Project Lifestyle June Mental Health Workstream

This workstream for me has come on leaps and bounds this year. I feel so much better in myself and use the tools and tips from CBT last year when I need to. I also talk to my sister and my friend Ingrid about personal things more than I ever had (I’m not a sharer, which is weird for something who writes a blog). I’ve also been doing a mindfulness course and that will be finishing this month so I’ll be recapping that at some point.

This month those the focus is to start going through the Mind Over Matter book my CBT therapist recommended to me. I am of the impression it is good to do a little of something like this as often as possible, so combing it with mindfulness practice and Headspace meditation I feel this is creating a well-rounded routine for my mental health. I also use Moodscope and Moodgym (usually in work) as they are on the computer and are good helpful distractions when I’m stuck at my desk.

It’s taken a while for me to understand the importance of mental health to my life. I wouldn’t say I am 100% healthy, but I am healthier mentally than I was even 6 months ago. I am creating better attitudes to myself and others and that spreads to other aspects of my life.

Project Lifestyle June Social Workstream

I have come to realise I am not as anti-social as I think I am. But I do need my own space and my alone time and I struggle to be around people when I haven’t had enough of these. There were a few times in May I felt I pushed myself to be around people for too long and then felt rude for the mood I was in, but I couldn’t shake it. So I need to learn to spot when I might have too much on social wise and learn to say no.

I also need to learn to say no without feeling like I have to explain. Sometimes I just don’t want to do something. That could be because of the activity, who it’s with, or the time planning – anything really, but I don’t need to worry about explaining that to anyone but myself. It’s not that I feel I’m missing out, but rather that I am letting people down, but in a way I am letting myself down by doing things when it doesn’t fit in with the lifestyle I want to create. Don’t get me wrong there will always be things I have to do without choice, but when there is a choice I need to make the right decision for me at that moment. I can change my mind, but often our gut instinct is what we really feel about something.

Part of me is realising I have to let some things and people go. It’s not that I don’t like them anymore, but rather we have moved apart and find it harder to come together. I’m going to stop forcing this and focus on the things I want to be doing and the people that also make an effort to see me as well as me them. I also want to make time for new people in my life, specifically those helping me with my triathlon goals and who I can help in return. I’m accepting that people and things move forward and we may cross paths again. Relaxing my grip on things is the aim for me, rather than letting go.

So thinking a head I have a couple of busy weekends at the start of this month so the end of the month I am keeping to myself and only doing things I want to do. They might be social, but they also might be going to a coffee shop alone with a book or to blog. Or sit in my garden and watch the sky – or cut the grass, which is something I really need to do!

Project Lifestyle June Fitness Workstream

My fitness workstream is going well overall. I am pleased with how I am doing and although I wish I could do more I know I am making the most of my time. I am also volunteering at events, which was something I had not done before and it makes fitness fun. It’s also really enjoyable being around like minded people is really great and makes me feel motivated.

I may have joined an Ironman relay team to do the swim for next year so I know I want to do well and not let the team down so need to look at my overall fitness and make sure my nutrition workstream is helping me work towards this. Sometimes I think I’m crazy, but actually I look forward to challenging myself. The thought of doing all 3 aspects of an Ironman freaks me out, but doing the swim would be good.

So this month I am keeping it simple with challenging myself to be active in some way every day. This doesn’t have to be structured activity, but rather not sitting at my desk all day and then coming home and collapsing on the sofa (normal Friday night for me). So I am including things such as walking at lunchtime and swim coaching as both require me to be on my feet and out of the house or office. I will maintain my swimming, running and cycling and also try to get strength training back into my routine after my triathlon this month. Also there will be some sailing in the mix. The hardest part will be the week after the triathlon where it will be tempting to use rest as an excuse, but that’s where walking comes in!

This will be a challenge as I am away with work a couple of times and I know I tend to limit what I do because I’m somewhere new or too tired. So the aim is to get out and explore and make time to do so and not just return to my hotel and watch TV (again totally normal for me when away with work).
I have started off the month well as I did the local Race for Life event on the 1st and then have been swimming, lake swimming, running, and walking since. I feel good and when the sun is out it’s a bonus!

In a spinning plate analogy this plate only needs a bit of attention this month as I have a good routine and attitude about it. I know I can keep this going and therefore can focus on the nutrition workstream over anything else this month. I’ll update on the triathlon towards the middle of the month.

Project Lifestyle June Nutrition Workstream

This workstream is the hardest for me. I use food for more than just fuel for my body, but also as a emotional comfort blanket. However that comfort is twisted into something unhelpful in the long run – being overweight.

I want to find balance in my life and the nutrition workstream is where I am still very all-or-nothing in my thinking. I tried out various things this year already – My Fitness Pal, Weight Watcher, Slimming World – but something about all of them seems to get stuck. I like rules and structure, but relating that to my eating at the moment is not working. But also having no rules doesn’t work for me either.

I’ve been trying to think about things in a different way. This week I have hated being overweight. I have been hot and uncomfortable in my skin. I am in need of a haircut and my longer hair is making me hot that I want to keep it tied up all the time. I came up with a list of reasons why I hate being overweight and have printed it out and stuck it up to remind myself. Here are some main ones for example:

● I get too hot really easily – it’s currently about 13 degrees Celsius outside and I am too warm when I get up and do things
● I sweat a lot – I sweat beyond normal exercise sweat. I sweat when I’m nervous or rushing and it’s clearly visible on my face and my clothes
● I feel self-conscious and embarrassed about my body temperature and sweat
● My legs rub together
● I have to wear my hair up all the time when the temperature rises and my hair gets long
● I waste money on food I don’t need
● My clothes are tight around my middle and cut in when I sit down
● I can’t face buying clothes in bigger sizes so don’t go clothes shopping
● I don’t like having my photo taken and especially so when taking part in sports events – I hate
all my finish photos and would love a good one
● My arms never fit in t-shirts or tops well and never loose
● I compare myself to others based on size
● None of my walking clothes fit any more
● Running is difficult and I’m not improving
● I don’t like being lifted up at all
● I’m not confident in myself or my body
● I judge my body even though it’s done so much for me
● I don’t want to get dressed up smartly for going out as I feel uncomfortable in those kind of
● I don’t feel attractive, but wonder why fatter or uglier people have found people
● I worry my body does not match the lifestyle I want to live and promote – I feel like a fraud
when doing things like triathlon
● I worry people don’t like me for being fat
● It limits the confidence I have in myself and my abilities

I’m not trying to shame myself or anything like that, but rather be honest with myself about what I really don’t like and why I feel so bad for overeating. I am hoping reminding myself of these things will make me think twice about eating more than I need. These are the type of things I think of when Iwant to lose weight, but they are so easy to forget when that chocolate is in front of you calling your name.

I’ve tried the reasons why I want to lose weight and looking into the future at what I think that means, but that hasn’t been as sticking as it could be. Jillian Michaels is always going on about this and it makes sense. You have to want and relate to your goal, but for me it is more about the journey and creating a lifestyle. My nutrition lifestyle involves eating only as much as I need to fuel my body while enjoy the food I am eating. The occasional indulgence is a good things, but all in moderation.

SO I’m sticking with tracking on MFP and meal planning this month. I have created a month long meal plan to use up what is in my freezer and also to make shopping easier and in turn sticking to my budget. This is the spinning plate that needs the most attention and I struggle to keep it going, but I’ll get there and I just have to keep moving forward and adapting ways of doing things until I find what works for me. It’s not one size fits all when it comes to nutrition and losing weight.


Adventures in Tea… Bluebird Tea Month One


I was feeling low last month so ordered 6 month random tea subscription from Bluebird Tea in Brighton. They reminded on David’s Tea in Canada who I fell in love with back in 2012, so it is great to find another company who create random teas.

In my first delivery I got three teas:

Gingerbread Chai



This has been a great evening tea as it rooibos, rather than black tea. I’ve been brewing it in my glass teapot and originally went with the direction of the spoon per cup, but found I like it slightly stronger so ended up doing 3 spoons for 2 cups in my teapot. I then leave it for at least 3 minutes, but usually longer as I like it on the stronger side. This had a definite heat to it. I would describe this as a proper ginger heat, rather than gingerbread warmth you get in the lattes available at Christmas time. Two cups of this was enough for me each time. It was a nice change from peppermint or camomile in the evening though.


Vicky’s Sponge Cake



This is a black tea base so has made a lovely afternoon tea when I wanted something sweet. I enjoyed it a lot during my week off this month. It’s a fruity sweetness and with milk did taste a bit like cake.


Watermelon Splash



This was a green tea base and was quite refreshing. I kept meaning to make a batch of iced tea with this as I think it would be quite refreshing, but didn’t get chance to before posting this. I still have some left so will try if the weather improves enjoy to fancy iced tea.



Overall I loved having a selection of three different teas to choose from. I liked having 20 grams of each, rather than having to get 100 grams or 20 teabags of something I haven’t tried. So this was a great way to try them out and I know I’ll order more of my favourites after the 6 month subscription. Also the tea gave me the option of drinking these at different times to my coffee. I find I can drink tea in the evening without any issues, but I strict with my coffee intake unless it decaf (and I don’t really see the point in decaf anymore). Excellent service after my order, although I tried to do the pay monthly option, but didn’t manage that so paid in full – might be something to watch if you sign up!

I’m looking forward to the next delivery already!


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