24 February 2014

Gentle groans

Gym induction on Friday went well, although rather quick. It was definitely only a whistle-stop tour where we just observed and hoped to remember enough so that we could figure out what to do with the various high-tech bits and bobs when we first flew solo!

Wings spread and we attempted this on Sunday morning's session... supposedly when things were quiet and calm, but... er, flying solo with this level of technology highlighted a couple of little challenges.

Started off fine, on a treadmill which must afford the best view I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying while trying to raise a sweat. Looking out over the sun on the river and the meadows and the city roofline was gorgeous. So far, so good. Yeah - we can do this :-)

But then we had to negotiate setting up the correct position for using the leg curl (me) and leg extension (hubby) set-ups. Now we've used similar things in the past at our old gym, so how hard can this be - easy, huh? Nope - this was more a case of WTF! Hey Technogym, I can only say your purportedly 'helpful' little diagrams (on all the equipment) really suck!

Between the two of us we think we eventually got that sorted, but then comes inserting the magic key and trying to figure out how to set it up so it recorded what we actually did. You see, I set my desired weights on the stack (a nice gentle start at 15kg, just to get back into the swing), but the super-whizzy technological panel decided I was using 5kg (only!) and refused flatly to remember my actual weights when I reset them on the damn panel... er, several times. Sod it - gave it up as a bad job and just used the darn thing anyway so I could try to get to grips with keeping my movements (little green lights) at a speed to track the panel's orange 'ideal' band. Partial success, but we'll work on that.

To be honest, my heart rate (and blood pressure) doubtless soared while we were at the gym, but that was stress, and all because of this high-tech 'computer says' business. Probably gave me more of a work-out than the machines. Heaven only knows what 'those panels' think I did and what 'they' recorded on my magic key. Ho hum, give me a good old-fashioned piece of paper and a pencil stub anytime. [yes, I know I'm a dinosaur]

And those gentle groans? Ah well, the other thing I discovered is just how darned unfit I've become. My legs and abs are pretty much fine today (thank the Lord), but my shoulders and upper body in general are telling me I that I did something out of the ordinary. I'm guessing this could be mostly down to that arm bike thingy - ouch! It's not something I've encountered before but I'd call it a piece of wickedness designed by the fiends from hell!

Still, we got ourselves moving, we are learning, and we're going back there mid-week. Gottta be a good thing, eh?

21 February 2014

Induction night is here

Just a quickie... Off to the new gym in an hour or so for our induction sessions - yep, we loved it and signed up the very next day. It's funny but, now that day has arrived, I'm one part excited, two parts scared stiff.

I am under no illusions that any claim to fitness I could ever have made has deserted me and that I'm very probably going to hurt over the next few days... but what the heck. Let's go for it and enjoy it.

14 February 2014

Plodding quietly along

Well, after the last few 'OMG it's awful' posts I can honestly  say that there's precious little of any note to report at the moment, which could be viewed as a good thing - indeed, that's how I'm choosing to see it. Things have settled back to OK, just sort of middle-of-the-road ordinary, which is to say not great, but not dreadful either.

My surly black dog is being held at bay (er, for the most part) although the blighter does still seem to be prowling around on the periphery, looking for a way back in. I am still finding that the strangest little things trip me up and make me realise how much I miss my lovely Mum, whereas the more obvious, expected triggers I can, apparently, cope with. I'll talk to my sister at the weekend as I know she's been finding things quite tough too - it may help give both of us a better insight.

But, things are definitely less gloomy. Having been quite upset by this turn of events recently, I have (I think) managed to reconcile myself to accepting that I simply 'will' go into sharp grief and meltdown periodically and that isn't a problem. I've been repeating to myself that it's not actually anything unusual, in the circumstances, or anything to do with me being overly sensitive or silly. I've talked at length to lovely hubby (OK, cried with/all over him mostly!), who assures me that it actually indicates what a very special person Mum was, and how precious she was to me, that I continue to feel her loss so badly. She was precious to us both - he really misses her too. He also feels that these sorts of things will inevitably continue to happen every now and again for a while to come yet - a new 'normal' for us to get used to, I suppose.

On another positive note, my weight is staying at a reasonably happy place, at the lower extremity of my happy band, and I'm still in the glorious 'purple' of ketosis (although the lure of too many spoons of nut butter has challenged me a few times). I do have to confess that the exercise is still not back to anywhere near my desired levels and I'm struggling to figure out how I can change this right now as the daily commute mess is still taking a hefty toll on my time and energy. I'll find a way, but first need to come up with a workable plan. In fact, I'm off to check out a (new and expensive!) gym this evening - sadly, they've shut down my old one, dammit.

It's a bit odd, you know, but although I'm hanging in there at the lowest weight I've maintained for donkey's years I don't really feel that I'm looking 'good' and I'm not truly comfortable with 'me' at the moment. Hmm, does that make any kind of sense? I feel old, tired and worn down, unfit and, some days, positively fat again. Not good, but I guess it's that old skewed self-image conundrum again - not seeing oneself as one actually is. I know some of this will be coloured my black dog's view, not really through 'my' eyes, and I'm actively looking for ways to challenge it (like jotting things in the 'blessings' note book and investigating the gym). Unfortunately I am finding it a rather difficult process.

On the subject of 'challenges' to come, I'm also aware that I need to start to work through some of my deliberately deeply-buried angst about disposing of Mum's house and posessions (in what seemed such a goldarned hurry), about my current and future relationship,or rather non-relationship, with my brother and his wife, and a few other knotty issues... such as why do I have a continuing propensity to want to comfort myself with food when I get badly stressed, even if it's now with the slightly 'better' low-carb foods, not sugary crap. Wish me luck!

Hmmm, reading back through this post, it all sounds sort of negative too [way too 'oooh, poor me', if I'm honest]. But it wasn't/isn't intended to be.

What I'm actually trying to say is quite simple - that is I'm still here, still fighting and I haven't and will not cave in to life's obstacles - whatever form they may take. Nil illegitimi carborundum! Onwards, ever...

11 February 2014

Why, oh why, oh why do I still fall into this trap?

Yesterday, the bad news...fat lass loaded her own bullets, then promptly shot herself in the foot. [Insert rude words here]

OK, what actually happened was that I had a re-run of last week's stress and depression about losing my lovely Mum, and meltdown ensued. Hey, I have the 'poor excuse' card in my hand - see. It was kicked off by having to pay in the cheque for 'my share' from the sale of her house (my childhood home) to the bank, having carried it around with me since last week. Not a nice feeling at all, considering (however foolishly) that I still wish we hadn't really had to sell it at all. To be honest, this whole 'settling Mum's estate' business dredges up all sorts of emotional crap that I really haven't dealt with properly yet - including brother related stuff. I'm even getting all knotty-stomached again typing this.

So just as I thought I was handling things rather better after the weekend (and some lovely supportive comments - thanks chaps), it tripped me up again good 'n proper. I had one of those 'want to eat... anything... right now!' feelings that, unfortunately, lasted for most of the day. The morning wasn't too bad as it was a busy period but, by the time work had added it's own brand of stress to the fun and games, the afternoon defeated my resolve and I nose-dived into a (thankfully nowhere near full) jar of almond butter that's sat happily un-munched above my desk for ages. Sound a familiar tale? Yep. Does to me too!

The good news... and, boy, I'm so thankful there is some.

Yes, I tripped up and did something stoopid, but it could have been (and would have been, at one point) a LOT worse. Yes, I ate probably a couple of generous tablespoons of almond butter which weren't exactly part of my day's plan. But, in the bad old pre-low-carb days I'd almost certainly have pigged out on, or emotionally/comfort eaten, a whole lot more, and worse. Looking at the almond butter nutritional blurb, no it wasn't great, but it wasn't an out and out disaster either.

In my favour is that it would have been awfully easy to hit the sugary carb-laden crud too - yesterday we had a pile of, er, 'goodies' (I won't call them what I really think) left over from a morning meeting in our work kitchen area - stuff like flapjack bites, croissants, biscuits and muffins. I just can't express how SO glad I am that this stuff holds no appeal for me whatsoever these days. Although I looked at it, nothing made me want to eat it.

But back to the big question. Why do I still get the urge to stuff myself when seriously stressed. It's old, bad behaviour and I keep thinking I've defeated it. Patently that isn't correct though! Going to have to put some thought and work into this... again!

07 February 2014


I won't go into it, but something has happened today to remind me that my darling Mum is never coming back, and I feel bereft, sad, heartsick, call it what you will.

I know it maybe sounds a little silly after the time that's passed, and because to all intents and purposes I'm 'fine' and I both can and do manage everyday life 'normally' for most of the time. But, and it's a big one - but every now and again something brings me up short and I remember all over again the pain of losing her as if it had happened yesterday.

Sorry chaps, but I've come to the conclusion that the age-old 'time heals' mantra is so much B.S. It may be that time passing means the frequency of such painful episodes lessens, but the actual feeling when it hits is no less intense.

So today I need a reminder...

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