Healthy Lifestyle II

Remember the three rules?

Eat Less.
Eat Better.
Move More.

This Blog post is a follow up from ‘Healthy Lifestyle I‘ Here is a reminder in picture form of how I’ve progressed so far

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Here is a reminder of the goals I set myself.

Goal 2: 81.9kg/180.6lbs/12.9stone
Goal 3: 80.5kg/177.6lbs/12.7stone
Goal 4: 75.6kg/166.6lbs/11.9stone
Goal 5: 69.2kg/152.6lbs/10.9stone
My final goal is to hover between 67.9kg/149.8lbs/10.7stone and 66kg/145.6lbs/10.4stone.

________________________________________

03/October/2016

Hello readers (all 2 of you? Probably.)

I would love to say at this stage that I have finished my degree but I find myself having to write my dissertation whilst working full time and that is a very difficult balance to achieve. I would also love to say that I have been going back and fourth to the gym but I am struggling to fit it in with work and feeling tired all of the time. When I update next month I am hoping that going back to the gym will give me more energy and help me to concentrate.

It’s been 6 months since I started at the beginning or April and I am surprised but happy to say that I have reached my second goal weight of 81.9kg/180.6lbs/12.9stone.
My previous weight and measurements are listed below.

93kg/205.03lbs/14.645stone
Neck: 14.25 inches
Arms: 13 inches
Chest: 43 inches
Waist: 35.25 inches
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
Glutes: 47.75 inches
Thigh: 28.25 inches

My current weight and measurements.
81.9kg/180.559lbs/12.897stone
-11.1kg/-24.471lbs/-1.748stone
Neck: 13.75 inches
-0.5 inches
Arms: 13.5 inches
+0.5 inch
Chest: 40.5 inches
-2.5 inch
Waist: 32.75 inches
-2.5 inch
Abdomen: 40.75 inches
-2.5 inches
Glutes: 44 inches
-3.75 inches
Thigh: 25.5 inches
-2.75 inch

That’s a total of 11.1 kg and 14 inches off of my person, I will post better comparison pictures next month but I feel utterly vile as my  kjæreste has felt duty bound to share his putrid cold with me (thanks for that). For today you will have to put up with a side only picture.

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Now the season is changing and autumn is setting in (yay, I’m always too bloody hot!) I can feel my spirits lifting slightly. I hope the cooler seasons find you all good and well.

Before I sign off I will say this. I tried on a bodycon dress yesterday and although I feel that I am not quite the right shape for them yet I wasn’t utterly disgusted with what I saw in the mirror for the first time in a very long time. It may not seem like a lot, and I am still far from happy about my own appearance which can trigger my anxiety, but for me that is a massive step.

I am now lighter, according to the fitness pal app I use, than I was in 2014.

________________________________________

07/November/2016

Well the weather has finally turned and as someone who is always too bloody hot I’m thankful and hope we have a proper winter this year. Last month has been festooned with social gatherings and illness which essentially means that I have been very naughty for a lot of it.
I Want to give a true representation of weight loss and as we know weight is not a straightforward process. I have been going to the gym a bit more to keep on top of my fitness but I have been ill twice this past month so I’ve only been going sporadically.
My goals for the next month are as follows:
. Do not give in to the office “treats” that are always flying around no matter how well intentioned.
. Go to the gym at least three times a week and finally complete week five of the c25k app.

My previous weight and measurements are listed below.

93kg/205.03lbs/14.645stone
Neck: 14.25 inches
Arms: 13 inches
Chest: 43 inches
Waist: 35.25 inches
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
Glutes: 47.75 inches
Thigh: 28.25 inches

My current weight and measurements.
82.5kg/181.881lbs/12.992stone
-10.5kg/-23.15lbs/-1.653stone
Neck: 13.75 inches
-0.5 inches
Arms: 13.25 inches
+0.25 inches
Chest: 41.25 inches
-1.75 inches
Waist: 32.25 inches
-3 inches
Abdomen: 41.25 inches
-2 inches
Glutes: 43.75 inches
-4 inches
Thigh: 25.25 inches
-3 inches

That’s a total of 10.5 kg and 14 inches off of my person, here are the comparison pictures.

 

Now I am not at all bothered by my near 1.5lb weight gain in the last month, especially considering that I have not been trying to keep on top of what I am doing. I haven’t gained any inches on my person which is good, and I haven’t fallen too far behind in my fitness levels when I have been going to the gym despite the lack of/sporadic visits over the last few months. I hope that this goes to show just how up and down weight loss and fitness gain can be. I’ll see all 2 of you next month.

________________________________________

02/January/2017

So I skipped December, I’ve been really busy. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all who may be reading. It’s time to put 2016 behind us and go into 2017 looking forward to all of the new adventures that lie before us.

In 2017 I have 3 weddings to attend, 2 as a bridesmaid, and a dissertation to complete. As it feels like I am just waiting to start my life I can not wait to get my dissertation out of the way and start planning my wedding and planning to buy a house.

A reminder of the goals that I have set for myself last year is at the top of this post. I have been hovering between 80kg and 83kg but I am happy with my progress so far (spoiler, I always put weight on over Christmas).

My previous weight and measurements are listed below.

93kg/205.03lbs/14.645stone
Neck: 14.25 inches
Arms: 13 inches
Chest: 43 inches
Waist: 35.25 inches
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
Glutes: 47.75 inches
Thigh: 28.25 inches

My current weight and measurements.
83.3kg/183.645lbs/13.12stone
-9.7kg/-21.39lbs/-1.53stone
Neck: 14 inches
-0.25 inches
Arms: 13.25 inches
+0.25 inch
Chest: 41 inches
-2 inches
Waist: 32.5 inches
-3 inches
Abdomen: 40.5 inches
-2.75 inches
Glutes: 44 inches
-3.25 inches
Thigh: 25.5 inches
-2.75 inches

That’s a total of 9.7 kg and 13.75 inches off of my person, here are the comparison pictures From last time as my weight and inches are largely the same and I have a cat on my lap pretending to be asleep.

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I have still been really lax with exercise these last few months so I will be stepping up my gym visits to at least 3 per week. I have also been really naughty and forgetting to forward plan my meals which means I have been buying my lunch instead of making it and relying on take away food far too much. I will be satisfying a burger craving tomorrow but from then I shall be avoiding convenience foods until I have lost at least 2 stone.
Lent is also coming up and I always take advantage of the Lent period to give something up and learn something about myself by doing so. This year will be slightly different in that I will be taking something on instead of giving something up. I have never done this before so I am excited to see what this will teach me about myself. I will be taking on the two 30 day challenges listed below.

With any luck I will find these easy. I hope that by the time of my next post I would have lost an additional 5lbs, until next time.

 

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Healthy lifestyle I

April 2016

One of the main drawbacks of anxiety and depression is the havoc it can play on your physical health. I decided I had felt to bad for to long and decided to face the music and weighed myself last week (03/04/2016).

I don’t believe in pseudo-scientific-more-marketing-than-substance-and-often-expensive weight loss programs, “detoxes” and diets. I’ve tried my fair share, they never work in the long term, they do not kick start anything, and they can sometimes be dangerous to your health.
It really isn’t difficult at all to loose weight and regain your fitness by following three simple rules.

Eat Less
Eat Better
Move More

My weight and measurements are listed below.
93kg/205.03lbs/14.645stone
Neck: 14.25 inches
Arms: 13 inches
Chest: 43 inches
Waist: 35.25 inches
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
Glutes: 47.75 inches
Thigh: 28.25 inches

Here are some pictures

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In addition to regaining my physical health and helping my mental health whilst I’m at it I have several things coming up this year and next.
I do have a gym membership and I am using the following apps.
My Fitness Pal
C25K
They are both free to use, on andriod and iShite (if you love apple fair enough but I can not stand it)

Lionel Richie concert
Holiday in the lake district
Graduation
Bridesmaid at my brothers wedding

I will update in a month’s time with my progress.

________________________________________

02 May 2016

I have just measured myself after a week of birthday parties and the inevitable bad food and drinks that come with them.

I’m finding it difficult at the minute. Food is getting boring as I’m limited to what I can eat due to the fact that I travel a lot.

I’m also coming to terms with the fact that despite my success so far, I don’t feel better. Maybe it’s a metaphorical wall that I have to smash. I don’t know.

I have continued to watch my calories with the fitness pal app, make good food choices, and go to the gym despite the crushing uni deadlines we are faced with.

My previous weight and measurements are listed below.

93kg/205.03lbs/14.645stone
Neck: 14.25 inches
Arms: 13 inches
Chest: 43 inches
Waist: 35.25 inches
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
Glutes: 47.75 inches
Thigh: 28.25 inches

My current weight and measurements.
89.9kg/198.2lbs/14.157stone
-3.1kg/-6.83lbs/-0.488stone
Neck: 14 inches
-0.25 inches
Arms: 14 inches
+1 inch
Chest: 41.5 inches
-1.5 inches
Waist: 34.25 inches
-1 inch
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
No difference
Glutes: 46.75 inches
-1 inch
Thigh: 27.25 inches
-1 inch

That’s a total loss of 3.75 inches from my person and 3.1kg (nearly half a stone) from my weight. Typical that the one place I’d like to keep the weight, my chest, I’ve lost the most. I’m not sure why my arms came out bigger, hopefully it means I’m getting stronger.

Here are some more obligatory pictures

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I wish I could say that I see a difference.

________________________________________

06 June 2016

All the swimming I have been doing has really ruined the ends of my hair so I begrudgingly had a lot cut off. The hairdresser told me to coat my hair in conditioner, let it dry, then plat it and swim. After swimming wash it as normal. I shall try this from now on and report back.

My previous weight and measurements are listed below.

93kg/205.03lbs/14.645stone
Neck: 14.25 inches
Arms: 13 inches
Chest: 43 inches
Waist: 35.25 inches
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
Glutes: 47.75 inches
Thigh: 28.25 inches

My current weight and measurements.
88.4kg/194.886lbs/13.921stone
-4.6kg/-10.4114lbs/-0.724stone
Neck: 14 inches
– 0.25 inches
Arms: 13.75 inches
+ 0.75 inches
Chest: 42.5 inches
– 0.5 inches
Waist: 34.25 inches
– 1 inch
Abdomen: 42.75 inches
– 0.5 inches
Glutes: 46.25 inches
– 1.5 inch
Thigh: 27.25 inches
– 1 inch

That’s a total loss of 4 inches from my person and 4.6kg (nearly a stone) from my weight. I still do not feel much better but I am starting to see a difference in my energy levels now which is good. I have more photos below.

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I still don’t see much of a difference however some of my friends in the private Facebook group I set up to support us all have said that they can as can my kjæreste.

________________________________________

04 July 2016

To my American friends and family, happy traitors day 😅😜😘

We have been on a little holiday in the lake district since my last post. It was a much needed break and the weather was perfect. I had intended to climb up Scafell Pike but after doing a few “shorter” climbs I had to concede that I am not yet fit enough. The good news is there are a lot of climbs in the lake district and I can return every year to work my way up to England’s highest peak. I really do recommend walking holidays. We spent most evenings at the Inn drinking our body weight in cider and eating our fair share of pub food yet I only put on 1lb and that was quickly lost. No matter where you go or what you do there are ample opportunities to remain active in your holiday. Even if you are not active, you’re on holiday so cut yourself a break.

My previous weight and measurements are listed below.

93kg/205.03lbs/14.645stone
Neck: 14.25 inches
Arms: 13 inches
Chest: 43 inches
Waist: 35.25 inches
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
Glutes: 47.75 inches
Thigh: 28.25 inches

My current weight and measurements.
87.9kg/193.78lbs/13.841stone
-5.1kg/-11.25lbs/-0.804stone
Neck:  13.75 inches
-0.25 inches
Arms: 14 inches
+1 inch
Chest: 41.75 inches
-1.25 inches
Waist: 34 inches
1.25 inch
Abdomen: 42 inches
-1.5 inches
Glutes: 45.5 inches
– 2.25 inches
Thigh: 27.25 inches
-1 inch

That’s a total of 5.1kg and 6.5 inches off of my person and despite not being able to explain why my arms don’t seem to be changing I have finally seen a difference in the side view comparison photos.

Here are the obligatory pictures.

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It’s really nice to finally be able to see some difference. I’m currently a size 14/16 in most stores (Don’t get me started on the non-existent standard store size in the UK) but I am finding that I am having to take size 12 into the changing room with me more and more now.

A quick word on sizing, ignore the number, if it fits well then buy it. I have issues being 5’10” and so long in the torso and leg so I often have to go to specialist stores or get sizes that are too big for me to make it fit correctly. The high street is not cutting it and I swear blind that the quality of most shops is getting worse.

Anyway, as I have been on holiday here is a bonus picture of me at the top of Hardknott Roman Fort. It is approximately 250 meters above sea level and the walk is up the very steep Hardknott Pass which happens to be one of the two steepest inclines in England, it hurt, it was worth it. This picture does not give a clear idea of how high up I am.

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Until next time.

________________________________________

01/August/2016

Studying has really taken it’s toll and being away from home a lot has meant that I have really had to prepare in advance for the food I’m eating to save both calories and money. Some good news at last, I finally reached my target of 1 stone and have now had to set new targets to get me to my final goal of weight loss.
Goal 2: 81.9kg/180.6lbs/12.9stone
Goal 3: 80.5kg/177.6lbs/12.7stone
Goal 4: 75.6kg/166.6lbs/11.9stone
Goal 5: 69.2kg/152.6lbs/10.9stone
My final goal is to hover between 67.9kg/149.8lbs/10.7stone and 66kg/145.6lbs/10.4stone.

I am also aware that I am not really setting any fitness goals aside from swimming more, completing the c25k program and eventually climbing Scarfell Pike. I also want to be able to lift my own body weight one day, I think they are called chin ups, I am prepared to be wrong.

My previous weight and measurements are listed below.

93kg/205.03lbs/14.645stone
Neck: 14.25 inches
Arms: 13 inches
Chest: 43 inches
Waist: 35.25 inches
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
Glutes: 47.75 inches
Thigh: 28.25 inches

My current weight and measurements.
85.1kg/187.6lbs/13.4stone
-7.9kg/-17.4lbs/-1.2stone
Neck:  14 inches
-0.25 inches
Arms: 13.5 inches
+0.5 inch
Chest: 42 inches
-1 inch
Waist: 33.5 inches
-1.75 inch
Abdomen: 41.5 inches
-1.75 inches
Glutes: 45.5 inches
– 2.25 inches
Thigh: 26.5 inches
-1.75 inch

That’s a total of 7.9 kg and 8.25 inches off of my person, here are the comparison pictures.

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I know this may sound silly but I’ve finally got the stage where my abdomen is smaller than my chest 🙂

________________________________________

05/September/2016

Studying is still taking it’s toll and this means that I have spent less and less time at the gym. That coupled with wavering sleep patterns and some health issues means that I really haven’t been focused on my fitness and weight loss this month. One lesson that  I think is increasingly difficult to learn for many people is that you should cut yourself a break. I really struggle with this but I seem to be taking things well enough. You can’t always be focused and motivated, sometimes the motivation does go and when that happens it is okay so long as you pick yourself up again.
I have had to make several adjustments, chief among them is that I have had to request an extension on my dissertation deadline meaning that I will be unable to graduate with my class in December of this year. When the best laid plans go to shit then altering them is sometimes the only option left to you and I have learnt this on many occasions in my short time. It is one of the reasons why I don’t look too far ahead anymore. Are you where you thought you would be 5 years ago? If you are great, if not it doesn’t matter. Try something, if that doesn’t work try something else. It really is that simple if you want it to be.

My previous weight and measurements are listed below.

93kg/205.03lbs/14.645stone
Neck: 14.25 inches
Arms: 13 inches
Chest: 43 inches
Waist: 35.25 inches
Abdomen: 43.25 inches
Glutes: 47.75 inches
Thigh: 28.25 inches

My current weight and measurements.
84.1kg/185.4lbs/13.2stone
-8.9kg/-19.6lbs/-1.4stone
Neck: 13.75 inches
– 0.5 inches
Arms: 13.75 inches
+0.75 inches
Chest: 41.5 inches
– 1.5 inches
Waist: 33.25 inches
–  2 inches
Abdomen: 41.5 inches
– 1.75 inches
Glutes: 44.5 inches
– 3.25 inches
Thigh: 25.5 inches
– 2.75 inches

That’s a total of 8.9kg and 11.5 inches off of my person, here are the comparison pictures.

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The only thing I need to work on is going to the gym. Studying and working means that I have been slacking a little bit recently and as I was very near to completing week five on the C25K app I don’t want to have to start from the beginning again.

The post was getting a bit long so I will update this again in December or January.
Feel free to ask any questions by leaving me a comment. This blog post has been giving me something more tangible that I can access and see how I’ve been progressing but I also hope that at least one person in the world can be helped by reading it if I publish it on-line.

 

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Chris Evans Quits BBC’s Top Gear After Ratings Slump — Entertainment – TIME

I had a feeling that this would happen, I thought he would be good but the show is too similar to the old format and he is much better on the radio.

Chris Evans has announced he is leaving Top Gear after the series hit a ratings low on British television Sunday night. The 50-year-old presenter tweeted the news of his departure Monday morning. “Stepping down from Top Gear,” he wrote. “Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I…

via Chris Evans Quits BBC’s Top Gear After Ratings Slump — Entertainment – TIME

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Norske Vafler

It’s time for another recipe blog.

Today I am making my kjæreste some really pimped up vafler, the Norwegian Waffle treat that we have since decided we can not live without. Believe me when I say that these beauties don’t need pimping in any way but today I decided to go all out.

We made the Sour Cream Vafler and unfortunately wolfed them down before any photographs could be taken. If you can get hold of Norwegian brown cheese do it, it taste amazing. If not then do your own thing. We had combinations of sour cream, jam, banana, strawberry, and nutella on ours.

Definitely worth the purchase of our vafler iron.

 

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Phishing Emails

I have recently received this email and I am tempted to reply by correcting all of the grammatical errors that I can see.

Dear Sir

With all sincerity and humility it is with deep pains i write you this message of wishful assistance to my predicament.

I am Raymond Taylor the only son of last wife to the former president of Liberia who was asked by unanimous decision by the international community to step down from the corridors of power .

I write you this mail under duress and as a result of my recent decision to better the lives of me. I have made a decision which i know might not be good in the sight of man but the present situation has led me to this decision to better the lives of me.Currently now have decided to make do with the sum of six hundred million us dollars(600.000.000)United States Dollars belonging to my father in which i am a benefiaciary,when he went into exile in Nigeria. In 2006.

On 29 March, My father tried to cross the border into Cameroon through the border town of Gamboru in northeastern Nigeria . His Range Rover with Nigerian diplomatic plates was stopped by border guards, and Taylor ‘s identity was eventually established.State Department staff later reported that significant amounts of cash were found in the vehicle.

Upon his arrival at Roberts International Airport in Harbel , Liberia , Taylor was arrested and handcuffed by LNP officers, who then immediately transferred custody of Taylor to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Irish UNMIL soldiers then escorted Taylor aboard a UN helicopter to Freetown, Sierra Leone,where he was delivered to the SCSL.

I have decided to relocate with your assistance to your private account the said sum.My decision was reached when i could not conceive the thought that after the United States Government has promised to let my father go free based on the condition that he should step down Mr.Collin Powell stated in a press briefing that he would be indicted by the court in Netherlands to face charges on war crimes,this is what led to my decision as God Knows that i was never in support of his involvement in the indecent maltreating of innocent people in Politics.

This decision is hard for me to make but i just have to make it for the sake of my me future.Currently the said sum was lodged in a safety deposit box in a financial company Institution which i will disclose to you as a matter of commitment to me and this plea for assistance. I currently have the deposit certificate and can draw up a change of beneficiary mandate to effect you as the beneficiary to the funds.

I am a trained economist by profession and it is in this line that i will want you to take note that your services for assisting me will be compensated to the best of my ability.

I have this to look forward to so i would like you to keep this project close to your heart just as myself pending when we reach the conclusive end of this project. I will want you as a matter of confidentiality to respond through this mail and also include your telephone number as well so that i can give you a call if the need arises as we are currently on political asylum now in west africa. Once get your confirmation that you can be of assistance i will bring you into a clearer picture of the situation at hand.

I look forward to your response with great hope of assistance.

I remain Yours Truly,
Raymond Taylor

With raymondtaylor98172255@gmail.com as the email address I feel I can not pass the opportunity to help this person in the betterment of themselves. Honestly do these still work? It puts me in mind of this:

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Stuffed Vine Leaves in Spicy Tuna and Tomato Sauce.

I did an inventory and realised that I had some ingredients I really wanted to use in the cupboard. I came up with this tasty and healthy slow cooker recipe today and thought I would share it with you all. It serves 2 people for a lunch or 4 people as an appetiser.

Ingredients
1 340g Jar Odysea Stuffed Vine Leaves, available in most supermarkets.
1 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes, any will do but I normally go for the cheapest.
1 Tesco Frozen Tuna Steak, I have listed the ones I used but any will do, leave out if you want a no meat option.
1 tsp Sainsbury’s Dried Chilli Flakes, again I normally go for the cheapest and have listed the ones that I used.
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method
Place tomatoes into the slow cooker
Take vine leaves out of the jar, leaving as much oil as possible behind, and place them on top of the tomatoes.
Put the tuna steak on top.
Add the chilli and seasoning according to your own taste.
Put the slow cooker on low for a few hours until the tuna is cooked.
Press the tuna lightly with a fork to flake it up and mix it into the tomato sauce.
Serve and Enjoy.

Now I added the information into the MyFitnessPal app (link to their twitter) and this is what came out: Odysea Stuffed Vine Leaves in a Spicy Tuna ans Tomato Sauce

Easy, no difficulty, tasty. I would have taken a picture but it was so nice my partner and I ate it before we though about it. Let me know what you think if you try it and feel free to jazz it up a little.

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Swimming

I don’t blog much but I thought about this last night on my train journey home and figured it was worth sharing and may even help some one.

I have been at University studying for my masters since September. One of the first things I did was contact the mental health support team who have proved to be invaluable to me in helping me adjust and cope with university life. I have also been speaking to my doctor a lot as I could feel that things were getting on top of me. This resulted in a prescription of sleeping pills, which I use as sparingly as I possibly can, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CGT) which so far seems to be working.

After having a small break down at Christmas and attending a few CGT appointments I decided to book onto a swim training course held at the University. The course is designed to improve your technique. Not swimming for over ten years I figured that my technique could really use some improvement.

I was prompted to write after speaking with one of the other attendees about how long we have been out of the water. I used to be incredibly fit as a child and had been swimming since my mother took me when I was a baby. At the age of six I was asked to train for an Olympic team which I turned down. I do not regret it, at the age of six I think it’s quite insightful to have realised that I swam for fun and had little interest in competitive swimming. I continued to swim throughout most of my childhood. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I started to spend less time in the pool and by the age of 16 I stopped completely.

It’s a harsh realisation that I have had issues with mental health from such a young age. I try not to think back now as I find it painful and I don’t want to reinforce how I perceived myself then. The young woman I was speaking with had been out of training for around 4 years due, in part, to an injury. She is a fabulous swimmer too. After speaking to her I did the maths. I am coming up to my 32nd birthday in August. I stopped swimming properly from the age of 14 and altogether at 16. I have had a 16-18 year absence from an activity that I love because of my mental health.

Getting back into the pool is one of the most difficult things I have done this year. I forced myself to go to the first session. I force myself to do a lot which most people confuse with confidence, but in reality is me ensuring that I leave my house to do just about anything. Before the first session I felt sick and had to hide in a fitting room whilst I had an all out panic attack. At the end of the session I hid myself away in the fitting room and cried. thankfully forgetting my goggles meant my eyes were already red from the chlorine so it was pretty easy to hide. Five sessions later and my stamina is improving along with my technique.

Last week I joined my local gym so I could swim more than once a week. Again I found that I had to force myself to go and again I had to deal with a panic attack before I entered the pool. I need not have worried. Everyone I spoke to was really supportive and friendly, just as they are at the University sessions.

I’m sure I will post (bore you all) again about my progress. I just hope that this gives someone the confidence to get back into an activity they may have given up or are too afraid to pick up.

Peace & Love
-xXx-

*Picture Credit:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Swimming#/media/File:Diver2.jpg

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Bournville Food Festival 2015

Today for the first time I have a bank holiday Monday off. I have never understood people’s sense of entitlement to bank holidays as I find them pointless but I have it off so my kjæreste and I decided to check out the Bournville food festival.
Open from 12pm it is a family and dog friendly event which takes place at the Row Heath Pavilion, Bournville, Birmingham, UK. A lot of stalls in a nice setting with plenty of parking. My advice would be to get there early as the real ale sells out quickly and the layout of the stalls (which could probably be worked on) make it quite crowded later on.
Of the many food stalls available we went for the Savanna Grill stall to try the slow cooked brisket bobotie with slaw, pickles, and Mrs Balls chutney. It was moist, flavoursome, and utterly delicious. So much so that we had eaten most of it before we thought to take a photo.
Then came the Real Ale and Cider. They bought more to the event this year but sold out in record time. Of the ones we tried the Old Rosie Cider with Rhubarb was by far my favourite. So much so I am ordering some for the summer and with any luck for my 2019 wedding.
On my way out we sampled, and purchased, some wonderful scotch eggs courtesy of the Staffordshire Savoury Eggs company. We had these for a late lunch once we walked home and now have very happy tummies.
A nice day out for families and couples with plenty off food stalls and a craft market inside. If you’re in the area when it’s next on I recommend it.

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Norway Trip 2014

I can not believe I am just writing about this now.

Last August I got the chance to visit my good friend in her beautiful home town of Stavanger, Norway. and what a wonderful country Norway is.

Norwegians drink more coffeé per capita in the world and they have a wonderful café culture where the café is a relaxed place to while away the hours during the day and where the music is turned up and the drinks are served during the night.

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Here is some of the lovely Landscape surrounding Stavanger including an Iron Age farm.

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A country full of wonderful sights such as this memorial.

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You can just pull up safely by the nearest waterfall and enjoy some lunch or even some Vaffler.

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Relax and hike in the Norwegian Fjords.

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And enjoy the many fabulous churches and shops.

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Believe me, my pictures do the country no justice.
We will be seeing you again soon Norway xXx

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A hen weekend in Edinburgh.

I’ve been think a great deal about weddings this year. This is largely due to a number of friends and family who were married last year and are getting married this year. As I am writing this I am on my way to Edinburgh for a “hen weekend”. It’s shaping up to be a good one as I’ll get to see friends I haven’t seen since university.

I normally wouldn’t entertain the idea of going on a hen weekend, our seen a hen party. They have a reputation for rowdy, loutish abandon where otherwise sensible women dress offensively, decked head to tow in cheap, tacky phallic paraphernalia from China with learner plates and drink themselves into oblivion whilst making a show of themselves. Some people may state that this is mere media hyperbole but I have had reluctant first hand experience of this many times before, often made worse with the addition of a stripper which has left me both unimpressed and in a state of disparity each and every time.

This weekend promises to be very different. We have a weekend of the six nations, restaurants, ghost walks and tours planned. We are surprising the bride to be with a golden laurel reef and toga (she studied ancient history and Egyptology and is now an archaeologist) with a book of photos and stories of how she met each and every one of us and good luck wishes for her future.

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