Day #53 22.02.16

Working from home is great. For many reasons. Today’s reason is that I can make a fresh salad right before I eat it, not the night before so it goes all soggy. Yes, I am aware this is quite dull but hey, I quite like food. And I quite like eating. And it’s a bit rare that I actually have this much food in my house to be able to make what was really quite a top salad. And there’s not a lot more I’ve done today apart from go out for cake at lunchtime (salad + cake = balance) and I’m going to go for a run and then to the gym tonight. These activities are probably equally as interesting dull to most people, ha! Maybe I should be more like 2012 and post more meaningful pictures that relate to some deep and meaningful thoughts I’ve been having but I’ve not really been having any.

Well, not that I want to tell the world about right now. Maybe I’ll save those for a really dull day.

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A spoonful of sugar.

Makes me feel like sh*t and is really not doing me any favours. I think I have a little addiction to sugar and sweet stuff, and have decided enough’s enough (after eating enough Maltesers, Toblerone and Celebrations over Christmas I’m surprised I’m not diabetic) and I’m going to cut it out of my diet to try and be as healthy as I can be. For my overall health and also because I know that it makes me feel good. It also helps for exercise. Ever tried running after eating a bucket load of crap? It’s really hard work.

So, as from now* I’m going to stop eating stuff like cake, chocolate, ice cream, biscuits, desserts etc. No sugar in my tea. Natural sugar in things like fruit, dried fruit or honey is OK though. No refined sugar or processed crap basically.

I’m going to go cold turkey. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to give it my best shot. I gave up smoking once, so surely I can do this? I know I’ve got willpower. I think it’s in there somewhere. I just have to find it and use it. I did do this a few years ago, managed a couple of weeks and it was fine (I completely forgot and got lured in by custard creams in a work meeting). I’ve given chocolate up for lent before. So, it should be easy right? Hopefully.

That’s also why I’m posting this. Telling people. Gives me an extra incentive to stick to it. And also, helps if I see any of you. Please don’t give me chocolate or offer me a biscuit**.

Ta. Wish me luck.

 

 

*9pm, Sunday 29th December 2013.

**Or wave one in front of my nose. I won’t be responsible for my actions. 

Runs around the world #15

Melbourne, Australia

First things first. HELLO cooler non-humid weather! Oh, how I’ve missed you. You are wonderful. Let me give you a kiss, you are that wonderful. You’re a little bit cold, but I’m not complaining. At ALL.

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Pretty much as soon as I landed in Melbourne I was raring to go out for a run. I didn’t go the first day though. I was a bit tired from all the flights and lack of sleep, plus I needed to go and buy some new clothes seeing as though the laundry place in Sihanoukville had lost half of mine. Including a pair of my running socks. Not that I’m still a little pissed off at that, oh no.

But the next day was a different matter. I woke up all excited, desperate to get my trainers on and get out there. So I did. For over 6 and a half miles. The longest I’d run in a long time. Since Hong Kong I think, which was the beginning of September. A long time ago. Whoop!

I didn’t plan to run that far. I didn’t actually plan to run any distance, I just wanted to go out and run. So I went to the end of the road and down by the creek, and just ran and explored. That’s the best way for me to run sometimes, not knowing where I’m going. Just running to see what’s round the corner, or just turning round and trying somewhere else if you find a dead end. You see all sorts by doing this. So, I got a good bit of exploring of Ivanhoe done on that first run. 

My legs didn’t like the last couple of miles, that’s for sure. I kept it nice and slow though, and I could actually breathe for once without feeling like I was breathing through a wet towel. I was pretty surprised how green it was around here and down by the creek. Loads of trees, grass and green stuff. My first taster of realising what a green city Melbourne is. There’s trees and parks and grass everywhere. Even in the city centre, most streets are lined with trees. 

I loved this run. It was great to be back somewhere it didn’t seem odd to be running. It was great to be somewhere I could run ‘easily’. It was great to be able to run somewhere where there’s clearly loads of different places to run (that aren’t on roads). I’ve got a feeling I’m going to like Melbourne for running.

I told you I’d be back on it when I got to Australia. Yes!

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Skinny fit.

I’ll admit it. I want to be skinny. I always have. I’ve never been overweight, but I’ve never been skinny either. I used to want to be bony skinny, especially as a teenager and into my twenties. That little bit too thin. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because it’s what society says we should be. All those pictures in magazines and on TV. Maybe the teenage me thought that’s what was attractive or it was what I should look like for other people. Maybe it was my own brain saying that’s what I find attractive.

Whatever it was, I never was. I never had the willpower to not eat a lot. Because generally, that’s pretty much what it takes. Unless you’ve got natural genes, metabolism and small bones.

But, I still want to be skinny. Well, actually now, I guess it’s not really ‘skinny’. I want to be lean. Healthy. Toned. Thin but not bony. And, well, I guess I’m pretty much there. I’m happy with the way I look. And feel. I judge my well-being on how I feel inside, what I see in the mirror and how I feel when I run or do exercise. I’ve never owned a pair of scales, and doubt I ever will. I feel pretty healthy, and know I eat [mostly] healthy stuff, exercise a decent amount and don’t smoke. Ok, I probably still drink a little bit too much but hey, I’m not perfect. And I’ve realised that if I feel healthy and do all those things, I feel good, and I’m happy with what I look like in the mirror.

That’s not to say there’s things I wouldn’t change. Of course there is, everyone’s got them. The bits they’re not that keen on. But really, I can live with them, and overall I’m happy with how I look. It all makes up me. Character, as my Dad would say (generally about anything that’s a bit different, wonky, not quite right or imperfect).

But why do people, women especially, get so hung up about what they look like? Why are women never happy with the way they look? According to surveys, most women are unhappy with their bodies. One, commissioned by REAL magazine, found that only 3% of the 5000 women surveyed were totally happy with their bodies. 3%? 3%? That’s bloody awful. (Link here, sorry for Daily Mail link but it’s the only write up I could find)

Why ladies? Why so negative and down on yourselves? Do you treat others that way? Would you say the kind of things apparently said to yourself to someone else? I doubt it. The survey found that 91% of the women surveyed were happy with the way their partners looked. So what do you think their partners think about them? They’d probably say the same surely? But if you told some women that I guess that wouldn’t make any difference. Whatever they were told they wouldn’t believe it because those thought processes are so ingrained. They don’t want to accept compliments. Don’t believe them. Unfortunately it’s not a new thing either.

Interestingly, a survey conducted for Fitness magazine shows slightly different results. Still not great, but a bit better. The numbers and % seemed to be a bit better. I’ve read before that people who exercise tend to feel better about themselves and their bodies, whether they look different or not, the fact they are doing something seems to help the way they feel about themselves. And this can only be a good thing.

People come in all shapes and sizes. We should learn to love ourselves for who we are and what we look like. Character and all. We should look after ourselves, eat healthy stuff, do a bit of exercise and have the odd bit of indulgence. Give ourselves the credit we are due. Accept compliments. Take pride in who we are. And if other people don’t like it? Well, it’s none of their business is it? Their problem, not yours.

Confidence. It’s a powerful thing. Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. So, go forward, accept yourself and your character and always realise this: “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind”.