching the season where all my fave fruits are back in season and are tasting good. I always eat more fruit when the weather is warmer. So this is kind of a work in progress. There are small changes that are happening each day with this one that I am just kind of rolling with because it was never going to change overnight.

7) Cook More

Hey, look which one is still going nowhere? Don’t get me wrong, I do cook. I can cook just fine and I cook well, but I just don’t do it often and that hasn’t really changed. My main reason for this one was just that I wanted to be a bit more in control of my diet because that is like 80% of the battle when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, but that has just naturally changed over time anyway as it became more glaringly obvious in my house that I wasn’t fucking about with that thing.

8) Finish the damn book

This is a slow moving goal for obvious reasons. I felt really motivated at the beginning of April as I always do when the time comes around and in theory it comes with a month of epic writing sessions, and I did make some real progress with it during the time that I was off from work and went on holiday and all that jazz but then I had to get back into the routine of being at work and it really took a lot out of me for some reason, because 2 weeks is enough to make it feel like you are at the bottom of the mountain and have to hike back up again and so I fell out of being motivated for it. And now I’m just hovering at nearly 10,000 words.

9) Write for half an hour a day

See above about the fact that I have been very unmotivated to write and so therefore this one is also currently not even close to being a habit.

10) Get better organised

Look, we all know the answer to this one don’t we…?

11) Get my Peak score to 900

I’m in the 830’s, so you know this one is plodding along. I will tell you that I lost my epic daily streak because on the day that I got to Amsterdam I fucking forgot to complete one of the games and only remembered after midnight meaning that I had to start from one again. Is this a real issue? No. But it still on some level continues to make me feel some type of way.

12) Meditate more

This is my spring/summer goal. I need to build it and make it a habit. I really, really do. It’s my May project.

13) Save, save, save

This is kind of going fine, kind of not. There’s been no change there. One day, I swear I will report one and it’s gonna be mind blowing.

14) Put more effort into blogging

I think at this point all the foundation work for this is done. The rest is just stuff that I have to do in terms of putting content up and also being better at sharing it. And yeah, I did just quietly change the theme on here whilst I was gone in March.

15) The Masters

This remains the most complicated thing for me. I was fully pumped to do this for a lot of last year and then my mental health took a hit and doing anything remotely related to education was so far from my mind that it was hilarious. Then when I started thinking about it again this year there was just a massive question mark above it. A huge, flashing one that seemed to give off a red colour. And because I took that time away from the decision I have found myself now questioning if that is even something that I want to do. It’s an extra 2 years in education and education actually broke me come the end of it. Maybe it’s a case of feel the fear and do it anyway, or maybe it’s something that I shouldn’t do. I don’t really know anymore. I’m still pondering.

And that is my second check in of the year. On the one hand there are some improvements and I can feel some habits forming, on the other hand there is still some areas where I really need to try and make them second nature for me. But this is where I am at with this at the moment.

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

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Body Talk 2.0

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I feel like I came back quite heavy somewhat by accident in terms of the content of my posts and I’m kind of not sorry about it to be honest (see yesterday’s post as to why). I’ve mentioned on here before that the line for what I will and won’t talk about on this blog moves all the time and I moved the line in relation to this once (here) and then for whatever reason moved it back to never be crossed again.

But then recently something started to bug me and so the line inched slightly forward and now I’ve either pushed the line so far forward that I can no longer really see it, or just crossed the line and thought fuck it.

So, fuck it.

I’m not really in the habit of weighing myself all that much. There is not a scale in my house, there never really has been. When I was younger and at my Nana’s house for whatever reason she decided to make weighing me into a fun game. I never really understood what the number meant or really paid all that much attention to it when I was younger because I didn’t really think that much of it.

Then my grandparents left the country and so the scales left my life and for some reason that bothered me on some level. Because I just assumed that regularly weighing yourself was something that you had to do and I could no longer do it. Especially when it finally registered with me why you were supposed to pay attention to the number. You know to make sure that you were losing weight or that you were maintaining that ideal weight. Or whatever.

My point is that I no longer had a scale to reflect a number back at me to give me any indication of anything and so I had to do it by sight. I basically started thinking that I could tell whether I was at a ‘good enough’ weight by sight alone.

Here’s the problem with that.

I’m naturally kinda small. I mean I’m 5ft 10, but I am not broad at all. On the rare occasion people hug me they’re kinda horrified by the fact that there just appears to be a lot of bone.

Which for many years was exactly what I wanted. Like I said, I’m tall but I’m also kinda shy and that anxiety thing is no joke, so I wanted to be as small as possible. The only way I could think of to do that was to be as thin as possible. Whilst also not drawing attention to the fact that I was getting thinner to people around me, because that would have caused more problems then I could be bothered to deal with.

So I toed a real thin line and kind of let it all go to shit at weekends and when I was at uni and it was you know all…fine. I am fully aware that it actually really wasn’t, but whatever it’s where I was at. I’m not proud of it, but it was what it was. I lived my life like that. I’m not saying it was happily, but it was what I was doing and I spent a lot of time on my own so who the fuck noticed whether I was happy or not?

Then I decided to join and a gym and honestly I had no idea what I was doing but I just knew that it was something that I probably should be doing and so I was doing it. And the changing rooms at this gym had some scales and for some reason, probably that 8 year old girl in me, I felt compelled to stand on them. I don’t even really know what I was expecting, but I remember being surprised that it was in double digits. It was barely in double digits, but I was surprised by that. I was surprised that I had let it get to that. But that was probably because I was surrounded by a lot more people and they were somehow holding me accountable for something I guess. Plus I wasn’t really actively exercising all that much and therefore it meant that I was gaining weight and was somehow unaware of it.

Anyway, fast forward to just under a year ago now and my anxiety is fucking with me so much that I finally bother to attempt to seek help with it. Which is at a time when I’m finding exercise a sort of release but am keeping it low impact because I’m terrified of so many other things and am not sleeping and I’m still eating because being around people all the time means that they notice if you aren’t eating anymore (gotta be honest, that it a great way to keep things in tact, not ideal, but damn did it force me to regulate my eating habits a bit better) but I’m not really enjoying food all that much. And my mood is just not good for the most part. And everything is very much not okay. And I’m at my GP’s and she asks me to stand on a scale. And in my head I’m like, no I don’t wanna know what it is in case it’s more than it had been the last time I had dared to step on a scale in about October of 2016.

How I thought that was possible I don’t know.

Funnily enough I hadn’t gained weight. I had lost it. Which makes sense given that I was working out more but was not eating any more or less than I had been. But when you can burn 300-600 calories in a workout (with the exception of one which is under 200) then you are going to lose weight. I couldn’t tell you where I’ve lost it from in term of where on my body or anything but I can tell just by looking at myself these days that there needs to be more weight on my body then there currently is.

I’ve known that all year. I knew it before this year started to be honest, but I wasn’t quite willing to address it.

But strength training is really one of my goals this year. I want to get stronger physically and I currently do not feel like I can do that if I continue to lose weight that at this point I just do not have to lose.

Which means that I need to gain weight.

Which is where things get kind of tricky. In that I kind of don’t know who to do it. I haven’t sat down and truly thought it through. I made a start with the groundwork a few weeks ago, but then I got kind of scared of actually implementing anything and so therefore I didn’t. Yet.

But I have had a few conversations about this with a couple of people to try and get some ideas about ways to do it without actually dropping sessions, especially cardio ones.

And now we finally get around to what it was that sparked this whole post.

I was having this conversation with someone and then later someone else came up to me because they had overheard me while I was lamenting the fact that I do in all seriousness need to gain some weight (seriously when person 1 found out what I actually weighed they were damn that’s low, it’s 59kg if you want to know) and immediately decided to start telling me that I was being foolish and I couldn’t possibly want to gain weight when I was already so thin. This came from a person who I have heard talk many a time about the fact that they want to lose weight.

Don’t get me wrong. I am aware that I am thin. I am aware that what I physically look like is considered the ‘ideal’ and therefore I guess I’m lucky in that respect.

But that doesn’t mean that everything is hunky dory with me. Because it’s not.

My relationship with my weight is complicated as hell and kind of always has been and the fact that I’m even looking at it and being like, ‘yeah you need to gain weight’ is a huge step on this hike up a mammoth mountain for me. The fact that I could look at the weight that reflected back at me in May last year and be like ‘shit that is not good‘ (also, let’s ignore that we are now in April (although I wrote this in March) and I’ve only just truly acknowledged this fact for real over the past month or so…) is a big deal for me.

It may seem ridiculous to some people to be trying to go the other way and gain weight instead of losing it, but it’s what I honestly need to do for myself. And I also could not fathom why this person felt the need to comment anyway. I wasn’t having a conversation with them anyway. I have never injected into their conversations about how they want to lose weight. I am very much a you do you person. And then leave me to do me.

Because that’s all this is for. Me. I finally feel somewhat confident in my skin but I know that there is still room for me to feel better. And right now to do that it requires me to no longer be borderline underweight.

I’m breaking it down into small, manageable chunks but the overall aim is to get to 70kg or something. However for now I’m just aiming for 65kg. Which is where the problem kind of kicks in.

Diet.

I’ve made some small changes to my diet, but honestly I eat a lot of food already. Or at least it feels like I do. And I try to make all the food I eat as useful as possible. And it is for the most part, but then I do things like burn 550 calories in 45 minutes on a Wednesday and I’m never gonna make that up with food.

In talking about this with someone we both established that my breakfast could do with being a little bit more. It’s currently toast and peanut butter which is an improvement from the granola that it was before the new year. But it should probably be more. The problem is breakfast and I have never really been very friendly to one another, the only reason I started eating it when I started working was because going from 8:30pm to 1pm the following day with no food stopped being possible and I found myself constantly snacking on junk. I needed the meal in the middle. And I’ve treated that meal as such ever since. Just something to get me through until lunch. Even on weekends, I just eat a protein bar before I work out and then go in on all the food post work out. And I’m probably not going to change that because workouts are the first thing I do on weekends, but on weekdays they aren’t. They’re the last thing I do and so breakfast has gotta change.

I should probably also change my snack game up a bit and finally nail down the lunch thing. I dunno, I feel like I need to get out of the habit of just aimlessly grazing from lunch onwards (there is some focus to it and I do try to keep them as healthy as possible) and then stopping dead at like 9. Or maybe not. I really currently do not know what the hell my approach to this is going to be. That’s partially what I am spending this week really trying to figure out.

I’m not expecting it to exactly be easy either because I am very aware that mentally I am going to find this kind of rough. Even just saying it feels hard. The thought of doing it is  even worse. But it’s necessary.

And anyway this is the final piece of the puzzle anyway. I always knew this piece of it was coming and I’ve put it off for well over a year now. I just need to do it in a way that means I don’t become low key obsessed with food in a different way. So there will be tracking, no restrictions, nothing completely crazy. I’m not eliminating anything from my life that hasn’t already been cut (like, I hardly eat dairy, but I’m not subbing alternative milk into my daily flat whites and I’m not giving up ice cream, or cheese on pizza). In theory there shouldn’t be a huge amount of change. I should just be able to make small changes that means that gradually I can stop being clinically underweight and be an actual normal weight that I feel even more comfortable in.

And there’s my slight rant and intentions when it comes to my weight and where I am at in a general sense with it all. I both need and want to gain weight. And my current goal with it all is 65kg.

Parentheses count: 4. See you tomorrow!

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Check In 1

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These are coming bi-monthly. At the beginning of the month. At the end of every two months. I should remember that right? (No, I will remember that). That will make it 5 in this year and then a round up.

And without further ado here is the first check in

1) Learn how to fuck with eyeshadow

I’ve worn make up so little these past couple of months because I just did not really leave the house and it was just for my birthday that I put it on and as such I spent that day truly living my best. I also do not currently own any eyeshadows or appropriate brushes and I’m cutting down on my spending so that will be a goal that I might attempt later i the year.

2) Learn how to do a full pull up

I’ve not even gotten myself into a situation where I have even attempted to do this yet. I walk past these pull up bars in the park on the way to work every morning and think about how I will maybe use something with that kind of set up and then just haven’t even tried. I’m trying to work on my chest and upper body strength before I go in. I don’t even know why that is to be honest, but I just don’t feel ready to tackle this one yet.

3) Be able to a full push up

My half push up things are fine. If I’m on my knees and on the right day I can get down real low. I’ve not really gotten any further with the full one. Mainly because there is something a little bit niggly in my right wrist which makes bearing weight on it a bit hit and miss. Which is nice and useful for most body weight movements. It means that my balance is being tested slightly more because I try and avoid putting my hands down for some moves now and also means that I don’t do high planks and my knees are better at scraping the floor in mountain climbers. It also means that I avoid push ups currently. Like I said, it’s hit and miss, sometimes my wrist is fine, sometimes it’s not. I have to play it by ear.

4) Read 70 books

I’m 11 in. Soon to start the 12th. I’m making progress with this. I’m currently a little ahead of schedule, but only by a book. This is plodding along.

5) Lift heavier

I’ve come the realisation that this one is kind of vague and so I’m breaking it down a little. I’m aiming to reach a TUT squat weight of 20kg, arms/chest to 10/12kg and then everything else to roughly 15kg by July. And then I will reassess then if I have managed to do it. I went up in my squat weight last Sunday to 15kg on a whim, but my arms/chest didn’t feel quite up for the challenge of 10kg and I was right they struggled with their usual 8 and the rest of it I just felt like I was going to compromise massively on form so I just stuck with 10kg which seemed like the right choice. I am making steps. The 15kg felt kinda good, I was surprised at how much I had missed it and also by how much I enjoyed it.

6) Eat more fruit and veg

This remains hit and miss. Some weeks I’m really good and on it and hit 5 a day and then some weeks I don’t. I really need to work to make it a more conscious effort.

7) Cook More

This is going nowhere right now.

8) Finish the damn book

I aimed to get to 10,000 words on The Thing this week. That’s where I’m at with that 10,000 words. No real character building, only a vague plot, no coherence with the way that I am writing it, but the words seem to be there and I do know what I want the arc to be. It’s something.

9) Write for half an hour a day

This is not happening. I mean I am writing for half an hour or more when I’m writing for this blog, but externally of that I am not that disciplined with that yet.

10) Get better organised

We all know the answer to this right?

11) Get my Peak score to 800

On February 6th this happened. I knew it was coming because suddenly the number stopped hanging in the 770/780’s and was at 794. And so I plodded along to get to my goal of 800. It felt like such a great achievement after it alluding me for so long. So now the goal is 900.

12) Meditate more

Again, not really happening right now. It’s just not a habit that I appear to have any desire to cultivate for some annoying reason. Ironically I think I am in my own head too much and can’t switch off, nor can I accept that that is just a thing that happens, but the key is to let those thoughts pass and then bring it back. As I’m writing this I am in the midst of reading Eat, Pray, Love and she has just got to India, which is the Pray, part and she is talking about meditation and how she struggles with it and I feel kind of the same way.

13) Save, save, save

I’m made a huge reduction in the amount of unnecessary spending I am doing, so this is kind of fine right now. It’s where I want it to be to be honest. I’ve allowed myself a couple of things (like my Apple Watch and a new pair of trainers) but for the most part I am getting better at saying no.

14) Put more effort into blogging

This seems to be doing alright. I mean I did just sort of reinvent this blog a bit these past couple of weeks (and this is the last mention) and I feel a new sense of excitement about it which is always good. I’m also getting better at sharing my posts more frequently. This feels good.

15) The Masters

Okay, so this is still an idea. But I now also have another thing that I may want to do. I’m aware that I am being quite vague about this but currently it’s still just a seed in my head that I may or may not water…

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

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The Diet

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This way lies fitness chat of sorts.

This week I decided to track what I ate during the day for the whole week just to get an idea of it all. Not because I was looking to start counting calories or because I was looking to get restrictive and super controlled with my eating, but mainly just out of curiosity.

I have learnt one thing so far that for some reason I didn’t really ever take note of. My eating habits are really damn repetitive. With the exception of dinner and the fact that I had something sweet after dinner on Monday (strawberries), I have eaten the exact same thing all week. For three whole days. There is no variation in my day to day (actually I tell a small lie, Tuesday and Wednesday I added a protein shake). It changes with dinner and even then I’ve had rice and chicken 2 out of 3 days just dressed up a bit differently.

This week has also given me a vague idea of my macros. My protein is fine and considered to be within range, but I need to switch my fats and carbs around. The balance between those two is only marginally out, which I didn’t know and well apparently that is useful to know for me.

The reason that I’ve done this this week is because all the exercise in the world isn’t going to fix a poor diet. Now mine isn’t awful, but there are definitely areas that I know I could improve with it. Like the fruit and veg part of it, I still hover at 2/3 a day and sometimes it’s really bad and I only have one (and that one is an avocado because I am nothing if not basic) and so putting it down onto paper (an app) really highlights the weak points.

I’ve also done it because I’m gonna be real, I have no more weight to lose if I want to be a healthy weight for my height. I’ve stripped it down to the lowest it could possibly be without it getting it super dangerous (again). I’ve also done all this unintentionally. Although I don’t really know what else I expected given that I upped the exercise I do with no real changes to my diet. I imagine for a while I was in a MASSIVE calorie deficit. I’m still in one now. And I need to not be in one.

I’m trying to build muscle now, that’s a shift that I’ve had in my mindset when it comes to this healthy lifestyle of mine this past couple of weeks. And for that to happen I need to not be in a deficit. I’m not here to cut. I’ve accidentally done that already and now I need to put some weight back on. And get lean and toned and there are ways that I can achieve that through exercise, but at this point the key to this change is going to be diet.

This little exercise has also proven one how far I’ve come within myself regarding my attitude to my diet and weight etc and also just how easy I would find it to fall back into some really bad habits. I’ve tracked my food before and it made me feel worse about myself and that way lay madness that I just sort of fell into with little to no regard. I didn’t try to make any changes and it got worse and then it all went tits up until I came out the other side (of not being in uni or unemployed anymore, turns out spending time with people who will actually notice whether to not you do or don’t eat sort of makes you try a bit more).

But this time I don’t look at it and think shit I’ve eaten so much I need to restrict or shit I’ve not eaten enough I need to binge to get some energy into me. I just look at it and think, okay this is where we’re at. I need more carbs, more protein and slightly less fat (I think the balance of that is mostly healthy fats by the way, so even then it’s not super catastrophic). Currently I have no idea how I’m going to do that, but that’s one of the reasons why I embarked on this exercise. To figure it out.

I can’t get anywhere with this aspect of things without actually knowing what the reality of it is. And the reality isn’t awful. I knew it wouldn’t be awful. But there is still a part of me that spent months/years borderline obsession over this and so looking at it again kind of scared me. But the best part about the way that regular exercise has changed my mindset is that if I’m burning so many damn calories/energy then I am going to need to fuel that and food does that. And I fucking love food.

To not be mildly terrified (and also act like I’m fine with it which can get kind of exhausting) of food is surprisingly really fucking good.

The various pieces of the puzzle that is the healthy lifestyle are slowly starting to fit together and I am feeling pretty damn good for it.

Side note, I am in no way restricting any part of my diet because that is long and naattt good and also cake exists and why would I want to do that? And also for the most part I’m not tracking this beyond Sunday, but that may change (I kind of doubt that know if I know myself the way I know I do…)

Parentheses count: 9. See you tomorrow!

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Sugar

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You would be correct in remembering (and if you did, wow, well done) that I have already done a post about this before. And if you didn’t then here it is.It comes from nearly exactly a year ago, which I have only just discovered because I didn’t think it had been that long since I had last talked about.

It is no longer going all that well.

I kind of had a wobble, which I hesitate to call a wobble because that makes it sound bad when really it’s not but we’re gonna go with this terrible word, all the way back in October and well to be honest as it got closer and closer to Christmas the less it seemed to make sense to me to try and give it back up again. And then January is both a shitty month and the one which houses my birthday and so doing it then is just non sensical.

And so basically I’ve just fallen back into those old habits of mine. Not quite in the same way as I did before, I no longer have it in me to eat a whole bag of to share M&Ms in one sitting but I can make my way pretty solidly and pretty quickly through a whole tub of ice cream without really noticing. And I’m also better at not having them, work is a hub for sweets and for the most part I can avoid sliding my chair over to them (they’re right behind me, I’m not that lazy) and eating them all.

But what I do currently do is feel like I cannot get through a day without something sweet in it. And it’s an impulse that I am not even attempting to ignore anymore. Or at least at the moment. Sometimes I have some fruit instead but for the most part I find myself on the hint for chocolate and convincing myself that fruit just won’t do it. And I want to get back into the habits that I held for at least 7 out of 12 months last year.

It’s kind of one of my goals for the year. Not specifically sugar because I am not removing that from my life entirely because I love dessert but there are elements that need some more fine tuning again. Like going back to 5 days off and 2 days on. And eating more fruit and veg. And actually just eating more in general, although that’s a whole other thing that we’re not going into right now. And cooking more. Basically my diet is the last piece of the puzzle that I need to slot into things.

But first I’m gonna tackle the sugar thing, when February starts because I’ve got some birthday chocolate to finish.

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

 

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