Weekly swEATS 17th June 2015

I said last week that I was going to post my weekly eats and sweats (hence swEATS!) to help myself be accountable and although it has not been the week I planned I am holding myself to sharing. This will probably only be interesting for myself, but

Thursday – I had a 121 coached swimming session/lesson at the lake where I work on my speed. It was a good hard session for about an hour. I then also got in and did the 400m course without my wetsuit. For dinner I had pasta and homemade beef chilli with some Italian cheese grated on top.

Friday – This was the first day of my swim teach course, so I took a picnic dinner with me, but we ended finishing early so I grabbed chips from the chip shop. I’m disappointed in myself for this as I was all prepared and then let a change influence my plan. I was only active while I was teaching the two swim classes, but one of them ended being a 121 class with a 4 year girl, so I had to join in all the games and that was a workout!

Saturday – This was an early start for my swim course that also went on for the whole day. I didn’t feel I was particularly active as I only taught one class and then the rest was theory. I walked over to the local Waitrose with a couple of the group for lunch, but that was it. I then went home and had prawn salad for dinner and an early night.

Sunday – This was the third day of my course. I could have gone to my normal swimming session, but as I was so tired the night before I had  homework to do first thing so had to skip that and get some evaluations done. I was all prepared to have crab pasta and then on the way home all I wanted from protein, so picked up some prosciutto and a tub of mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes and munched my way through those while my cats looked on aghast that I was not giving them any of it.

Monday – This day was dictated by my volunteering at the 800th Anniversary celebration of the Magna Carta at Runnymede. We were given breakfast and lunch, so there was a lot of bread consumed and not enough liquid. This day did involve lots of walking and I was on my feet the whole time really. I should have put on a pedometer to track it all.  Again I was super tired after so threw some cod fishcakes in the oven for dinner.

Tuesday – A normal day at work, but it ended up being a long one as I had a lot to catch up on even though I had only been out of the office one day! I was not prepared today and although I knew I was picking up a free chicken on the way home I hadn’t decided to cook it that night, so it went straight in the fridge and I had bread and a custard slice for dinner while doing my swim course homework.

Wednesday – Another busy work day, but I could leave at my normal time so didn’t get stuck in traffic as much as the night before. I finally got round to having my crab pasta tonight while finishing off my swim homework and preparing for a swimming chat with the running club. Again I didn’t plan activity so I didn’t it in. I can’t count playing with the cats as a workout for me., unless I start chasing the feather teaser!

This week I struggled to fit everything in. I was so tired from the weekend, but that is no excuse. I have another two weekends like this coming up so I need to get organised. Looking back at the week showed me how I let my plans be influenced by outside factors.  So looking forward I have to be prepared and organised and not let changes in plans side-line me like this last week. I’m inspired by blog I follow where they fit things in and do what they can when they can. I want to be more like that so I am going to see what I can do this week coming.

June Coffee Date

I love reading these types of posts, but had never considered writing one myself until just this week. I realised I don’t have a way to share my general thoughts on here as I make all posts very specific. So I am making a change and will start doing these types of posts every so often.

If we were on a coffee date I would order a very large black coffee. The weather has been changeable recently and I’ve been tired so I would need the caffeine and warmth a hug mug of coffee brings. I would keep it simple so not to distract from our time to catch up.

If we were on a coffee date I would want us to catch up on everything that has been going on in our lives since the last time we saw each other. I would want to know how you are and what you’ve been up to. I would also want to know what plans you have coming up.

If we were catching up over coffee I would tell you about what I have been doing, which either resolves around work or swimming. I’ve been pretty busy trying to fit everything in and am feeling the strain. It’s not a bad strain at the moment, but I do have to make choices on what I can and cannot do. I don’t like being this busy all the time, so am looking forward to July when my schedule will ease a bit. I would want you to know I’m not saying no to things for no reason.

If we were out for coffee I would tell you how nervous I am about my Level 2 Swim teaching course that is taking up my entire June. It is a lot of work and I worry I won’t remember everything I need to. I’m glad my swimming club has given me the opportunity to do the course and will be glad I can be of more help to them once I am qualified. I am also hopeful about where it could lead and maybe I could develop the open water aspect of the club. I am also worried about how tired I will be and how that will impact on other aspects of my life.

If we were at a really good coffee shop I would tell you that I am super excited about the volunteering I am doing for work this month. Firstly I will be at the Magna Carta 800th anniversary event as an arena usher. It’s an early start, but lots of very important people will be there and it will be a once in lifetime opportunity to be a part of. I am also volunteering at the Summer Solstice at Avebury, which is another chance to meet some fun and interesting people. Last I went to Stonehenge, but as I have to be at my swim teaching course the following morning I went for a closer location to help at. So that is a very early start, and a very late night within a week of each other. I do love my job though and especially now I have nee made permanent and will be able to focus on progression going forward.

If we were out for coffee I would tell you how I am trying to improve and overall change my lifestyle for the better. I need to focus on the food aspect as of my life as I know I each too much and have the tendency to binge. That is why I won’t be having cake on our coffee date or some fancy super sweet coffee concoction. I want to keep it simple and eat good foods, while maintaining the balance of having what I want. I need to be more accountable and plan on posting my weekly sweats and eats over the next month so I can review. I could do with an accountability partner, but don’t know who to ask.

I’m excited and happy though at the moment. I feel I’m taking some good steps in my life and it’s moving in a direction I want it to go. There are so many things I want to do! I want to walk more; take more photographs; spend time with interesting people; explore more places; grow my own vegetables; shop more locally; these are just some of the things I have in mind.

I would also tell you I struggle to talk about stuff sometimes and hate asking for help, even though we all need it sometimes. So this has been a nice thing to do and I hope we can do it again soon!

Wandering around Runnymede Magna Carta 800th Volunteering

Today I had the privilege to got to Runnymede and volunteer at the 800th Anniversary event for the sealing of the Magna Carta.

I was up at 4am to get to Windsor Racecouse for 5:45am to catch the volunteer bus to Runnymede. 

We got to the site just after 6am for the briefing and kit out, before heading to the arena for 7am. We had to get wristbands to do this that confirmed we had been security checked by the police as many important people were attending.  

Inside the area I was an usher, which meant helping people to their seats and making sure any questions were answered.   

It soon filled up in anticipation of the arriving VIPs and by 9am it was a completely different place to be.  

I got see the new art piece that was commissioned for the vent called The Jurors – 12 chairs depicting different images and stories.

Then Prince William arrived.

I got quite a good view of the arrival.

Then a better view as he met performers.

Next the Queen and the other extra important VIPS arrived.

I then had the job of getting the VIPs who were to meet the Prime Minister into position.

I also got to see the Princess Royal (Princess Anne)

Once all the royals left Prince Anne re-dedicated the American Bar Association Memorial with the Antorney General, Loretta Lynch.

Then everyone had a picnic lunch and we watched the fly pass.

Once we had finished our duties we got to wander the arena and the site a little more and I got a closer look at the art commission and picked out a few of the decorations on the chairs I liked the best.

I also went to see the boat not eh river while I waited for the bus to return us all to our cars after a fantastic day.  

Adventures in Swimming… Teaching Level 2 Part 1

This weekend I have spent the whole time at a local swimming pool learning how to teach swimming. This was the first weekend of three weekends in which I will learn everything I need to know to become a level 2 swimming teacher and be able to teach classes on my own.

I’m so knackered already and it’s only been one weekend!

I taught 3 lessons over the weekend and all of them went quite well. I underestimated the first groups ability, but with the help of the regular teacher improvised and delivered a good session. I ended up with one  class that only had one child as well!

We learnt about child protection and it is quite a scary topic. We had to look at scenarios and what responses we would need to deal with them. In essence it’s always report it to someone in a higher position. It was good to go into this in more detail, but at the same time highlights the need to protect yourself by not doing anything that could be misconstrued.

We focused on front crawl this weekend, but will be going through all 4 main strokes over the 3 weekends and will have to teach all of the to pass the course. It was lots of theory on top of the teaching. In most cases though it is all about being prepared for the sessions and making sure the aim is progression and to help the people you are teaching become better swimmers, in a fun and safe environment. We also have to evaluate ourselves and observe our classmates as part of the course. It’s interesting to see how different people think and compare and learn new practices as a group.

No photos for this post due to the nature of the weekend, but a very busy one!

Balance and Accountability

Life is all about balance I believe.

I seem to have lost my balance in the last few years. Okay, so maybe not my whole balance, but rather an overall balance in life. I’ve had to focus on my mental health significantly and that has thrown other aspects off kilter, but in a way that is because before that I didn’t focus on it at all!

At the same time it is important to not try and do absolutely everything!

I suppose it is really about priorities and finding the right balance at the right time for all your own priorities.

I think this is why I have found changing my lifestyle for the better hard, as I have not prioritised to balance. Instead I have prioritised to the extreme with an all-or-nothing approach. This is not a sustainable way to live and I flip from one side to the other repeatedly.  I don’t feel very accountable at the moment, not even to myself. I know I have spoken about this before and stayed away from the subject as felt I was failing, by not making progress, when that is not true. Every day we make progress in our lives. It is not about the destination, but rather the journey we need to be enjoying.  My cats are a huge part of my life now and that has changed how much I want to be away from the house during the day and they play a big role in keeping me mentally healthy.

What then, are my current priorities?

  • Healthy eating
  • Being active
  • Career progression
  • Balancing my time being social and being alone

Other things I need to keep an eye on:

  • My mental health
  • My swimming goals
  • My finances
  • My blog and social media

So I am taking inspiration from Ashley over at Healthy Happier Bear and am going to post my weekly swEATS! This will include everything I’ve done that is active and everything I have eaten. I really want to be aware of my snacking as I think this is my downfall. I also want to be able to take a good look back at what I have eaten so I can see what does and doesn’t work and what adaptations I could make to improve things. Activity wise I want to get back to doing something active everyday as I have lost this habit and it is so hard to get back.

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